Alternative Alignments for Route 49 (south of CHS)

Currently, Route 49 runs via Pine between Broadway and Downtown. I feel like this would be a bit redundant to the future Route 2 on Pine, but then I also think Route 2 would not have enough capacity to carry all the riders between Seattle Central College and Downtown. Moving Route 49 to Madison would be nice, but that would duplicate RapidRide G. Metro has a plan to merge Routes 49 and 36 and run the combined route through First Hill. However, this has received much criticism because many 36 riders ride to International District, and this combined route would break that one-seat ride.

Map of proposals: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iUaRiE3nsE7ueqguCEOO9USIQY8&usp=sharing

Merge with First Hill Streetcar

The First Hill Streetcar would take over Route 49 north of Pine St. One problem with this is that the First Hill Streetcar is ridiculously slow, and having it take over the 49 route would not be so desirable. A solution is dedicated transit lanes, but 10th Ave is a bit narrow for that.

Replace First Hill Streetcar

Route 49 would replace the First Hill Streetcar entirely, running via Broadway, Boren, and Jackson. One problem with this is that so much money was spent on the First Hill Streetcar, and now the track exists, so it does not make too much sense to get rid of it.

Hospital Campus

Route 49 would run via Broadway, Seneca, 9th Ave, 8th Ave, and Yesler to Pioneer Square. Route 60 would move to 14th/15th. This would relieve some congestion on Route 3 between Harborview and Pioneer Square. This would also make use of some existing trolley wire on Seneca and 9th.

14th/15th/Yesler

Route 49 would run via John, 15th, Pine, 14th, and Yesler to Pioneer Square. This would extend the Yesler service to 14th if Route 27 is reduced to peak hours (refer to my Central District restructure for more information). However, this would require placing new trolley wire along 14th and 15th. It would also mean that 49 riders lose their one-seat ride to SCC, but then they gain a one-seat ride to Group Health.

14th/15th/Jackson

This is similar to the 14th/15th/Yesler proposal, except the bus will run via Jackson instead of Yesler, and terminate at International District Station. This would connect people along the 14th/15th corridor to the International District.

Summit

Route 49 would run like Route 43 between CHS and Westlake. This would allow Route 10 to move back to Pine between Bellevue and 15th to supplement Route 2, but then riders along 15th Ave would lose their one-seat ride to CHS, and 49 riders would lose their one-seat ride to SCC without gaining any new one-seat rides.

Chicago Transit Blog

Hello STB readers. In my last post I mentioned that I would start a Chicago Transit Blog. I created the site a while back, but only now have I started posting on it. My first post was about the controversial Route 11 in Chicago. It is a widely discussed topic nowadays, so I thought it would be a good way to start out. Please spread the word about this blog. Thank you.

https://chicagotransitblog.wordpress.com

A Little Bit About Myself (Last Regular Post)

Hello STB readers. I realized that I have been posting on Page 2 for a couple months now, but I have never formally introduced myself to the STB community, so in this post I will talk a bit about myself. As some of you may have noticed, I usually post something every Thursday. This will be my last regular post on STB, and I will explain why in this post.

I first moved to Seattle in 2002 when I was really little (I’m 16 now). For many years my family did not have a car, so we depended on public transportation a lot. Because of that, I pretty much memorized the entire bus system in Seattle, at least within the city limits. I also payed a lot of attention to the type of bus I was on. I really liked the Breda trolleys because they gave a kind of “retro” feel that none of the other buses could give (except the MAN trolleys, but those were gone by 2007). I also liked the 30ft Gillig buses because those were extremely rare within the city limits. If there was anything I hated about the bus system then, it was the through-route system and the Ride Free Area, the latter of which is gone now. Though it may have been nice to not have to pay to take a bus within Downtown, it was awful to sometimes have to pay as I left the bus, especially because there were many people paying at the same time while a whole bunch of people were getting on the bus. I still hate the through-route system, though I understand Metro uses it to save service hours and layover space.

During my 10 years in Seattle I had always lived in Wallingford. At first I lived in an apartment between Stone Way and Aurora (which I can’t even remember), but later on I moved to a house east of Stone Way. The buses I took the most were the 16, 26, 30/31, 44, 48, 49, 70, 71/72/73, 15, and 8. When Link opened I took it to places in Southeast Seattle such as Kubota Gardens.

I have always been a big fan of nature. My favorite parks in Seattle were Carkeek Park and Kubota Gardens. I do not like crowded places, so I never really spent much time in Downtown unless I needed to. My favorite neighborhoods in Seattle are Wallingford, Fremont, and Capitol Hill because they have a lot of trees. My favorite part of the entire city is the path in Fremont along the canal. I used to ride my bike there a lot. I spent a lot of time in Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, Capitol Hill, and U District.

As a southeast asian, I really like all kinds of asian food. This meant I had to go to the International District to buy ingredients. Though it may have been easy to get from Wallingford to the ID, it was more difficult to get back home due to the infrequent buses going to Wallingford. In fact, I found it more convenient to take the 71/72/73 expresses and transfer to the 30/31 in U District rather than to take the 7/14/36 and wait for the 16 or 26 on 3rd Ave. Now it should be easier with the frequent 62.

I moved to Chicago in 2012 (right before RapidRide C and D opened), and I soon memorized the bus system there too. I kind of forgot about the Seattle system. I live in Hyde Park, so I usually take the Metra train to Downtown Chicago. I find it convenient, but the train runs way too infrequently (hourly). I would say that Chicago has the most grid-like bus system I have ever seen, and I have found it very convenient. At some point I started writing a document full of suggestions on how to improve the Chicago public transportation system. I never really shared it with anyone other than a couple friends, but I still edit it nowadays. If you guys want me to post my Chicago suggestions on Page 2, tell me so in the comments.

In 2016 I visited Seattle. I was shocked by how much the bus system had changed. I looked online and noticed that there were 3 major restructures during the 4 years I was gone: September 2012, September 2014, and March 2016. I stayed near the U District during that visit, and I noticed that the only route in North Seattle that did not change in terms of routing was the 44 (now I realize there are a couple routes really far north that haven’t changed, but I never really pay attention to those). As much as I miss some of the old routes, I think the transit system in Seattle has improved a lot since the time I was there. I also like the development in South Lake Union; it used to be a whole bunch of random warehouses, but now there are nice buildings in that area.

I then started writing an improvement suggestions document for Seattle. I started sharing my ideas on Page 2 in March 2017. Since then, I have also modified my document according to what people comment on my posts. I have not found anything similar to STB for Chicago, but if such a thing exists, please tell me.

I will probably take a break from posting on Page 2 now since I have basically written every single idea I had on my Seattle document, and now I want to start posting a bit about Chicago. I might come back every now and then with a post. If there is no such thing as a Chicago Transit Blog, please give me advice on how I can start one.

Improving RapidRide

The RapidRide system is a nice addition to the bus system in Seattle, but right now I feel that there isn’t enough difference between RapidRide and regular buses other than WiFi, some dedicated bus lanes, and wider-spaced stops. In fact, some regular routes are more frequent than RapidRide routes. The Madison BRT (RapidRide G) is supposed to have more BRT-like features, so I think the whole RapidRide system should be like that. Here is a map of my proposed RapidRide system (uncheck the Link box) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nBYvhYMteQDSepINtLnV9nfzVlA&usp=sharing

Service

Dedicated stops/stations (stations can be shared between RapidRide lines, but not with regular buses)
Off-board payment at all stations
Dedicated bus lanes on most sections, only a few sections in mixed traffic
Coordination with street lights

Frequencies (minutes)

Peak: 5-7.5
Weekday Midday: 10
Weekend Midday: 12
Early Morning/Late Evening (4-6 AM and 10PM-12AM): 15-20
Night (12AM to 4AM): 45-60

Expansions

G Line will be extended to Madison Park to replace Route 11.

D Line will be extended to Lake City via Holman Rd and Northgate Way. Route 40 will terminate at Carkeek Park.

E Line will have a new station at 38th/Aurora to serve Fremont, even though it is somewhat of a walking distance.

Route 65 will become a RapidRide K Line, going between Brooklyn Station and Lake City.

The Sound Transit 522 BRT will be extended west to Broadview to provide crosstown service on 145th St.

There should be some kind of rapid transit going between Seattle Center, SLU, Capitol Hill, and Madison Valley, similar to the east-west portion of Route 8. However, the city is still rearranging the streets in SLU, so they should get that done before putting such a RapidRide line into service.

Canceled

In this post, canceled means that the route will not become a RapidRide route. I only mention the routes that appear in the 2025 plan.

Rainier: The Rainier plan basically turns the 7 into a RapidRide. I think the 7 runs close enough to SeaTac Link, so it shouldn’t be a RapidRide. In Rainier Valley there should be Link feeders instead.

40: Ballard already has the D Line, so there shouldn’t be a parallel route. I would just extend the D Line to Northgate and truncate Route 40 at Carkeek Park. If there is a Ballard to Fremont rapid transit (BRT, Streetcar, Link), it should go to Wallingford and U District instead of SLU and Downtown. The 44 RR serves this in a way, but it runs too far from the center of Fremont. That is why I think a Ballard-UW Link line would be good. If there should be a Fremont to Downtown RR, it should also go through Queen Anne (possibly an extension of Route 13 to Fremont).

372: If there should be a RapidRide line in Northeast Seattle, I think 35th Ave NE would be a better corridor for it. That is why I suggested turning Route 65 into a RapidRide line. Also, Sound Transit already plans a 522 BRT, so the 372 should just be a local shadow.

Reduced

Roosevelt: The portion of Roosevelt RR between Northgate and U District is redundant to Northgate Link, so there should just be a local shadow rather than a RapidRide line. However, I think a RapidRide along Eastlake could make sense. It should be called Eastlake RapidRide, not Roosevelt RapidRide.

C Line: When West Seattle Link opens, the C Line will have much less purpose. In fact, people might even switch to the H (Delridge) Line when it opens. I think when West Seattle Link opens, the C Line should run to Alki Point north of Alaska Junction.

D Line: Ballard residents will probably switch to Ballard Link when it opens. I would assume that Ballard Link will be extended further north to Crown Hill after the first phase is opened. I think that when the first phase of Ballard Link opens, D Line should be truncated south of Market, and a local bus will run along 15th Ave W between Market and Downtown.

Alternative alignments for Route 32

A while back I posted a Route 32 restructure having it go through central Queen Anne instead of Interbay because I felt the Interbay portion duplicated the D Line too much. However, people wanted it to go until at least 15th/Dravus so that it keeps the 15-minute frequency with Route 31 between U District and 15th. I came up with a couple other alternatives below. Here is a map of the alternatives: https://drive.google.com/open?id=10P2xFaf-hcsKM0WP2eSHr20uZ20&usp=sharing

Kinnear

South of Dravus, Route 32 will run like Route 1. A drawback of this is that Route 1 is a trolley route, and it would be a waste of trolley wire if a diesel route is operated full time on roads with trolley wire.

28th Ave W

West of 15th/Dravus, Route 32 will take Dravus, 22nd, Gilman, Govt. Way, and 28th Ave W to Downtown Magnolia.

34th Ave W

West of 15th/Dravus, Route 32 will take Dravus, 22nd, Gilman, Govt. Way, and 34th Ave W to Downtown Magnolia.

Dravus/Emerson

West of 15th/Dravus, Route 32 will take Dravus, 28th, Tilden, 30th, and Emerson to Discovery Park.

Expanding Link

Sound Transit plans to expand the Link system with new lines to Ballard and West Seattle and extensions to existing lines. I like many of these ideas, but I also have ideas for other lines, as well as some changes to the already planned lines. I will divide this post into different lines. Here is a map of my proposed Link system: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nBYvhYMteQDSepINtLnV9nfzVlA&usp=sharing

West Seattle Line

The West Seattle Line will run south of Downtown with the following stations:

Stadium
SODO
Delridge
Avalon
Alaska Junction
Morgan Junction
Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal
Westwood Village
White Center
Burien TC (Maybe, but there should probably also be some infill stations)

Northwest (Ballard) Line

The Northwest Line will run north of Downtown with the following stations:

Westlake
Denny
South Lake Union
Seattle Center
Smith Cove
Interbay
Market St
NW 65th St
Crown Hill (NW 85th St/15th Ave NW)

Fremont Line

I think there should be a line running to Fremont. I would prefer this over a 40 RapidRide. In fact, I wish the Ballard line would go through Fremont, but ST3 already has the Ballard line going through Interbay.

The Fremont Line will run north of Downtown with the following stations:

Westlake
Denny
South Lake Union
Queen Anne (if it’s physically possible)
Fremont

Northeast Line

The Northeast Line is the line that currently goes to University of Washington and will be later extended to Northgate and Lynnwood.

East Line

The East Line is the line that will go to Bellevue, Overlake, and Redmond. I like the plan Sound Transit has.

SeaTac Line

I think the Tacoma extension would make sense, though if it goes north of Downtown Seattle, it would result in a line about 40 miles long. That wouldn’t be too bad though. It could be through-routed with my Fremont Line.

Route Names

A while back there was a post by Joseph Story on a possible naming scheme for the Link system. I find his ideas pretty interesting, so you guys should read his post.

https://seattletransitblog.com/2017/08/03/integrated-labeling-scheme-for-link/

In my map, I have color-coded the lines. I avoided green and blue because those are being used for the Swift BRT. However, I think there should be some other kind of naming system for Link, maybe by direction, such as Northeast-Southwest.

North Seattle Restructure after Lynnwood Link

I feel like there are too many zigzagging bus routes in North Seattle, the best example being the 345. I think there should be more of a grid system in North Seattle.

Proposal (North Seattle)

Routes to be deleted: 41, 77, 345, 347, 348

Routes heavily modified: 73

Routes 40 and D Line will swap routings north of NW 85th St. This means that Route 40 will terminate at Carkeek Park, while D Line runs via Northgate Way. The D Line will be extended to Lake City, still doing the deviation to NSCC and Northgate TC.

Instead of running to Northgate, Route 75 will run via 125th, Roosevelt, and 130th to 130th/Greenwood.

Route 65 will be extended west to 145th/Greenwood via N 145th St. Between 125th St and 145th St, it will run via 35th Ave NE and Lake City Way instead of 30th Ave NE.

Route 345 will be discontinued. Route 346 will run at 15-minute frequency, and it will through-route with Route 352 at Northgate TC.

Route 73 will be extended north to Mountlake Terrace TC via 15th Ave NE, NE 196th St, 19th Ave NE, and 56th Ave W. It will be renumbered 377, and it will run at 15-minute frequency. This is similar to Route 347, except more straight. Route 347 will be discontinued.
Alternative to above proposal: if people prefer connection to Northgate over a full 15th route, then Route 347 could be straightened like my proposed 377, and the current 73 can stay as it is now.

A new route will run like Route 348 between Richmond Beach and 5th Ave NE/NE 185th St, then take NE 185th St, 10th Ave NE, NE 180th St, 15th Ave NE, NE 175th St, and 5th Ave NE to Northgate TC. On weekdays it will deviate to 1st Ave NE between 130th St and 145th St to serve Lakeside School. This route will be numbered 352, and it will run at 15-minute frequency. It will through-route with Route 346 at Northgate TC.

Between 1st Ave NE and 5th Ave NE, Route 330 will deviate to NE 145th St to serve the Link station. Route 330 will also run at 30-minute frequency all 7 days a week.

Route 372 will be extended to Woodinville like Route 522, the way the original 372 ran before the March 2016 restructure. It will run on its full route all 7 days a week.

Other Changes

Routes 31 and 32 will run both directions on NE Pacific St and terminate at Husky Stadium. They will no longer through-route with Route 75. Route 75 will through-route with Route 45 instead. To accommodate this through-routing, Route 45 will deviate from University Way to Brooklyn Ave between 47th St and 45th St in order to serve the Brooklyn Station, and on 15th Ave between 45th St and Stevens Way.

Routes 65 and 67 will run in both directions on Stevens Way. They will also run via 45th St instead of Campus Pkwy.

At all times, Route 62 will run on both directions on NE 65th St. During nights and weekends, it will loop at Radford Dr.

Route 44 will run to Children’s Hospital instead of Husky Stadium.

Maps

45: https://goo.gl/maps/BGSS52uaDKs

65: https://goo.gl/maps/kADFRYWaoRp

75: https://goo.gl/maps/SQXsbM4tHrB2

352: https://goo.gl/maps/VLjyzWx4TpE2

377: https://goo.gl/maps/CwNz5uaUFst

D Line: https://goo.gl/maps/SUFGo25kM9P2

Southeast Seattle Restructure

Since 2009, transit in Skyway has been pretty much the same, other than improved frequency on Route 106. Before that, the part of Skyway close to Lake Washington had some bus service, but in 2009 that was removed. In my post I discuss some ways to improve transit in Skyway.

Metro has a plan to combine Routes 49 and 36 and run them through First Hill instead of Downtown. This plan has received much criticism because many Beacon Hill residents use Route 36 to go to the International District, and the plan would cut off that connection. In this post I discuss a bit on First Hill-Southeast Seattle connections.

The September 2016 service restructure modified Route 106 to run like the old Route 42 between Rainier Beach and Downtown. Many people have criticized this new routing for duplicating Route 7 between Mt Baker TC and Downtown. I change up the routing for Route 106 a bit so it is less duplicative.

In this post, I refer to Southeast Seattle as the part of Seattle east of I-5 and south of McClellan. I split up the post into categories I mentioned above.

Routing Changes within Rainier Valley/Beacon Hill

South of Cloverdale, Routes 7 and 9 will swap routings. This means that Route 7 will run to Rainier Beach Station, and Route 9 will run to Prentice St.

South of Massachusetts, Route 8 will run via Massachusetts and 23rd to Judkins Park station instead of taking MLK to Mt Baker TC. Also, Route 8 will go straight on MLK instead of deviating to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson.

South of Massachusetts, Route 48 will run via Massachusetts and MLK to Mt Baker TC.

A new Route 52 will connect West Seattle, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, and Seward Park. Instead of going via Sylvan Way, Route 128 will run via 16th Ave SW and Genesee to Alaska Junction, and it will not run to North Admiral. Route 22 will be extended to Seacrest Park via California to replace Route 128 in North Admiral. Route 52 will run at 30-minute frequency.

Route 38 (not the MLK one, but the McClellan one) will be restored. It will be extended to Columbia City Station via Hunter Blvd, 38th Ave S, and S Alaska St to replace the 14 tail to Hanford St. It will be operated using vans, and will run at 30-minute frequency.

Route 36 will through-route with Route 70 in Downtown. Frequencies on Route 70 will be upgraded to match those of Route 36.

Routing Changes within Skyway

Route 101 will run to Rainier Beach instead of Downtown. It will run at 15-minute frequency all 7 days a week. It will through-route with Route 169 at Renton TC. Route 102 will remain as it is now.

Route 107 will be split into two routes: Routes 105 and 108. Route 105 will run like Route 107 between Beacon Hill and Rainier View, but then go on Langston Rd to Renton TC. Route 108 will run like Route 107 between Renton TC and Cornell Ave, then take Cornell Ave, Rainier, Seward Park, and Othello to Othello Station.

First Hill-SE Seattle Connections

Instead of running via Jackson to International District, Route 106 will run via Boren and Fairview to South Lake Union.

The First Hill Streetcar will be discontinued. Instead of going via Pine, Route 49 will run to International District via Broadway, Boren, 12th, and Jackson, laying over at 2nd/Main. The South Lake Union Streetcar will terminate at the yard at Dearborn.

North of Jackson, Route 60 will take 12th, Yesler, 14th, Pine, 15th, and John to Capitol Hill Station, then take Broadway to the current 9 terminus at Aloha.

Between Jackson and John, Route 9 will run via 12th instead of Broadway, and will terminate at the current 60 terminus at Mercer. It will also run to Prentice St instead of Rainier Beach Station.

Maps

Route 38: https://goo.gl/maps/gad35oknpr62

Route 49: https://goo.gl/maps/BeHtFMXu6e82

Route 60 (north of Beacon Hill): https://goo.gl/maps/6KKzF6qGQDG2

Route 52: http://bit.ly/2odjINS

Route 128: http://bit.ly/2pQIMtQ

Route 105: https://goo.gl/maps/7RP7abjLXFP2

Route 108: https://goo.gl/maps/E6nQwZm2bEM2

Van Routes

There are certain corridors in Seattle that deserve service, but the roads are not suitable for buses. There are also other routes in Seattle with very low ridership, but the demand is high enough to keep a route there. I have come up with a few corridors where van routes would be nice. If needed, some of these routes can become DART routes.

32nd Ave NW

32nd Ave NW is suitable for buses, but midday and weekend ridership was rather low. For a long time, this corridor was served by the all-day Route 17, which was replaced by Route 61 in 2012. Due to low ridership, Route 61 was discontinued in 2014. Right now there is only the peak-only Route 17 serving this corridor. I would restore Route 61 as a van route, but terminate it at 15th/Market instead of doing the weird loop in South Ballard. Route 61 will run at 30-minute frequency during the day, all 7 days a week.

NW 65th St

Currently, the only East-West corridors in Ballard are Market and NW 85th St. I think there should be something in between. A NW 65th St bus would be good for connecting Ballard residents to Ballard High School, the Phinney Ridge shopping district, and Green Lake. An extension to Golden Gardens via Seaview would be nice too. I would put a van route on NW 65th St between 36th Ave NW and Aurora, and I would number it as Route 68. Route 68 will run at 30-minute frequency during off-peak, and 15-minute frequency during peak in both directions to serve students of Ballard High School.

NE 55th St and Laurelhurst

NE 55th St is suitable for buses, but the streets in Laurelhurst are very narrow. Before 2014, NE 55th St had bus service all 7 days a week, and before 2016, Laurelhurst had weekday bus service. Now NE 55th St only has the peak only Route 74, and Laurelhurst has nothing in its south part. I think both of these corridors deserve all-day service. I would put a van on this route, and I would number it 79. To free up service hours and to reduce duplication, I would delete Route 78. Route 79 will run at 30-minute frequency during off-peak, and 15-minute frequency during peak.

S McClellan St

Who remembers Route 38? Not the one on MLK, but the one on McClellan. Many people used it to travel between Beacon Hill and Mt Baker before Link opened, but then people moved to Link. I think Route 38 would be good for Beacon Hill residents living on the hill on McClellan. I would restore Route 38 as a van route, but I would also extend it to Columbia City Station via McClellan, Mt Rainier Dr, Hunter Blvd, 38th Ave S, and S Alaska St to replace the Route 14 tail to Hanford St. Route 38 will run at 30-minute frequency during the day, and at 60-minute frequency at night to serve people who would usually take Link between Beacon Hill and Mt Baker. If needed, night trips can also go to International District.

SW California Ave (Route 22)

Route 22 has had rather low ridership for a long time. I think it would be a good van route. I think Route 22 could also be extended to Seacrest Park to replace Route 128 in North Admiral so that there would be a bus going on the whole length of California. Route 22 will run at 30-minute frequency during off-peak, and 15-minute frequency during peak in both directions to serve students at Chief Sealth High School and West Seattle High School. All peak trips should be operated using regular buses, maybe even articulated buses if needed.

Mercer St and Aloha St

Mercer St and Aloha St have never had true bus service. I think there should be a van route serving Mercer and Aloha. This route would have two disadvantages: traffic on Mercer and not serving Capitol Hill Station. But I think such a route could possibly relieve some congestion on Route 8. I would number the Mercer/Aloha route as Route 42 (sounds rather familiar, but it’s been gone for some time now, so it’s fine)

Maps

Map of van route system: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1EnAFcULlO8Sou0cz0t9o2d8UhEE&usp=sharing

Modifying the Paint Scheme

Since about 1997, Metro has used this paint scheme with a yellow bottom, black middle, and blue, teal or green top. Later Metro added a red top for RapidRide and a purple top for trolleybuses, but the other diesel buses still don’t seem to have any color-coding. The new battery-electric buses seem to all have blue tops, so I think Metro should do something about this color-coding. I have a proposal below:

Blue: battery-electric
Green: diesel or hybrid (the diesel-only buses are being phased out)
Teal: DART
Purple: trolleybus
Red: RapidRide

Downtown Restructure

There are many express bus routes that go from Downtown Seattle to other places around the city. I feel like some of these routes are not too necessary, and instead there should be a single frequent express route to that area instead.

The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel is expected to be closed to buses in 2019. This means that many buses will have to go on the Downtown streets. Metro has a couple plans, but I came up with some alternatives.

Route 99 is expected to end soon due to construction of the Center City Connector on 1st Ave, so Metro should make use of some of the stops. The Center City Connector construction is only between Stewart and Jackson, so the stops north of Stewart are still available.

Removing Express Routes

SR-520 routes (other than one or two peak expresses) will instead run north to the University of Washington station at Husky Stadium, laying over elsewhere in that area.

Instead of going to Downtown, Route 125 will run like Route 50 between Delridge and Alaska Junction. A peak-only Route 125X will run to Downtown along the current 125 routing.

Route 101 will be discontinued. Routes 148 and 169 will be extended to Rainier Beach via Sunset Blvd, MLK, and Henderson. Routes 148 and 169 will each run at 30-minute frequency all 7 days a week, providing combined 15-minute service on MLK between Rainier Beach and Renton. Route 102 will still serve Downtown, possibly with some additional peak trips.

When Northgate Link opens, Route 41 will run only between Northgate and Lake City.

Changing Through-Routes

Routes that will no longer have through-routes: 1, 5, 24, 26, 28, 33, 124, 131, 132. Check the section on New Downtown Terminals to see where they would terminate in Downtown.

Routes that will receive through-routes: 40, 70 (see Other Changes section)

Route 2S will always through-route with Route 13. Route 1 will be extended to replace Route 2N on 6th Ave W, terminating at the former Route 4 loop in East Queen Anne.

New Downtown Terminals

Routes Coming from South

Instead of terminating in South Lake Union, RapidRide C will terminate at the current 99 stop at Elliot/Broad, using Broad and Cedar to travel between 1st and 3rd avenues.

Instead of going to International District via Jackson, Route 106 will run to South Lake Union via Boren and Fairview, terminating at the old RapidRide C layover spot.

Route 124 will layover at the current northbound 99 stop at 1st/Cedar, using Wall and Cedar to travel between 1st and 3rd avenues.

Route 150 will layover at the current northbound 99 stop at 1st/Lenora, using Lenora and Blanchard to travel between 1st and 3rd avenues.

Route 120 will layover at the current southbound 99 stop at 1st/Lenora, using Lenora and Virginia to travel between 1st and 3rd avenues.

Routes 131 and 132 will layover at the current southbound 99 stop at 1st/Wall, using Cedar and Battery to travel between 1st and 3rd avenues.

Route 550 will run like Route 554 in Downtown.

Route 102 will run like Route 190 in Downtown.

Routes Coming from North

Route 5 will terminate at the current 70 layover spot at Main St.

Route 62 will stay on 3rd Ave until Jackson, then go on Jackson and terminate at the 99 layover spot on 8th/King.

Routes 24, 26, 28, and 33 will go to Ryerson Base.

Since Route 14 will be through-routed with Route 70 (see Other Changes section), Route 1 will run to Atlantic Base with a few stops along Airport Way.

Route 41 will run like Route 522 in Downtown.

Route 74 will run like Route 76 in Downtown.

Frequency Changes

Routes 11, 120, 124, and 150 will run at 15-minute frequency all 7 days a week.

Route 47 will run at 15-minute frequency during peak hours, and 30-minute frequency at all other times.

Route 4 will run peak-only between Downtown and Mt Baker TC, operating as an express along Jefferson. It will no longer be a trolley route. Route 3 will run at 15-minute frequency all 7 days a week.

Routes 26 and 28 will no longer be coordinated to provide 15-minute service on Aurora. Aurora already has frequent service with the E Line and Route 5.

Other Changes

Route 27 will move to Jackson between Downtown and 31st Ave S, and it will be renumbered 25. The current route 27 will remain as a peak-only route. Route 14 (and Route 70) will temporarily become diesel routes while wire is placed to Leschi so that Route 25 can be electrified. Routes 14 and 25 will each run at 30-minute frequency, providing 15-minute frequency along Jackson. They will be through-routed with Route 70. Pretty soon, Route 48 will be a trolley route, so the vehicles currently assigned to Routes 14 and 70 will be used on Route 48. After the Leschi wire is completed and Metro receives more vehicles, Routes 14, 25, and 70 will be electrified again.

RapidRide D and Route 40 will swap routings north of NW 85th St. This means RapidRide D will terminate at Northgate TC, and Route 40 will terminate at Carkeek Park. Route 40 will be through-routed with Route 21.

Route 49 will run via Madison/Marion instead of Pike/Pine. Route 12 will run during peak periods only, and Route 60 will be extended to Interlaken Park to replace Route 12 along 19th. I know people might say this 49 rerouting would be redundant to the future Madison BRT, but I think by the time Madison BRT opens, Routes 49 and 36 will be combined into one route running through First Hill.

Transit to Alki Beach

Mike Orr brought up in my West Seattle restructure post that Alki Beach is underserved. I definitely agree with this. The roads to Alki Beach are not particularly difficult to navigate, but it is only served by the infrequent 50 and the peak-only 56. There is also the Water Taxi to Seacrest Park, but it doesn’t run enough to actually be considered a way to get to Alki Beach. I think there should be a frequent route to Alki Beach.

Currently, Routes 50 and 128 are coordinated to provide 15-minute service on California between Alaska Junction and Admiral Way. I find this a little strange, considering these routes are completely different. Route 128 runs straight to North Admiral while Route 50 goes west to Alki Point. Metro has a RapidRide route between Alki Point and Alaska Junction in its 2040 plan, but I think there needs to be a better solution in the meantime. I have come up with a proposal:

Route 128 will run to Alki Point instead of North Admiral. Route 50 will be upgraded to 30-minute frequency on Sundays. Routes 50 and 128 will be coordinated to provide combined 15-minute service between Alki Point and Alaska Junction.

Route 22 will be extended to Seacrest Park via California to replace Route 128 in North Admiral. It will be coordinated to provide efficient transfers to the Water Taxi.

Improving Transit in Georgetown

In September 2016, Route 106 was taken out of Georgetown, Route 107 was “rerouted” to Georgetown, and Route 124 got a frequency boost. These changes got mixed reactions, with some people liking the combined corridor and others disliking the lost service during peak, night, and Sundays. However, the frequent service on Route 124 is not expected to last much longer. Metro plans to increase the frequency sometime between 2025 and 2040, but there should be another solution to Georgetown service in the meantime.

Proposal

Routes 60 and 124 will run via Corson Ave instead of Carleton and Ellis.

Route 101 will exit I-5 at Georgetown instead of SODO, and run like Route 124 between Georgetown and Downtown. Routes 101 and 124 will each run at 30-minute frequency, providing combined 15-minute frequency along Airport Way S between Georgetown and Downtown. Route 124 will be through-routed with Route 24, and Route 101 will be through-routed with Route 33.

Central District restructure

This restructure could possibly happen when East Link opens, but the main purpose of this restructure is to make buses in Central District more efficient. A while back there was another post about the Central District. I commented some of my ideas on there, but I only gave a brief overview of it. Here I go into more detail. I will divide this post into routes.

Routes 14 and 27

Currently, Route 14 is rather unbalanced. It has high ridership along Jackson St, but low ridership along 31st Ave S. Route 27 is also unbalanced, with high ridership along Yesler but low ridership along the Leschi tail. However, the section of Yesler between 12th and 31st is a short walk to Jackson, and the section between 3rd and 12th is scheduled to be served by a reroute of Route 3. I have an idea to solve the unbalanced route issues.

Between Downtown and 31st, Route 27 will move to Jackson, and it will be renumbered 25. The current Route 27 will remain as a peak-only route running between Downtown and Leschi. Routes 14 and 25 will each run at 30-minute frequency, providing combined 15-minute service along Jackson. Route 25 could possibly be a trolley route as well, though it would require placing trolley wire to Leschi. Route 14 will also stop serving the tail to Hunter Blvd.

Routes 3 and 4

Metro plans to delete Route 4 and increase frequency on Route 3. I agree with this, but I would keep Route 4 running peak-only between Downtown and Mt Baker TC, acting as a 3X along Jefferson. I would also split Route 3 in Downtown. Route 3N will run as Route 34, and Route 3S will run as Route 3. Routes 3 and 34 could possibly be through-routed, but that would depend on future ridership patterns. Between Harborview and Downtown, Route 3 will run via Yesler instead of James (Metro already has such a plan).

Route 7

I am sure that Route 3 will still be crowded between Downtown and Harborview even after the Yesler reroute. I think Route 7 should run via Yesler instead of Jackson to relieve this. Plus, it would take Route 7 out of the congestion in Little Saigon. So basically Route 7 will continue straight on Boren until Yesler and then turn on Yesler.

Route 8

Route 8 will run straight on MLK instead of deviating to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson. Instead of going to Mt Baker TC, Route 8 will run via Massachusetts and 23rd to the Judkins Park Station.

Route 2

Route 2 will no longer run north of Downtown. It will also run via Pike/Pine instead of Seneca/Spring (Metro already has such a plan).

Route 106

Instead of going via Rainier and Jackson to International District, Route 106 will run straight on MLK until Massachusetts, then take Massachusetts and 23rd to Judkins Park Station.

Routes 49 and 36

Metro has a plan to combine Routes 49 and 36 and run it through First Hill via 12th Ave instead of Downtown. I like the overall idea, but I would prefer a routing on 14th Ave because 12th is too close to Broadway and too far from 23rd, currently the only two north-south corridors in that area. 12th can be served by the peak-only Route 9 instead.

Maps

Route 25 Map: http://bit.ly/2tKqMj4

Route 49/36 between Jackson and Capitol Hill: http://bit.ly/2pvKtJz

What to do with Routes 71 and 78

I have mentioned this before, but many people complain that Route 71 duplicates Route 62 along NE 65th St. In one of the plans for the U-Link restructure, Route 71 was to be deleted entirely with its Wedgwood tail covered by Route 78. But due to neighborhood pressure, Route 71 was kept, and Route 78 was terminated in Laurelhurst. Reasons to keep Route 71 included keeping the same level of bus service between Roosevelt and U District, and also keeping the one-seat ride between Wedgwood and U District.

Before Route 78, Laurelhurst was served by Route 25. Route 25 served much more of Laurelhurst than Route 78 does now. Since September 2014, NE 55th St has not had any off-peak service. So both the Laurelhurst and the NE 55th corridor have lost their off-peak bus service.

NE 75th St never really had any service other than a part of the 71/76 tail between 40th Ave and 50th Ave, and the old Route 68 between Roosevelt and 25th Ave NE. It is relatively close to NE 65th, but I think it deserves some service too.

Proposal

Route 71 will run via NE 75th St instead of NE 65th St. It will terminate at 55th Ave NE. Route 76 will remain the same as it is now.

A new route will run like Route 74 via NE 55th St, but instead of going north to NOAA, it will go south to Laurelhurst, serving the old 25 loop. This route will be numbered 79, and it will replace Route 78 entirely. Route 79 will run at 30-minute frequency. On the map, it shows Route 79 going to “Neptune Theatre” because that is close to where the Brooklyn station will be. If Metro puts Route 79 into service before Brooklyn station opens, it should terminate at the current UW station at Husky Stadium before moving to Brooklyn Station.

At all times, Route 62 will run both directions on NE 65th. On nights and weekends, it will loop at Radford Dr, using the old 30 loop.

Maps

Route 71 Map: http://bit.ly/2ujUHza

Route 79 Map: http://bit.ly/2t2mEvG

Deviations

Some Metro routes have minor deviations from a more direct routing. Some of these deviations make sense, and some don’t. If a deviation I said does not make sense actually has a reason, please put that in the comments section. Also, if you guys have been able to identify more deviations, feel free to write them down in the comments section.

deviations that make sense

Instead of going via Northgate Way and 1st Ave NE to Northgate TC, Route 40 runs via Meridian Ave, College Way, 92nd St, and 1st Ave to Northgate TC. This deviation is used to serve North Seattle College.

Route 65 deviates to 40th Ave NE instead of going directly on 35th Ave NE. This deviation is used to serve Children’s Hospital. Out of all the deviations I have been able to identify, this one makes the most sense.

deviations that might make sense now but could be removed

Route 107 has a deviation to Georgetown at S Albro Pl. Maybe later Metro could delete it if there is another route that can provide the connection between Georgetown and Rainier Valley.

Route 120 has a minor deviation to Westwood Village. Though it might add extra travel time, it does provide a connection to the transit center at Westwood Village. However, I think the deviation could be removed when Route 120 becomes a RapidRide line, and the transit center can be moved to White Center.

Many West Seattle routes deviate to 44th Ave SW instead of going directly on California. This deviation is used to serve Alaska Junction. I think Metro should improve connections at Alaska Junction so that routes do not have to deviate.

deviations that do NOT make sense

Route 8 deviates to 23rd Ave instead of going directly on MLK. This used to be a turnaround loop, but there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation.

Route 22 deviates to 41st Ave SW instead of going directly on California. Metro had considered deleting this deviation before, but voters voted against it. There does not seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation, and a more direct routing is only 1 block away from the deviation.

Route 26 (northbound) deviates to East Green Lake Way instead of going on Woodlawn. Unlike some other deviations, there is only one stop along the deviation. This used to be a turnaround loop, but using the direct routing will basically change nothing for riders except for more efficient travel times.

Routes 60 and 113 deviate into Olson-Myers Park and Ride instead of going directly on Olson Pl. Olson-Myers P&R used to have more purpose, but now Routes 60 and 113 are the only routes serving it, the latter being a peak-only express. I will discuss this in a different post, but I think Routes 60 and 113 should just go straight on Olson Pl.

Through Georgetown, Routes 60 and 124 run via Carleton and Ellis. A more direct routing would be along Corson Ave. This isn’t exactly a deviation, but it is just a weird routing where I have found a more direct solution. Plus, my direct solution would serve the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College.

Route 62 deviates to Woodlawn and Ravenna instead of going directly on NE 65th St. This deviation might provide some connection to East Green Lake, but I do not think such a deviation is necessary.

Route 120 deviates to 15th Ave SW instead of going directly on 16th Ave SW. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly important along this deviation, and a more direct routing is only 1 block away from the deviation.

Route 128 deviates to Tukwila Int’l Blvd between S 144th St and Tukwila Int’l Blvd Station. I would guess that before TIBS opened, Route 128 ran straight on S 144th, but now it might make more sense for Route 128 to run straight on Military Rd to TIBS.

Route 132 deviates to Military Rd between S 120th St and S 128th St. It should just go straight on Des Moines Memorial Dr.

Route 347 deviates to 5th Ave NE instead of going straight on 15th Ave NE. This is more than a simple deviation, but I have thought of a more direct solution. I think Route 347 should go on 15th and Route 348 should go on 5th.

Future of Trolleybus Network

Seattle is sometimes known for its extensive trolleybus system. Trolleybuses are nice because they are quiet, but the wires can be kind of a hassle. Also, battery-electric buses are improving, which could mean that trolleybuses would be obsolete some time in the future. Here I talk about what Metro could do with the trolleybus network. I talk about some specific routes here. Some of these ideas are plans that Metro already has.

Major Changes

Map of Major Changes: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LOrhwCohaby9urDVOiSS_47ATX0&usp=sharing

Route 49 and First Hill Streetcar

The First Hill Streetcar will be extended north to U District to replace Route 49.

Route 70 and South Lake Union Streetcar

The South Lake Union Streetcar will be extended north to U District to replace Route 70.

Route 36

Instead of going to Downtown, Route 36 will run through First Hill via 14th and 15th, then terminate at Capitol Hill Link Station.

Route 11/RapidRide G

RapidRide G Line will run along Madison all the way from Downtown to Madison Park.

Route 2

Route 2 will be split in Downtown. The south portion of Route 2 will run via Pike/Pine instead of Seneca/Spring. The north portion will become Route 23, and Routes 23 and 13 will instead be through-routed with Route 3 (see below).

Route 3

Route 3 will get a frequency boost, and also run through Yesler Terrace instead of on James. Route 3 will also get split in Downtown, with the north portion becoming Route 34. Route 34 will be through-routed with Route 14.

Route 4

Route 4 will run peak only between Downtown and Judkins Park, but also loop at Mt Baker TC instead of at Plum St. It will no longer be a trolley route, but instead act as a 3 express along Jefferson.

Routes 7/48

Route 48 will take over Route 7 south of Mt Baker TC. Instead of going to Prentice St, it will serve the Rainier Beach Link Station. Route 7 will only run between Rainier Beach Station and Prentice St via Henderson and Seward Park Ave instead of Rainier. The portion of Route 7 between Mt Baker TC and Downtown will be served by Route 106 and an extension of Route 1. Route 48 will run at 10-minute frequency, and Route 7 will run at 30-minute frequency.

Route 44

Route 44 will run to Children’s Hospital instead of Husky Stadium.

Minor Changes

Route 1

Route 1 would get extended to Mt Baker TC via Jackson and Rainier. It will no longer be through-routed with Route 14.

Route 10

Route 10 will loop at Olin Pl instead of Garfield.

Route 12

Route 12 will be discontinued. Route 60 will be extended to Interlaken Park to replace Route 12.

Route 14

Route 14 will no longer serve the tail to Hunter Blvd. It will also get a frequency boost. Route 14 will be through-routed with Route 34 instead of Route 1.

Moving routes out of Downtown

There are a lot of bus routes that go to Downtown. However, since Downtown is so overcrowded, many Downtown routes get major delays. I think Metro should move some routes of Downtown. People have mentioned the future Link and RapidRide systems, but here I only talk about what Metro can do at this moment to reduce Downtown congestion. I will talk about some specific routes in this post.

SR-520 Routes

Instead of traveling south to Downtown, SR-520 routes will run north to University of Washington, serving the station at Husky Stadium. These routes can layover elsewhere on the UW Campus. Maybe a couple peak-only routes can continue serving Downtown, but there should only be 1 or 2 of them.

Routes 21 and 125

West Seattle already has the RapidRide C Line and Route 120 providing frequent connections to Downtown. Routes 21 and 125 will be modified to serve Alaska Junction instead of Downtown.

Routes 7, 48, and 106

There is a plan for Route 48 to take over Route 7 between Mt Baker TC and Rainier Beach. I think Metro should proceed with this plan. Trolley wire for Route 48 is currently being placed, so the combined route will still be able to operate using trolleybuses. Route 106 will be moved off of Jackson and onto Boren and Fairview to serve First Hill and South Lake Union.

New through-routes for Downtown?

In the first place, I absolutely dislike the through-route system, though I understand Metro uses it to save money. There are three places I see that use the through-route system: Downtown, University of Washington, and Northgate. Here are some of my opinions on the Downtown through-routes.

I think some of the through-routes are a bit mismatched. For example, Route 124 is through-routed with routes 24 and 33 Monday through Saturday, but since Route 124 runs at a lower Sunday frequency than the combined 24 and 33, Route 33 has to be through-routed with a different route on Sundays only. I think it would be simpler if a route would through-route with the same route all 7 days a week.

Sometimes, two routes are coordinated to provide frequent service along a shared corridor. Sometimes it makes sense, as in the case of routes 3 and 4, but I think it does not make sense with routes 26 and 28, now that they run express along the shared corridor (Aurora Ave). Plus, that corridor already has frequent service from Route 5 and RapidRide E Line.

I also think through-routing does not make sense for long routes. Examples include routes 5, 124, 131, 132. These routes should just terminate in Downtown.

Here is my list of revised through routes. The format is: North Route–South Route. I split some routes that already go straight through Downtown, so I have to renumber some of the portions of these routes. For example, Route 2N will become Route 23, and Route 3N/4N will become Route 34.

1–14
13–3
23–4
34–2
24/33–21
26–27
28–125
70–36*

*Currently, routes 70 and 36 operate at different frequencies. However, due to the increasing popularity of Route 70, a frequency boost would be nice.

Ballard Restructure after Ballard Link

I know I have posted too many restructure suggestions, but I just want to see what you guys think of them. Plus, this could help Metro plan out the actual restructure. In addition to writing about Ballard Link, I will also briefly mention the 40 RapidRide plan.

Proposal

RapidRide D Line will be extended to run to Northgate like the current Route 40. Route 40 will terminate at the current D Line terminus at Carkeek Park. Also, routes 40 and 62 will swap routings between Fremont and Downtown. Route 40 will run via Dexter, and Route 62 will run via Westlake.

Route 61 will be restored, but will run to the South Ballard station instead of serving the old loop.

A new route will run via NW 65th St between Aurora and 36th Ave NW, then run to Golden Gardens via Seaview Ave NW. This route will be numbered 68.

If I remember correctly, the South Ballard station will be at 15th/Market. If this is the case, all buses running via Leary between Market and 15th will instead travel via Market and 15th to serve the station.

Maps

Route 68 Map: http://bit.ly/2qQfqKk