Magnolia Restructure (Route 61)?

Unlike some of my other proposal ideas, this is not directly related to an opening of a new Link or RapidRide line. This is just a proposal to improve bus service in Magnolia.

Background

For a long time, Route 17 provided service on 32nd Ave NW. When the 17 was made peak-only in 2012, Route 61 was created to replace the 17 during off-peak periods. Route 61 was cut in 2014 without replacement, and now 32nd Ave NW only has peak service. Sunset Hill residents were upset about losing their off-peak bus service, but many people claimed that the bus was always empty, and they did not find the bus to serve any purpose.

The very original plan for Route 61 was to have it run all the way to Downtown via 34th Ave W to replace a portion of Route 24. The plan also included converting Route 33 into a loop. People were against the 33 loop plan, so Metro left Magnolia alone and truncated Route 61 in Downtown Ballard. I did not like the 33 loop plan, but I think the original 61 plan would be a nice way to make transit in Magnolia more efficient. That way, people living along the 34th Ave W corridor can have more efficient bus service to downtown, and Sunset Hill riders will get off-peak bus service.

Proposal

Put in service the Route 61 I mentioned above. This will provide a connection between Sunset Hill, Ballard, Interbay, Magnolia, and Downtown.

Route 24 will no longer run to West Magnolia. Instead, west of Government Way/34th Ave W, it will run to Discovery Park like Route 33.

Route 31 will be extended to replace Route 24 along Viewmont Way. It will also travel via Dravus instead of Emerson to provide a connection with RapidRide D Line.

Maps

Route 61 Map: http://bit.ly/2qDVcq2

Eastside Restructure after East Link

Each time a new Link or BRT line opens, there is often a restructure in the area that it serves. I think something similar will happen when East Link opens. I also think there are too many routes serving Downtown Seattle, so some of these routes can be removed when East Link opens.

Eastside

Route 550 will be discontinued, having been replaced by Link.

Route 542 will be extended to Bear Creek P&R, following the routing of Route 545. It will also have a minor deviation to serve South Kirkland P&R. It will also be boosted to 10-minute frequency during midday, and 15-minute frequency on weekends. Route 545 will be reduced to peak-only.

Route 255 will no longer serve SR 520 or Downtown, but instead terminate at Bellevue TC. Between South Kirkland and Bellevue it will take 112th Ave.

A new frequent Sound Transit route will start in Downtown Seattle, use SR 520 and I-405 to get to Kirkland TC (with a quick stop at South Kirkland), then continue on I-405, stopping at Totem Lake, Brickyard, and Bothell before reaching Woodinville.

Judkins Park/South Seattle

Route 4 will be reduced to peak-only, only going between Downtown and Judkins Park. Route 3 will be boosted to the same level of service as the combined 3/4.

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

Route 60 will run via 12th Ave instead of serving the hospital campus.

A combined 49/36 will run via 12th between Jackson and Yesler, on 14th between Yesler and Madison, and on 15th between Madison and John.

Route 8 will run straight on MLK instead of diverting to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson.

Route 62 Restructure

Route 62 was introduced in March 2016. Many people like it, but there are two things about Route 62 that are constantly criticized. One is the eastern terminus during nights and weekends, the other is the articulated buses used on the route. Another criticism not directly related to Route 62 is that Route 71 duplicates Route 62 along NE 65th St.

Eastern Terminus

In an earlier post I suggested possibly having Route 62 use Route 71’s Wedgwood loop as an eastern terminus. However, people objected that because it broke the “crosstown grid”. I am not sure what they mean by that, but I think it means they want Route 62 to at least run to Sand Point Way. In this post I have came up with a few more solutions for a new Route 62 night/weekend eastern terminus.

One possibility is to loop around NE 65th, Radford, NE 64th, and Sand Point Way. At one point Route 30 used this loop, so I don’t understand why Metro couldn’t use it for Route 62.

Another possibility is to go south on Sand Point Way and then loop around Sand Point Way, NE 62nd St, 60th Ave NE, and NE 64th St.

Another possibility is to go south on Sand Point Way and 47th Ave NE to Children’s Hospital. However, I think it would be unfair to give the NE 65th corridor a one-seat ride to Children’s Hospital on weekends only, and having it run to Children’s Hospital during the full week will break the direct connection between NOAA and Roosevelt Station.

Another possibility is to go to Northgate via Sand Point Way, NE 95th St, Lake City Way, and Northgate Way. This extension would run all 7 days a week. However, this would create a ridiculously long route.

Routing between Fremont and Downtown

I don’t know what ridership is like on Westlake, but if it is lower than Dexter, maybe Route 40 and Route 62 could switch routings between Fremont and Downtown. Then Route 40 would run via Dexter, and Route 62 would run via Westlake. However, this might cause overcrowding on Route 40.

NE 65th Corridor

I really like having Route 62 along NE 65th St. However, Route 71 also runs along a large portion of this corridor, so I feel like NE 65th is a bit overserved. Though the one-seat ride to UW is nice, I would still prefer to have Route 62 run along this corridor rather than Route 71. I remember the original plan for Route 78 was to have it run all the way to View Ridge to replace the Route 71 tail. I wonder why they did not do this.

One possibility is to extend Route 78 to View Ridge like the original plan and delete Route 71 altogether.

Another possibility is to move Route 71 to the NE 75th St corridor and have Route 78 serve the old Route 25 loop in Laurelhurst. This would add new crosstown service along the NE 75th St corridor and restore lost service for Laurelhurst riders.

Summary

Comment below what you guys think of these ideas. Also, if you guys have your own ideas, feel free to put them down in the comments section of this post.

West Seattle Restructure (after Delridge BRT)

The bus system in West Seattle was heavily modified in September 2012 when RapidRide C came into service. This included the elimination of certain routes that went directly to Downtown. However, I think more of these Downtown routes can be eliminated. When RapidRide H (Delridge BRT) comes into service, cutting more Downtown routes will be easier.

There has long been a rumor about an infill station on Central Link at MLK/Graham. However, only one bus route serves that location (Route 106), so I don’t think there is quite enough purpose for the station at this point. There has been another rumor of a West Seattle-Georgetown route, similar to the current Route 128.

I propose a West Seattle-Seward Park crosstown route, which will both provide the West Seattle-Georgetown connection AND serve the Graham Station. It will start at Alaska Junction, run like Route 128 to 16th Ave SW, then take SW Holden St and Highland Park Way SW to the bridge, then cross the bridge to get to Georgetown. East of Georgetown, it will go via S Albro Pl, Swift Ave S, and S Graham St until Rainier. It will then go via Rainier and Orcas to Seward Park. I would number this route 52 because many West Seattle routes are in the 50s.

Some parts of West Seattle do not have off-peak bus service. Examples include Beach Dr SW (Route 37) and Genesee Hill (Route 57). I think since there isn’t enough demand for a full-time bus route there, an hourly DART route could fulfill that service. I think this DART route could start at Alaska Junction, travel through Genesee Hill and Admiral District, then go along the shore to Westwood Village. It would run 7 days a week at hourly frequency. I have attached a map of the main route below. I would number this route 774.

Since Route 52 would replace Route 128 on Sylvan Way, Route 128 should get a new routing between Westwood Village and Alaska Junction. In fact, I feel like Route 128 needs a complete restructure. There are way too many deviations which could be easily removed. I have made the following proposal:

Route 22 will be extended to North Admiral like Route 55. It will also be boosted to 30-minute frequency during weekdays and Saturday. Routes 22 and 50 will be coordinated to provide 15-minute service on California Ave between Alaska Junction and California/Admiral during weekdays and Saturday, similar to how routes 50 and 128 currently provide that service. On Sundays they will be coordinated to provide 30-minute service along that corridor.

Instead of going west on Sylvan Way, Route 128 will travel on 16th Ave SW like Route 125 until Genesee, then travel to Alaska Junction like Route 50. Route 125 will become a peak-only express.

Route 21 will no longer run north of Alaska, but instead use Alaska to travel to Alaska Junction. The peak-only 21X will maintain its current routing. If there is enough demand to keep a frequent West Seattle-SODO one-seat ride, RapidRide C can be moved to SODO.

Maps

Route 52: http://bit.ly/2odjINS

Route 128: http://bit.ly/2pQIMtQ

Route 774: http://bit.ly/2pPslLo

Capitol Hill/First Hill Bus System after Madison BRT (RapidRide G)?

In 2016, the bus system in Capitol Hill was changed due to the opening of the Link station. Though many people found the new network convenient, some people did not like it. In this post I will talk about my suggestions for a Capitol Hill bus system after Madison BRT (RapidRide G) opens. I decided to divide this post by different bus routes.

Route 11/RapidRide G

Many people seem to want the Madison BRT to extend all the way to Madison Park, and I completely agree with them. However, it does not seem like Metro has the money for that at this moment. When Metro does get the money, they should do it. In the meantime, Route 11 can stay the way it is now. When the extension comes into service, Route 11 can be discontinued.

Route 49/36

Currently, Metro has a plan to combine routes 49 and 36, but going through First Hill instead of Downtown. It plans to use 12th Ave, but I think it would be better for the corridor to be on 14th/15th because 12th is a bit too close to Broadway, which already has frequent service with the First Hill Streetcar. Plus, a bus along 14th/15th will provide new north-south service through Squire Park.

Route 49/36 routing between CHS and 12th/Jackson: http://bit.ly/2pvKtJz

Route 8 (new Route 38)

The main portion of Route 8’s ridership is along Denny Way, not MLK. When RapidRide G gets extended to Madison Park, the East-West portion of Route 8 will terminate at the former RapidRide G terminus at Madison/MLK. The north-south portion will be renumbered Route 38, and west of Madison/MLK, it will run like the current Route 11 via Pine. Route 38 will also run straight on MLK instead of deviating to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson. Route 38 will run at 20-minute midday/weekend frequency. Route 38 and revised Route 12 (see below) will together provide frequent service along Pine.

Route 12

Route 12 will be moved from Madison to Pine to replace routes 11 and 49 and provide frequent service together with Route 38 (see above). It will also operate at 20 minute midday/weekend frequency.

I also heard that there was a plan to extend Route 12 to U-District via Boyer. I feel like this would duplicate existing service, since the area served by Boyer is also within walking distance to other frequent bus corridors, such as routes 48, 49, and 70. However, many Montlake residents miss the one-seat ride to Downtown, which was provided by Route 43 before it was cut to peak-only. Adding such a route could increase demand along the Boyer corridor.

Route 2

I heard somewhere that there is a plan to move Route 2 to the Pike/Pine corridor. I think that if Metro plans to keep Route 2 running to Queen Anne, the current routing via Seneca would be better. Plus, it would keep the connection to Virginia Mason Hospital.

Route 10

The routing will stay the same, but the northern terminus will be moved to Olin Pl.

Route 47

The routing will stay the same, but frequency will be increased to every 30 minutes during midday and weekends, and 15 during peak.

I heard somewhere that there is a plan to extend Route 47 to U-District via Lakeview Ave. I like the fact that it would restore service lost from Route 25, but I don’t think there is enough ridership along the Lakeview Ave corridor.

Summary

My main goal of this restructure was to reduce duplication and make buses run more efficiently. If you guys have any ideas, feel free to put them in the comments section!

Route 106 Routing north of Mt Baker

In September 2016, Route 106 was revised to run like the old Route 42 between Rainier Beach and Downtown. Some people like this new routing, but many people think it is redundant to Route 7 between Mt Baker and Downtown. During that time, Route 9 was cut to run only during peak hours. Many people depended on Route 9 to get from South Seattle to First Hill. I have also seen throughout comments sections on STB that some people want Route 106 to serve SLU by using Boren Ave.

I have made several proposals for a new Route 106 routing:

First Hill

Between Mt Baker Station and Capitol Hill, Route 106 will run like Route 9 during weekdays only. On weekends, Route 106 will terminate at Mt Baker Station. One disadvantage of this plan is that it is duplicates Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar.

South Lake Union

North of Mt Baker Station, Route 106 will run via Rainier Ave, Boren Ave, and Fairview Ave to South Lake Union.

Mt Baker

Between Mt Baker and Downtown, Route 106 will run like Route 14 (without serving the tail). The main disadvantage of this plan is that Route 14 is a trolley route, and it would not make too much sense to run a full-time diesel route on streets with trolley wire.

Summary

Comment below which one of these proposals you like the most. Also feel free to add your own proposals in the comments section too!

Leschi/Mt Baker DART?

There has been much discussion over the Route 14 Tail east of 31st. Many people want the tail deleted, but some people depend on it. Metro has also wanted to delete Route 27 for a long time, but Leschi residents always vote against it. Route 27 is rather redundant to Route 14, but its Leschi tail serves Leschi residents who do not want to walk up the hill to Route 14.

In this post I propose a DART route to replace Route 27 and the Route 14 tail. This route will start at Columbia City station. It will take Alaska, Rainier, and Genesee to Genesee/38th, then travel on 38th and Hunter Blvd to McClellan. It will then take Lake Park Dr and Lakeside Ave to E Alder St. Then it will take Alder, Lake Dell, Yesler, and 23rd to the 3/4 Loop near Garfield High School. There could possibly be a quick deviation to Jackson in order to provide connectivity to Route 14. This DART route should run 7 days a week. Here is a map of it: http://bit.ly/2nmoJTW

To replace the lost service along Yesler Ave with Route 27, Route 14 can be increased to 15-minute frequency. It can then be through-routed with Route 70, and Route 1 can layover at the current Route 70 layover on Main St, or be through-routed with some other route.

This should be put into service when the Yesler wire for routes 3 and 4 is completed. When this first comes into service, Route 27 should be reduced to peak-only rather than be deleted completely so that commuters can make a smoother transition to the restructure.

Queen Anne Restructure?

Recently, routes 3 and 4 were extended to SPU. This now means that routes 3 and 4 are the same north of Downtown. However, Route 2 splits into routes 2 and 13 in downtown. These route numbers may be a bit confusing for Queen Anne riders.

Route 32 was introduced in 2012 to provide a connection between U District, Wallingford, Fremont, SPU, Interbay, and Uptown. Overall, I like Route 32, but I feel like the 15th Ave W segment is redundant to the already-frequent D-Line. In an earlier post I suggested modifying Route 32 to serve the 6th Ave W corridor, but people were against that because the counterbalance is too steep for diesel buses. However, the newer buses using the BAE HybriDrive system are now powered by an electric motor instead of a diesel engine, so they perform better on hills than the older diesel buses. I think it might be nice to move Route 32 to Queen Anne, or have it run somewhere else where it would not duplicate already-frequent corridors. Maybe if one corridor is currently infrequent, and ridership suggests a frequency boost, Route 32 could serve that corridor.

Currently the only ways to go from Queen Anne to Ballard is a 3 seat ride with one ride to SPU, another ride to Fremont or Interbay, and the last ride to Ballard; or a 2 seat ride with one ride to downtown and the other to Ballard. Before 2012 it was possible to ride to SPU and transfer to Route 17, but now there are no buses that run between Nickerson and Ballard. I was thinking maybe Route 32 could run to Ballard, but I also think it does not make sense for a bus route to cross two bridges.

If you guys have any ideas for a new Route 32 routing or a more efficient connection between Queen Anne and Ballard, feel free to put them in the comments section of this article.

I have come up with some solutions to solve some issues with the Queen Anne system:

  • The portion of routes 3 and 4 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 6.
  • The portion of Route 2 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 23.
  • Route 31 will run via Dravus instead of Emerson to provide better transfers with D Line.

Northeast Seattle Bus Service after Northgate Link

Here is my proposed bus system for Northeast Seattle after Northgate Link opens.

Routes to be discontinued: 41, 76, 77

Route Changes

The eastern terminus of Route 62 will be the same as that of current Route 71/76. Route 71 will instead run weekdays only to NOAA.

East of 15th Ave NE, Route 44 will run via NE 45th St to Children’s Hospital. The level of service will remain the same.

Route 78 will serve Brooklyn Station instead of Husky Stadium. It will also be extended east to serve more of Laurelhurst.

Route 74 will no longer run between U District and Downtown. Instead it will serve Brooklyn station. It will also go inside the NOAA campus, running in both-directions during peak.

Route 75 will run like Route 41 between Northgate and Lake City. The level of service will remain the same. Alternate service along Northgate Way will be provided by the new Route 72.

Routes 73 and 373 will be combined into a single Route 373. This new Route 373 will run like current Route 373 during peak, and current Route 73 during off-peak. It will have a minor deviation to serve Roosevelt Station.

Route 522 will have a minor deviation to serve Roosevelt Station.

Route 372 will operate to Northgate TC instead of UW. Alternate service along 25th Ave NE will be provided by the new Route 72.

Routes 31 and 32 will be separated from Route 75, and instead terminate at UW Station (Husky Stadium).

Route 67 will be separated from Route 65, and instead terminate at UW Station (Husky Stadium).

West of NE 45th St/25th Ave NE, Routes 65, 75, and 372 will run through the UW campus via Stevens Way, then take 15th Ave NE and NE 45th St to Brooklyn Station.

Routes 49 and 70 will terminate at Brooklyn Station. Routes that cross the Montlake Bridge will stop elsewhere on the UW Campus.

New Routes

A new route will run like Route 372 between UW and Northgate Way/Lake City Way, and like Route 75 between Northgate Way/Lake City Way and Northgate TC. This route will be numbered 72. This route will run at 15-minute frequency.

Maps

Route 72 map: http://bit.ly/2m8ZrVv

Route 78 map: http://bit.ly/2ltHJip

Routing of routes 65, 75, and 372 through the UW campus: http://bit.ly/2mtwF4x

Route 7 tail to Prentice St

There has been much discussion over the portion of Route 7 to Prentice St. Metro itself has planned on terminating Route 7 at Rainier Beach station, but never got the funding for the trolley wire.

When Metro finally gets the funding for this wire, I think Route 7 should always terminate at Rainier Beach station. I propose a short trolleybus route that runs between RBS and Prentice St to replace the Route 7 tail. This trolleybus could run at 30-minute frequency 7 days a week, possibly using 40-foot buses. The riders of the old Route 7 tail would then have a much faster ride to downtown with a transfer to Link. Late-night and early-morning trips can change to/from Route 7 at RBS for a connection to Atlantic Base.

A solution for Route 14’s tail

There has been much discussion over the portion of Route 14 east of 31st Ave S. Many people think that discontinuing the tail is a good idea, but some people depend on that service.

I came up with a solution for this. I would extend Route 14 to Columbia City station. This would keep the old service in place, in addition to new service for people living along the Hunter Blvd/38th Ave S corridor. The Mt. Baker link connection will be replaced by a Columbia City connection during most hours of service. Considering some night trips do not serve the tail, those night trips can continue to serve Mt. Baker.

Here is a map of my proposal: http://bit.ly/2mN1ZuB

Route 101 to Rainier Beach?

Metro is currently wasting a lot of money on downtown express routes. Some of them make sense, but Route 101 is a bit duplicative of Link.

One possibility is to have Route 101 go to Rainier Beach Station instead of taking I-5 to Downtown. It would go via MLK, and then take the Henderson loop. Route 102 can keep its current routing so that commuters still have the one-seat ride during peak periods. This Route 101 would provide a nice connection to Rainier Valley with a transfer in the Rainier Beach area.

Here is a map of my proposed 101: http://bit.ly/2m8Po2s

Route 32 Restructure?

I personally think the current routing of Route 32 does not make any sense. Though it does make a good connection between SPU, Fremont, Woodlawn, and U District, it serves the already frequent 15th Ave W corridor, which barely has any businesses or homes along it.

I think a new routing is needed for Route 32 between SPU and Downtown Seattle. (Yes, I know it currently does not go to downtown.) I propose that between SPU and Downtown, Route 32 runs like Route 29. This will also provide a connection to the West Queen Anne corridor. Such a routing will allow Metro to merge routes 2 and 13 into a single route, with Route 32 taking over the 6th Ave W corridor.

Though I am heavily against the through-route system, I do understand that Metro uses it to save money. Route 32 could possibly be through-routed with another 30-minute frequency route, such as Route 125.

Is Route 4 Redundant?

The portion of Route 4 between Jefferson/23rd and MLK/Plum is duplicative of routes 8 and 48, which currently run at a much higher frequency. The other part of Route 4 is the exact same as Route 3.

A possible solution is to discontinue Route 4, and run Route 3 at 15-minute frequency. The former Route 4 riders could transfer between Route 3 and routes 8 or 48. This would also reduce confusion along the shared 3/4 corridor.

Route 8 Deviation between Yesler and Jackson

Currently, Route 8 has an awkward deviation from MLK to 23rd Ave between Yesler and Jackson. The only important landmark along the deviation is Washington Middle School, and that already has frequent service with Route 48.

Metro could save lots of money by running Route 8 straight on MLK instead of doing the deviation. Buses will also run much more efficiently without the deviation. People who need to access 23rd Ave between Yesler and Jackson can transfer from Route 8 to Route 14 or 27.

Route 62 Eastern Terminus

When the current Route 62 was first put in service, it made a loop around 50th Ave, 70th St, Sand Point Way, and 65th St. In June 2016 the loop was changed to 65th St, Sand Point Way, 55th St, and 35th Ave. Many people were disappointed with the change, but didn’t like the original loop either.

One possible solution is to have Route 62 take the routing of Route 71 north of 65th to Wedgwood. Route 62 would serve Wedgwood all 7 days of the week, while Route 71 runs on weekdays only to NOAA instead of Wedgwood. Residents of Wedgwood will lose the one-seat ride to University District, but they could transfer between Route 62 and one of the north-south routes, such as Route 67. They also have the option to take Route 65 if they live close enough.

Extension of Route 29 to Golden Gardens

Prior to the September 2012 restructure, the peak-only Route 46 ran via Seaview Ave NW. Route 46 was axed in the September 2012 restructure, and there has been no replacement bus service along Seaview Ave NW. There are a couple apartment buildings along Seaview Ave NW, and people living in these buildings complained about the loss of bus service.

One possible solution is to extend Route 29 to Golden Gardens via Seaview Ave NW. It would provide a similar amount of service as the old Route 46. Midday and weekend service would be nice too, because many people go to Golden Gardens during the weekends.

Bus Service on NW 65th St and Seaview Ave NW

Currently, there is no bus service on NW 65th St. Apparently there was a bus during the 1990s that served this corridor, but it eventually got axed.

There should be a bus that runs along NW 65th St between 36th Ave NW and Aurora. It would provide a good connection between Ballard, Phinney Ridge, and Green Lake.