The good news is that we will be getting 15-minute service on the 11 E Madison bus this September due to Prop One funding. The bad news is that there is currently a proposal floating around that would remove the 11 from Madison between 24th Ave East and Broadway and move it over to East John Street, then down Olive to Bellevue and then the Pine/Pike area downtown. Basically this combines the 43 and 11 buses, but the 11 user will be inconvenienced with transfers or longer walks.
Hopefully, the following will answer the questions of why the central area needs a bus on Madison Street despite the desire to move the 11 over to East John so it can go to the Light Rail Station on Broadway (CHS):
1) John/Thomas already has access via the 8 and adding the 11 is duplicating existing service. Yes, this requires a transfer, but the users for the 8 transfer to the 11 today!
2) The 8 already goes to CHS and can be accessed at MLK or 23rd—and it’s seamless.
3) Light Rail access is already available for 11 users via the Nordstrom station that gives access to all light rail stations today and in the future, including CHS.
4) Moving the 11 off Madison, yes, helps replace the 43, but at what cost to the users of the current 11?
5) Replacing the 43 with the 11 puts a diesel bus in place of an electric bus and we are getting new electric trolleys. Is this really the direction we want to go?
6) The Proposed 11 on East John would be a longer run and more likely to be less reliable than our current unreliable 11. It will be faster to transfer to Light at CHS then to take the bus to Pike/Pine.
7) The tradeoffs don’t justify the transferring and walking that having no bus on Madison will cause.
8) Telling 11 users who go to Safeway that they can use the one on 15th is fine, but Group Health is not an alternative for the Medical facilities on Pill Hill! BTW, Group Health uses Swedish for its hospital.
9) Madison Street east of 23rd is growing with new businesses and housing being added. Taking the bus off Madison will retard that growth.
10) Madison Street has been chosen for a BRT route and redevelopment by its implementation.
11) Taking the 11 off Madison promotes the use of private vehicles.
The following is a partial list of places that people frequent on the Madison corridor today and this includes a transfer from the 8 at MLK from the 8 and at 23rd from the 43 and 48. This 11 is NOT just a Madison Park bus, it is a bus used by residents all along the Madison Corridor!
- Gyms and Health Clubs on or near Madison
- Seattle Arts Academy that meets at TDHS School Facility
- The Bullitt Center
- Planned Parenthood
- Central Area Chamber of Commerce
- Seattle Hearing & Balance Center
- Three black Churches including Madison Temple Church of God, Mount Zion Baptist and A.M.E. Church plus a Catholic Church
- Jewish Family Child Service at 16th Ave East & East Pine
- Retirement homes such as Aegis Living and The Council House
- Countless residential buildings along East Madison above Safeway, The Co-op, Trader Joe’s, and numerous other older facilities
- The Community College on Broadway
- Bailey Boushay House at MLK
- Deaf-Blind Services Center at 1620 18th Ave, #200
- League of Women Voters at 18th
The area on John/Thomas does not provide alternatives to most of these places and in some cases none. Transferring and waiting for buses at all hours of the day and weekends for employees is not good. Seniors and disabled are hampered by this move and Access (a Metro run on-call door-to-door service for the disabled) is not always an alternative.
Bottom line, to be given the 11 Madison bus 15-minute service in September and then to tell riders sorry, but you going to have to transfer or to walk to get your destinations is very mean spirited. This is why I say Metro needs to slow this process down and give its latest proposal the light of day by giving it to the community before giving it to the County Council.
The following unscientific poll was run on Nextdoor:
Which of the following routes would you prefer for the 11 E Madison?
- A bus that would service Madison shore to shore with a seamless transfer to Pike/Pine buses: 31% in favor.
- Keep the bus as-is on its current routing: 27%
- Have the bus turn on to E John at 24th Ave E to Light Rail then to Pike/Pine: 19%
- A two-bus solution with a Madison to Madison run with one running up John to Light Rail then to Pike/Pine: 13%
- A bus that would service Madison from shore to shore: 10%