Eastside mayors want Metro and Sound Transit to relocate bus stops to improve bus-rail transfers before implementing service changes. The proposed restructuring would funnel Eastside bus commuters heading downtown to light rail at the University of Washington Station. That transfer requires riders to cross the busy streets of Montlake Boulevard and/or Pacific Street or use an out of the way walkway to switch between modes of transportation.
“Increasing commute times by 20 minutes while creating more mobility downtown will only incentivize single occupancy vehicles to drive to downtown Seattle rather than stick with public transportation,” wrote the seven Eastside Mayors in a letter to Metro and Sound Transit.
The Mayors want bus stops relocated to be adjacent to the light rail station and mobility improvements through the Montlake Hub. STB’s own Adam Parast showed one way to accomplish this in 2015 (pictured below).
“Sound Transit is supportive of improvements to the transfer environment at UW. King County Metro owns the bus shelters, and they are in active conversations about this with the City of Seattle and UW,” wrote Rachelle Cunningham, a spokesperson for Sound Transit in an email.
Metro estimates transfers currently take anywhere from 6-11 minutes, depending on direction and time of travel.
“The service concepts we’ve introduced would increase frequency on many Eastside routes, which would help reduce the time that riders would have to wait at the stop,” wrote Scott Gutierrez, a spokesperson for Metro in an email.
He said Metro is considering a range of changes, including relocation of stops, extending bus shelters, providing off-board payment and improving signage.