Adopted September changes support bus riders in vital transit corridor
StoryRiders in South Seattle wanted Metro Transit service along the Martin Luther King, Jr. corridor to serve the International District. The Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous support to fall service changes for Metro Transit that reflect the desire to provide consistent bus service in this vital corridor.
“King County aims to deliver public transportation that grows access to jobs and education. I believe the bus restructure approved today can transform our bus network to better work for communities in Southeast King County and also protect cultural anchors and businesses as growth changes these neighborhoods,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents parts of South Seattle and Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. “That being said, I know we have more work to do to meet the needs of the Georgetown neighborhood. I am committed to doing that work and robust community engagement.”
“Even with light rail through the heart of the Rainier Valley, for many in my district, buses remain their primary source of transportation,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett, whose district includes the MLK corridor. “These service changes are the culmination of those bus riders in the community working with Metro and the County Council in expanding opportunities for people who still depend on buses to get them to work, school and the services they need.”
The service changes adopted by the Council are the culmination of input from residents living along the MLK corridor, which extends from Rainier Beach to the Mt. Baker Transit Center. With the arrival of Link Light rail, bus stops in the corridor were reduced and while the frequency of service along the corridor was maintained, the frequency of service on a route that took riders into the International District was reduced and eventually eliminated.
Area residents contacted the Council and Metro Transit to see about increasing frequency of bus service and for a return of bus service that went into the International District. Metro worked with the community to develop routes that would meet the need of South Seattle passengers.
The result of the public input is Metro revising the routes serving riders in South Seattle, Tukwila and Georgetown:
• Replacing Route 38 with a revised Route 106, which would connect the International District and Renton via the Mt. Baker Transit Center and the Rainier Beach Link Station,
• Extending the Route 107 to connect the Beacon Hill Link Station with the Rainier Beach Link Station and then continue to the Renton Transit Center,
• Revising the Route 9X, converting the Rainier Beach to Capitol Hill route to peak-only service,
• And increasing service frequency on the Route 124 connecting the Tukwila International Boulevard Link Station with Downtown Seattle via Georgetown and SODO.
These changes will increase frequency of bus service to Beacon Hill, Georgetown, the International District, Renton, Skyway, Tukwila and Southeast Seattle.
Along with the service changes is South Seattle, the Council also approved the addition of commuter service in East King County with a new peak service route. Route 243 will provide northbound morning peak and southbound afternoon peak service connecting Overlake Transit Center in the south and the Kenmore Park & Ride in the north via Redmond Transit Center, Totem Lake Transit Center, Kingsgate Park & Ride, UW Bothell and the Bothell Park & Ride. This route would use partnership hours earned by the City of Redmond for making RapidRide B Line infrastructure investments.