Feb. 6, 2008
News from King County Department of Transportation
Release date: Feb. 6, 2008
Metro’s February service change focuses on Eastside
Pick up new blue timetables for changes starting Saturday, Feb. 9
Metro’s service change that begins Saturday, Feb. 9 revises more than 30 Eastside bus routes to improve connections between major transit centers, work sites, shopping areas, and neighborhoods. It will also help Metro provide more efficient service throughout King County.
Almost all of the additions to Eastside bus service are funded through the Transit Now initiative, a 10-year bus service expansion plan approved by voters in 2006. Over the past year, Transit Now has already increased transit options in communities such as lower Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Ballard, the University District, Juanita, Kenmore, Kirkland, and on South King County routes serving Renton, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien. For the first service change of 2008, the Transit Now focus is on the Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue areas.
“The changes that start Saturday will link some of the Eastside's fastest growing job centers and largest residential areas,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “Bus routes in the northern half of East King County have not been updated for some time, and we want to better match our customers’ current travel patterns and meet increased demand for our services.”
Desmond said the Eastside changes are based on extensive outreach to bus riders and major employers, and include two new routes that provide all-day, seven-day-a-week local service.
The new Route 221 connects Redmond’s Education Hill to Eastgate in Bellevue, with service to the Microsoft Campus, the Overlake retail area, and Bellevue Community College. New Route 248 travels between the Avondale area, downtown Redmond, Rose Hill, and downtown Kirkland. Both routes serve major transit centers and park-and-ride lots where connections can be made to other local and regional bus service.
There are revisions to many other Eastside routes to add service frequency, speed-up trips, and increase efficiency. Two routes – 220 and 254 – are being discontinued.
The new Redmond Transit Center will also open on Saturday. Located adjacent to the downtown Redmond Park-and-Ride, it offers improved boarding areas, passenger shelters, and lighting for bus riders traveling on more than a dozen Metro and Sound Transit routes. And, boarding locations for 18 routes at the Bellevue Transit center have been revised to alleviate crowding in some of the bus bays. The change will also make it easier for passengers to ride buses to common destinations and transfer between routes
In addition to the Eastside revisions, Metro is also making adjustments to other bus service. Metro updates its routes and scheduling three times a year to improve service and keep up with the changing needs of transit customers.
Other improvements include:
- Bus riders commuting to and from the South Lake Union area in Seattle will see more weekday afternoon service on the routes 8 and 70;
- An additional northbound trip on the Route 18 Express to Ballard in the afternoon;
- Three new southbound Route 33 trips from Seattle’s Interbay area that continue as Route 37 trips to Alki and West Seattle;
- Two more morning trips on the Route 41 from the Northgate Transit Center to downtown Seattle;
- Maple Valley and Enumclaw commuters have an extra Route 143 trip in the afternoon.
- One new morning trip on Route 218 from the Issaquah Highlands Park-and-Ride; and
- A new morning trip added to Route 255 from the Kirkland Transit Center to Seattle.
Bus riders can find all the February changes detailed in the Special Rider Alert brochure now available on buses and in Metro information racks. New blue timetables are also in those locations, and information is available in the Trip Planner. Enter a travel date for Feb. 9 or later to find trips that reflect Metro's changed service.
Sometimes people need more than bus service. That’s where Rideshare Services can help by providing resources for carpooling, vanpooling or vansharing. Carpooling and vanpooling match people traveling to common destinations. VanShare helps those who need to make a connection to or from bus service. You can VanShare from home and connect to your bus, or use VanShare from the bus stop or park-and-ride lot to complete a trip to work.
For information about all the services Metro provides, visit Metro Online, or call Metro Rider Information at (206) 553-3000.