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Transportation

Feb. 6, 2013

Changes to Metro bus service begin Feb. 16

A handful of minor changes are coming Feb. 16 for several King County Metro Transit bus routes, part of an effort to improve service, reduce crowding and meet rider requests for better schedule information.

Most route changes come after Metro listened to concerns from transit customers about crowding and a lack of access to late evening buses. As a result, Metro is adding a late evening trip between Magnolia and downtown Seattle and eliminating a Route 216 stop to help address overcrowding during the afternoon commute.

“We continue to focus on providing reliable transit service for all of our customers every day,” said Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit general manager. “As the economy strengthens we continue to see transit demand increase, and we see an urgent need for sustainable budget solutions to address crowded buses and calls for more service.”

Also in response to rider requests, Metro is testing a new style RapidRide timetable for the C and D Lines that shows departure times along their routes to make it easier to plan travel and make connections to other bus routes. Metro operates RapidRide service by managing the spacing between buses and previously printed schedules that identified only frequency during different periods of the day.

“The printed C and D Line schedules will show specific times to help riders better plan their daily routines,” Desmond said. “While we’re making this change, we need customers to understand that service will often operate a few minutes before or after posted times as we work to keep buses spaced as evenly as possible.”

The timetable will continue to show planned time between buses during the afternoon commute through downtown Seattle. Metro manages RapidRide service by adding buses or rescheduling trips to maintain bus spacing, and actual times may vary considerably due to afternoon traffic congestion. Metro continues to provide riders with real-time arrival signs and inform riders when buses are coming through data to apps like One Bus Away.

Metro changes transit service three times each year. These latest changes come after Metro marked its second highest number of daily riders – more than 400,000 in October – even as the agency continues to work with limited budgets and an uncertain financial future. The agency could approach record ridership levels this year.

Changes coming Feb. 16

  • New pink timetables – Updated transit schedules will soon be on the street and go into effect Saturday, Feb. 16.
  • Trip planner – Updated bus schedules are available online for future trip planning.
  • Route 21 – On all afternoon and evening southbound trips to Westwood Village, Route 21 will continue from the terminal at Southwest Barton Street and 29th Avenue Southwest via 26th Avenue Southwest, Southwest Roxbury Street, 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Barton Street before returning to Westwood Village.
  • Route 24 – An additional Route 24 late evening trip will travel to and from Magnolia from downtown Seattle.
  • Route 42 – This route will be discontinued due to duplication with other routes, low ridership and other performance issues. Alternative service for portions of Route 42 will be provided by Link light rail and routes 7, 8, 9 and 50. The service hours for Route 42 will be reinvested on other routes to address overloads, on-time performance and underserved corridors.
  • Route 50 – Buses will travel on the original planned route to serve the Delridge neighborhood in both directions now that construction is complete at two intersections.
  • Route 55 – On weekdays, two morning peak period trips to downtown Seattle were added last fall leaving California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Atlantic Street at 6:34 a.m. and 8:17 a.m. Also, two afternoon peak period trips to the Admiral District were added last fall leaving Sixth Avenue and Blanchard Street at 4:54 p.m. and 5:11 p.m. Some existing trips will also be revised to improve service frequency including a new partial northbound trip to the Admiral District leaving 35th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Oregon Street at 7:22 a.m.
  • Route 71 – The trip leaving northbound to Wedgwood from International District Station at 6:49 p.m. will be revised to operate as an express trip. This trip makes no stops between Convention Place Station and Northeast Campus Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue Northeast  – except at Northeast 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue Northeast when the express lanes are open.
  • Route 131 – Trips that are currently scheduled to begin or end in Highland Park at Eighth Avenue Southwest and Southwest Roxbury Street will be revised to begin or end instead at Eighth Avenue Southwest and Southwest 102nd Street.
  • Route 152 – Southbound trips to Auburn will be revised to operate via South Lander Street and the SODO Busway.
  • Route 216 – Eastbound peak-period afternoon trips will no longer serve the Eastgate Freeway Station. Instead, riders can take Metro routes 211, 212 or 215, or ST Route 554. Morning peak-period trips on the Route 216 to downtown Seattle will continue to stop at the Eastgate Freeway Station, Bay 3.
  • Route 246 – The northbound trip to Bellevue leaving the Eastgate Park-and-Ride at 6:59 a.m. will be revised to leave five minutes earlier at 6:54 a.m.
  • Route 372 – Two new express stops will be added in both directions on Lake City Way Northeast at Northeast 98th Street.
  • Tunnel closure reroutes – When the transit tunnel is closed due to an incident or mechanical problems, routes 41, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77 and 316 will operate on Fourth Avenue and Second Avenue instead of both directions on Third Avenue. Northbound, these routes will serve the bus stops on Fourth Avenue South just south of South Jackson Street, and on Fourth Avenue at James, Madison, University and Pike streets. On Olive Way, routes 41 and 316 will stop at Sixth and Eighth avenues, and routes 71, 72, 73, 74, 76 and 77 will stop at Sixth Avenue before making their next stop on Howell Street at Ninth Avenue. Southbound, these routes will stop on Stewart Street at Ninth, Seventh and Fourth avenues, on Second Avenue at Pike, Marion and James streets and on Second Avenue Extension South at South Jackson Street.

Trip planning and route information is a Metro Transit’s website.