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Metro recommends bus changes on Interstate 90

Summary

Metro Transit recommends changes to routes 210, 211, 214, 215, 216, and 218, to reduce crowding, improve on-time performance and reduce the time riders spend on the bus. The King County Council is currently reviewing the recommended changes and has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday, April 30, to hear what riders think of the service change recommendations.

Story

County Council public hearing April 30

Many Interstate 90 corridor commuters experience uncomfortable crowded bus rides and travel times that can be slow in places. King County Metro Transit worked with riders to develop recommendations designed to reduce crowding, improve on-time performance and reduce the time riders spend on the bus.

Because Metro’s budget is limited, the proposed changes only redistribute existing service or make no-cost operational changes. The King County Council is currently reviewing the recommended changes and has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday, April 30, to hear what riders think of the service change recommendations.

The recommendations include changes to routes 210, 211, 214, 215, 216, and 218, some of which are among the busiest and most productive commuter routes that Metro operates.

If adopted, the recommended changes will better match the demand with available capacity. They will also make the service more efficient by creating a faster trip for some and by filling seats that now cross the Lake Washington empty. It will also extend trips to create a new Route 219 as part of restructuring the system. Tables listing the recommended changes are posted online.

If approved by the County Council, the changes would go into effect Sept. 28.

Public hearing Tuesday, April 30
King County Council, Transportation, Environment and Economy Committee
3:30 p.m. open house on proposed transit changes
4 p.m. public testimony
King County Courthouse 10th floor Council Chambers, 516 Third Ave., Seattle

Increasing transit demand

Metro buses traveling the I-90 corridor typically have about 6,800 daily boardings on trips traveling to and from downtown Seattle and serving three major Eastside park-and-rides at Eastgate, downtown Issaquah and Issaquah Highlands. Service can be swift – an 18-mile trip from Issaquah Highlands to University Street Station on Route 218 can take about 30 minutes.

Metro continues to see growing demand for transit service, but budget limits create challenges. Metro took some initial steps to address crowding on I-90 corridor buses, eliminating the afternoon eastbound Eastgate stop from the Routes 216 and 218 in October 2012 and February 2013. Meanwhile, Route 212 continues to serve Eastgate from Second Avenue with other similar routes.

To try to ease crowding, Metro recommends redistributing some bus trips to operate at times and on routes to better match demand.

The recommendations also eliminate deviations off of I-90 to stops where other transit service is available. By doing so, Metro reduces travel times and provides a more attractive alternative to driving and helps meet the goal of increasing ridership.

More information is on Metro’s website under I-90 Corridor Improvements.