Courtesy Ned Ahrens, KCDOT

Thanks to all who took the time to express concerns about proposed changes to the Route 125 and 128 bus service as part of Metro’s service changes being planned for September.

Our November concept
In November 2011, Metro presented service change concepts that aimed to create a frequent network of bus routes with the goal of providing convenient service to more places. The concepts shifted resources from bus routes that served fewer riders and consolidated others that provide similar connections. The resulting network design offered service to more places for more people, but did require some riders to walk farther to get to a bus stop or to transfer for trips that can now be made directly.

The November service concepts changed how South Seattle Community College (SSCC) would be served. The concept provided more frequent, all day service seven days a week between downtown Seattle and the campus, however, it required a transfer to a revised routing of the 128 that would connect the North Delridge community to the Alaska Junction. This connection is not available today, but is often requested as it would provide the North Delridge neighborhood access to shopping, services and other bus routes that serve a variety of destinations.

We heard from a number of people that liked our proposals, but also from people who thought the network would inconvenience them. In particular, we heard from many at SSCC that having to transfer between downtown Seattle and campus would make transit less convenient since many riders already take more than one bus to reach SSCC.

Our February proposal
We incorporated these comments into a revised proposal that we shared with the public in February–direct service on Route 125 between downtown Seattle and the campus on weekdays. Given limited budget, the proposal to add new service between North Delridge and Alaska Junction became unaffordable via the revised routing of the 128.

In February, we heard from many people that direct service from downtown Seattle to campus is needed on weekends, not just Monday through Friday. We also understand that it is important for students to connect easily between SSCC and Seattle Central CC.

Moving forward
We are currently considering the possibility of providing some level of service on Saturday when SSCC is in session. However, continuing to provide Saturday Route 125 service would come as a trade-off for other service improvements. We are analyzing these trade-offs as we look to provide the highest quality transit service to the most people.

The Executive will send a final proposal to the King County Council for their consideration in mid-April when an opportunity for further public comment will be available. Potentially, Council may modify the proposal as they review the service change legislation. A final service change ordinance is expected to be adopted in late May.

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