Southeast Seattle: Feedback on bus stops and shelters

Courtesy Oran Viriyincy, Flickr cc

During our recent conversations with community members in southeast Seattle, we asked which bus stops are used the most and how they could be improved. Surprisingly, the people we heard from didn’t express big demands related to stops, rider amenities, or pedestrian improvements. The only exception was stops and sidewalks along Renton Avenue S where the 106 travels. People told us about 106 buses passing them by without seeing them, and said there is a lack of shelters, lighting, and a feeling of safety. What do you think?

The other big concern we heard about is stops that are not clean. People especially complained about stops in downtown Seattle and along Rainier Avenue S being dirty and unpleasant.

In general, people said they feel safe at transfer points. Two areas that were highlighted as feeling less safe are the bus stop at MLK and Edmunds that connects Link riders to Route 39, and the Othello Station at New Holly. For most, the presence of Sound Transit security officers at Link stations makes them feel safer; bus riders are most concerned about the behavior of other riders and a lack of security presence.

Overall, people appreciate the shelters and benches that have been installed and look forward to additional shelters that are planned. If improvements could be made, more shelters and benches would be appreciated.

Did you know Metro has invested in updates to bus stops in the Rainier Valley over the past several years? We have added 13 new, lighted shelters, benches, and security improvements. We put new lighting at 29 bus shelters along MLK. We also constructed a new bus shelter at Rainier Avenue South and South Rose Street. By the end of 2013, bus zones at Rainier and Stevens Plaza, lighting at the Mount Baker Transit Center, and signage at Rainier Avenue South and MLK will be improved. By the end of this year, riders will benefit from “real-time” bus information along Rainier Avenue South at 10 key stops thanks to the work of the City of Seattle.

Safety concerns are more than an issue of stop design. How would you address these concerns at stops in the Valley? Are there other improvements that could be made to facilities and transfer points you use? Tell us your ideas by commenting on this post.

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2 thoughts on “Southeast Seattle: Feedback on bus stops and shelters

  1. I think this is more of a “build it and they will come” issue. People generally don’t know they want something until it’s provided, so continuing to improve the experience at bus stops, the experience getting to bus stops, and reliable on-time bus service is still paramount.

    Things like a trip planner using a touch-tone system for cell phones, bus stop QR codes that connect smart phone users directly to OneBusAway information, and wider deployment of GIS-based bus tracking are innovative tools that bus riders don’t think about or ask for now, but will completely rely on once the technology is deployed.

  2. Drivers in many areas don’t see people at bus stops or drive on by as if they didn’t. It’s a systemic problem. Even downtown. Even in broad daylight. I’ve complained repeatedly and it’s like talking to a brick wall because no matter what the situation, they put it back on you for “not being obvious enough” – what are you supposed to do, wear flashing lights or flags and jump up and down in the street? Not all of us are even physically capable of that or even simply running from the benches for the bus as it careens full speed toward MAYBE stopping. It’s one Metro desperately needs to address, somehow, and standardize as to what constitutes a waiting passenger and adequate attempt/attention from the driver toward looking for passengers.

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