Alaskan Way Viaduct, new development, and late night service
We met with some 45 community members at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Dec. 3, and we’ve heard from 209 people in the West Seattle/Burien area through our online survey.
West Seattle will be affected by the first round of bus service cuts because our Alaskan Way Viaduct funding runs out next summer. The state has been funding added bus service to help relieve congestion on the West Seattle Bridge and Highway 99 as a result of construction work for the new tunnel. When this funding ends in June, we’ll need to cut 45,000 hours of bus service in this area.
Here and throughout the county, routes will be consolidated, moved, and run less frequently and during fewer hours of the day or night. These changes are designed to save as many resources as possible and to preserve as much of the transit network as possible, but our riders can expect longer walks to bus stops, longer waits for the bus, longer and less-frequent trips, more crowding, and shorter hours of service.
West Seattle in particular is facing three transit stressors at the same time: congestion will increase due to tunnel construction, bus service will be reduced, and the area is growing—fairly rapidly. New multi-family, higher density buildings are under construction, and more are on the way. More families moving into the area with limited parking in highly walkable neighborhoods will create even more demand for transit. As one resident said, “There are currently more than three construction projects near the Junction alone. Cutting bus/transit service will cause a huge bottleneck issue on the WS bridge!”
Spotlight on late night trips
We held a public workshop as part of the Dec. 3 meeting, and participants shared their concerns about the proposed reduction in night service. They said it will be difficult for people who work non-traditional hours, such as hospital employees, to use the bus for commuting. Others won’t be able to use the bus for late-night activities such as sports events, shows, and dining in the downtown and SODO areas. “The late night cuts are the worst,” one participant told us.
Here’s a quick look at the West Seattle routes that will run at night, listed by the time of day when service will end:
We want to keep hearing your comments, concerns, and questions about the proposed service reductions. For information on upcoming public meetings, visit the calendar on our website. Can’t attend a public meeting? Fill out our online survey.
Thank you for having these forums.
I’m concerned that moderately-productive routes in West Seattle and South Park will be cut in June before any low-productivity routes around the rest of the county start to get cut in October, especially since a public vote in April may be too late to avoid these cuts. I’m also concerned that South Park service could take a big hit before the new bridge is opened. As a matter of the county not abandoning South Park, cuts to the 60 and 132 should wait until after the bridge is open.
That said, platform hours could be shaved off the 132, in order to preserve more runs and span of service, by terminating the route on the north end at ID Station, or if necessary, SODO Station. This would also be cheaper than the wierd proposal that has the 132 starting from Westwood after 7 p.m. (and duplicating much of the 60’s path). Further hours could be shaved off the 132 by moving its southern terminus to Tukwila International Boulevard Station.
Totally duplicative routes like the 7X, 158, and 159 shouldn’t stick around while West Seattle and South Park take such a huge hit.
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