Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit are working with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.
Proposed changes to bus service in Seattle are headed to the full King County Council Monday, Oct. 19, for consideration as part of a year-long effort to restructure bus service to better connect neighborhoods to each other and to Link light rail in 2016.
The Transportation, Economy and Environment committee voted Oct. 14 to send the proposed changes to the council.
Proposed changes to several routes came via an amendment offered by Councilmember Dembowski which responds to key concerns raised by riders regarding previously recommended changes.
Key changes affect routes 40, 43, 65, 67, 71, 73, 76, 78, 316, 346 and 373, finding ways to balance tradeoffs within available service hours. Further fine-tuning of language is expected prior to the council’s final adoption.
- Rather than being completely deleted, Route 43 will operate during peak times in both directions on its current path.
- Rather than being deleted, Route 71 will operate between Wedgwood, Ravenna, Roosevelt, the University District and UW Station Monday through Saturday.
- The new Route 78 will operate only between Laurelhurst, the UW, and the UW light rail station at times when Route 25 currently operates. This avoids duplication with the retained Route 71 segments.
- Routes 73 and 373 will pair up to provide service along 15th Avenue NE and along the Ave in the U District, but route 73 will not operate at the same times as 373 to reduce duplication. Both routes will connect with Link light rail at UW.
- Route 73 will keep Saturday service.
- Routes 67 and 73 will stay on their current pathways through the U District via the Roosevelt/11th couplet and University Way, respectively.
- Through-routing routes 65 and 67 is proposed to save money needed to apply to service included in the changes listed above. This means Route 65 will operate differently than previously proposed. Rather than loop through campus and around to the Montlake Triangle, it will operate via Stevens Way in the south/westbound direction and via Montlake Boulevard in the east/northbound direction.
- Route 67 will operate every 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes heading away from the University District in the afternoon peak hours.
- Revising service to be added to route 76 and 316.
- Routing changes for Routes 40 and 346 in Northgate to improve connections with revised Route 26X.
In addition to amending route changes, the committee added language to address customer satisfaction and ensure the work Metro has already begun with its partners best serves the public. This language addresses the following:
- Customer satisfaction – Metro is asked to conduct a “customer and resident service assessment survey” to be completed by March 2017.
- Transfer environment – a list of transfer points are identified where Metro is expected to work with partners to make the transfer environment as convenient and safe as possible.
- Customer education/communications – Metro is expected to conduct a large-scale education and outreach effort to prepare people for these changes.
The amendment identifies reporting milestones at which Metro is asked to present its plan and work on these items to council.
Metro plans to update its website with route and service change information after the council takes final action in coming weeks, including remaking affected maps so riders can clearly see what changes can be expected in 2016. Members of the public can comment on these changes at the King County Council meeting this Monday. Public comment is accepted at the beginning of the meeting, which starts at 1:30 pm in King County Council Chambers (map/directions.)