Route 9X would be reduced to peak hours only

King County Metro today proposed an extension of  Route 38 to the International District from Mount Baker Transit Center. The route would operate in both directions between the Mount Baker Transit Center and Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the International District on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. This extension would be funded by reducing Route 9X to operate during peak hours only.

The County Council will consider this and other changes to be made in September 2016.

SE-Seattle-1From last Nov. 23 through Jan. 10 of this year, Metro asked for public input on a proposal that would have changed routes 9X, 38, 106, 107, and 124. The proposal was shaped by Metro’s four years of work with community-based organizations whose mission is to provide access to opportunity. More recently we also heard from a community advisory group that met in 2015. More than 1,000 people shared their opinions about the changes—thank you!

We heard from people who took our online survey or called or wrote to us that they thought the proposed tradeoffs in service would be difficult for them. People told us they want more convenient transit access between downtown Seattle, MLK Way, and Renton, but don’t wish to see the route(s) they currently use reduced or changed.

On the other hand, outreach conducted by our trusted advocates found that a majority of people taking the bus to reach services along MLK Way said proposed revisions to routes 106 and 107 would make their travel easier. They would have less travel time, fewer transfers, and shorter distances to walk to reach these services, and they’d have new, valuable connections to communities and services between Renton and MLK Way.

>>Find background on this process on our project website.

Based on all that we heard, Metro recommends reducing Route 9X and extending Route 38 to the International District on weekdays only. The extension of Route 38 will provide more convenient access for riders coming from around the county to access opportunities along MLK Way at times when they need it most – answering consistent, persistent feedback from communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities in the MLK corridor about the loss of historic community connections between the International District.

This recommendation limits impacts of these changes to Route 9X riders only. Midday riders of Route 9X will continue to have frequent service options to get between the Rainier Valley and First Hill using Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar, or with a bus connection to Link light rail, which now serves Capitol Hill – consistent with how we consider equity and ridership in establishing service levels.

In addition, the limited stop pattern of recommended Route 38 between Mount Baker Transit Center and the International District is designed to replace Route 9 express service between Mount Baker and Little Saigon (12th Ave S/S Jackson St).

The Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment (TrEE) Committee is expected to introduce Ordinance #2016-0199, an ordinance approving September 2016 public transportation service changes for King County, at their meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 9:30 a.m.

Find details of Ordinance 2016-0199 by downloading the following:

>>Learn more and participate by visiting the TrEE Committee’s website.