Metro proposes extending routes 3 and 4 to serve Seattle Pacific University – comment by June 24

3-4 blog snipEditor’s note: this post was updated on June 13, 2016 to reflect the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce’s cancellation of their June meeting. This post was updated again on June 17, 2016 to reflect that this change does not need to be approved by King County Council.

Metro is interested in extending routes 3 and 4 to improve connections and the frequency of service between downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, and Seattle Pacific University.  To make this happen, Metro recently partnered with the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Pacific University (SPU) to construct new trolley wire and spaces for buses to layover near Third Avenue West and Nickerson Street by the SPU campus.

Metro is proposing that routes 3 and 4 combine on the same pathway between Queen Anne Avenue North at Boston Street and SPU via Third Avenue West. (See map)

This change helps:

  • Increase service between Seattle Pacific University and downtown Seattle from two trips to six trips per hour. Riders would have the choice of routes 3, 4 or 13 – whichever comes first – to make connections.
  • Better connect Queen Anne to the University District. Riders would have less wait time between buses when connecting between the 3, 4 or 13 and routes 31 and 32 that provide service to the U District, UW, U Village, and Seattle Children’s.
  • Responds to concerns from residents along the neighborhood “loops” of the route 3 and 4 who have expressed concern about idling diesel buses at times, particularly on weekends, when Metro uses diesel buses in place of trolley buses to operate the service.

The change also provides access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to restrooms for bus operators. Comfort station access has been a big issue for Metro over the past few years and is vital to ensure long-term success of our service.

The change would also mean that routes 3 and 4 no longer operate on their unique routing through Queen Anne neighborhoods. The discontinued portions of the routes serve approximately 120-135 (about 1% of the total daily ridership on these routes) people getting on or off the bus on average each day. These riders would need to walk one to six blocks to access bus service. The options for these riders include routes 2, revised route 3, and route 13 depending on where they are coming from to get on or off the bus. If approved, this change would be implemented in March of 2017.

Metro is accepting comments on these changes until June 24, 2016. For questions or to comment, contact Metro’s Supervisor of Service Planning Katie Chalmers at or (206) 477-5869. Come talk with us in the community. We’re on the agenda of the following groups:

7 thoughts on “Metro proposes extending routes 3 and 4 to serve Seattle Pacific University – comment by June 24

  1. This would be incredibly benificial to commuter students at Seattle Pacific. The extended route would also allow for a preferred bus route with less transfers for students looking for more options to reach Downtown Seattle areas.

  2. so why don’t you extend the trolley wire across the fremont bridge. That way you would have all those trolleys lined up on 3rd west

  3. Please be aware that taking the 13 over the hill to SPU or Fremont rarely comes up on the Metro Trip planning ap, It usually recommends walking or taking the 13 or 2 down to Mercer then the 31 or 32 around to those locations. This should be corrected. This also results in only one bus (13) running the length of the Upper Queen Anne business area, limiting the choices for those who are not very mobile. Unfortunately both the Trip Planning ap and this change see to ignore elevation changes when considering routes.

  4. Yes, absolutely. I just hope/assume the 3/4/13 will be coordinated for :10 headways along the shared segment. I’m not clear on why we’re still using diesel buses on weekends when the vast majority of new 40′ trolleys (with off-wire capability) are in service. We should also be fixing pedestrian access around Lighthouse for the Blind so we can eliminate the 4S tail. And electrify the 8.

  5. Yes, please add this improved service on Queen Anne Hill. This is particularly useful now that the Route #4 service has been restored at the south end of the line. If this will improve conditions for drivers as well, let’s implement the changes NOW.

  6. I’m all for increasing service to SPU, but do NOT do it by totally eliminating service from the existing Rodgers Park bus stop. Yes, yes, it’s only 1-1/2 blocks from the Rodgers Park stop down to 3rd Ave West #13 route, but that block has an almost 20% grade (USGS map). Alternatively, Metro says, It’s just over a quarter mile beyond the Rodgers Park stop up to McGraw to reach the #13 line, but that hike requires a 90 FT elevation gain–equal to about 14 flights of stairs. Give us older folks a break–we’re well beyond college age.
    SUGGESTED MODIFICATION TO METRO PROPOSAL: Add overhead wire on Raye St to 3rd Ave West (on the 20% grade) and route buses alternately between 3rd West and Raye St.

  7. Thanks for the feedback about the Trip Planner, Rozella and Rob Van Meter. We have shared this comment with the appropriate staff and they are looking into the issue.

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