As customers look to return to transit, Metro is preparing for this fall’s regular service change in September. Due to reduced revenue, the September change will include cuts and suspensions to routes while maintaining a countywide transit network and its commitments to safety, equity, and sustainability. In the short term, however, Metro will restore some transit service on Monday, June 22 as more industries reopen and restrictions are gradually lifted.
September’s reductions to transit service are unfortunate but necessary due to economic realities. Metro seeks to be both responsive and responsible in light of changes to revenue and ridership. Working closely with our partners in the region, Metro is rebuilding a mobility system that’s engineered to emerge stronger from the pandemic within the financial constraints of the ensuing economic recession.
Metro takes seriously its responsibility as a steward of public resources. The most recent projections estimate an unprecedented loss in sales tax revenue and farebox collections totaling $280 million in 2020, and up to $615 million 2020-2022. September’s service revisions will align future transit and mobility service with available revenue.
The latest financial forecast reflects the dire economic repercussions Metro faces due to the COVID-19 crisis. The unfortunate result are reductions not only to service, but also to our workforce. Metro is exploring the nature and timeline of reductions needed in the coming weeks and months.
Our commitments to regional mobility and environmental sustainability
Our commitment to riders, equity, climate action, and our community remains. Consistent with county policy and Metro’s values, September’s cuts were designed to lessen the impacts to priority populations as much as possible and to maintain service in areas of our region where social needs are greatest, while continuing to provide competitive commuting options for those who are unable to telecommute.
However, reductions of this size will have impacts across the county and even the cancellations of some routes and services. During COVID-19, ridership has remained strongest in areas with the greatest social needs. As Metro moves forward with service reductions, we will prioritize retaining service in areas with higher proportions of people with lower incomes and people of color.
Our goal is to balance temporary and longer-term service cuts with the need to serve customers who rely on public transportation as an essential service. As commuters and other riders return to public transportation, we continue to plan for a safe, equitable, and sustainable system that expands opportunity, provides a competitive alternative to the single-occupant vehicle, and advances economic growth.
Planned service cuts and revisions in September
The transit services in operation in September will be about 85% of pre-COVID levels, providing an estimated 11,000 weekday trips on 122 bus routes. Service will focus primarily on a network of all-day routes throughout King County, including preserving frequent service on Metro’s busiest routes, while restoring peak service sufficient to meet returning demand to the extent possible given the current financial challenges. The cuts are made with direction from the City of Seattle in expectation that the Seattle Transportation Benefit District will discontinue revenue collections at the end of the year.
While some weekday peak-period commuter routes will be restored, many peak routes will remain suspended in anticipation that long-term commuter ridership demand will take time to recover as many large employers continue having employees telework. Night, evening, and weekend service also will be significantly reduced.
A list of routes affected by the changes coming in September is now available (see below), and details to clearly explain what trips are operating on those routes will be available in the coming months. This information will help prepare riders in advance of changes coming in September.
An important part of the September service change is the Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Plan, which restructures and adds service in South King County. Moving forward with this plan despite budget challenges reflects Metro’s commitment to serving areas of higher need and to working in partnership with communities, customers, and cities. Additionally, this part of the county has a high proportion of customers continuing to ride Metro, reflecting a reliance on transit for making essential trips.
During our reduced schedule as part of our COVID-19 response, Metro added about two dozen buses to operate more than 100 daily trips on some bus routes as some trips consistently reached social distancing passenger limits. In September, Metro will continue to monitor and respond where possible with added trips on the busiest routes and restoration of some additional peak period commuter routes where needed, and where possible at times to support social distancing as more customers take transit and travel demand increases.
Unless additional funding sources are identified, further transit service reductions are planned throughout 2021 and 2022 similarly due to lower revenue projections from Metro’s major funding sources of sales tax and fare revenues.
Metro routes facing revisions in September 2020
Per the categories below, many of these routes will either be revised, suspended, reduced, or canceled in September 2020 due to losses in revenue. Details about service levels will be provided in coming months.
Routes operating at full service levels (53 routes, primarily all-day routes operating at pre-COVID-19 levels.)
- RapidRide A, B and F lines, 21X, 24, 101, 107, 111, 128, 131, 132, 153, 156, 182, 187, 193, 224, 230, 231, 239, 257, 303, 304, 309, 311, 330, 346, 347, 348, 631 (Burien Community Shuttle), 635 (Des Moines Community Shuttle), 773, 775, 901, 903, 907, 930
- Routes operating at full service levels that were restructured through the Renton, Kent, and Auburn Area Mobility Plan: Routes 102, 105, 148, 150, 160 (new), 161 (new), 162 (new), 165 (new), 168, 181, 183, 184 (new), 906, 914, 915, 917
Routes operating with reduced service levels (69 routes), including long-term reductions due to the loss of Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) funding:
- RapidRide C, D and E lines, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 36, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 55, 56, 57, 60, 62, 64, 65, 67, 70, 73, 74, 75, 106, 118, 119, 120, 124, 125, 204, 208, 212, 218, 221, 225, 226, 240, 241, 245, 250, 255, 269, 271, 301, 331, 345, 372, 373
Routes suspended/not operating (51 routes):
- 5X, 9, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 29, 37, 47, 63, 71, 76, 77, 78, 113, 114, 116, 118X, 119X, 121, 122, 123, 143, 154, 157, 167, 177, 178, 179, 190, 197, 200, 214, 216, 217, 219, 232, 237, 246, 249, 252, 268, 308, 312, 316, 342, 355, 628 (Snoqualmie Community Shuttle), 630 (Mercer Island Community Shuttle), 931
Routes deleted (13 routes):
- Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Plan: 158, 159, 164, 166, 169, 180, 186, 192, 908, 910, 913, 916, 952, under an approved restructure plan
Some routes and services not mentioned above remain in discussion as revenue and ridership projections evolve.
Some service to be restored on June 22
While Details for the June 22 ramp-up are still being finalized, Metro will restore service to some routes that saw reductions in March and April. We’ll also make adjustments that respond to ridership and customer and community feedback we have received since April. Most peak-period commuter routes will remain suspended.
Bus 158/159 obliterated!
How the poor schmucks from Kent, the nannies, cooks, janitors, servers, etc will get to Seattle on time to get the dirty job done? A 25 minute ride from Central & Meeker to Downtown Seattle is gone. Now with this wonderful and super exciting change obliterating 158/159 buses it will take East Hill passengers 1hr 40 minutes, 2 buses and the Sounder. Sounder is occasionally on time. What a mess! But heck, how wonderful and exciting and innovating! Bravo, job well done!
Increase bus capacity to reduce wait times!
Restore 40th & 1st Ave stop!
Pretty soon it will be easier for me to walk the 4 miles to the office than it will be to wait for a bus.
I would like to know what Metro’s plans are for the return of the Normandy Park Community Ride. I don’t see it mentioned on any of your lists. This new shuttle served our senior community very well this past year and we really miss it. The drivers are from Hopelink, so this likely made the cost much lower and social distancing was not a problem as it only took a few people (or even just one) at a time. Please consider the needs of seniors who are not able to take multiple busses to certain areas, as they would need to do now to get to the same places the shuttle took them, such as Fred Meyers and 5 Corners.
Community Ride services are all currently suspended until further notice.
Similar shuttle service is available for seniors on the Burien-Highline and Des Moines-Normandy park Hyde Shuttles. https://hydeshuttle.org/
Is there additional information somewhere about upcoming cuts to Vashon’s 118, 119, and 119X routes?
These routes have already undergone significant cuts over the past few years. Every single one of the morning Northbound runs is packed to maximum standing capacity (Let alone reduced COVID capacity.) They are the only routes that provide connecting service to the King County Water Taxi.
The park and ride at the Vashon Ferry Terminal is beyond capacity (and has been for decades) and commuter parking already saturates the entire 2-3 block area around the park and ride. There is no “backup” option if there are service cuts, as there’s literally not a place to park a car and walk onto the ferries.
Routes 118 and 119 will only serve stops on Vashon island. For service to/from downtown Seattle, board the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry and transfer to/from Rapid Ride C Line at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal.
Bus 348 down in Richmond Beach always has 1-2 buses parked for an hour, every hour on a break. That’s 36 buses a day parked, I see the drivers playing on their phones or walking on the beach. Why are the same drivers getting multiple hour long breaks? Also, there is never more than 1 rider on any of these buses. The 348 comes down to our little neighborhood every 20 minutes with no one on the bus. If the 348 did a run once an hour without all these secret breaks you’d have drivers and buses available to use on routes you’re eliminating.
This is crazy. I can pay but you won’t let me! I ride the 346 it will make my ride to work week day mornings difficult.
We’re not collecting fares right now because the fare box is too close to the driver’s seat to maintain safe social distancing. We will look to resume fare payments once social distancing requirements are relaxed.
Route 346 is currently operating with a few trips canceled. It will operate at full service in the September service change.
-will the 113 start again in September?
-With routes like 120 and 113 usually being super packed during the commute, sill busses be doubled due to capacity limits from social distancing or will number of busses be doubled? Living near end of pick up routes before heading downtown this concerns me.
Route 113 will not be operating as part of the September service change.
The current COVID-19 ridership does not indicate significant loads over the social distancing threshold on Route 120. As ridership starts increasing as people return to work, Metro will continue to monitor crowding and respond where additional capacity is needed.
I’m currently on the first 193 run of the day, and there are more than 30 people on it with one more stop at Tukwila park and ride that typically has another six or seven healthcare wokers at it…and covid capacity is supposedly 18?! With all the cuts Metro expects riders formerly served by the 177, 178, 190, 192 and 197 to ALSO ride this same bus with no additional runs? Is King County Metro comfortable being the impetus of the next wave of COVID infections from forcing 6 routes worth of riders onto one bus? Metro is putting public health in danger with the range of these cuts. They can’t cut the 193 because it is subsidized by the hospitals of First Hill, but Metro won’t tell you that. They just look like saviors by not eliminating a major route full of essential healthcare workers, but they’ll slash the rest and cram us together and let us suffer, dwindle, go away or just die off. Oh, never mind, Metro won’t read or respond anyway. Good luck to all of us out here! You are under appreciated alone for the effort you all go through each day just to get to and from work, let alone all that you do once you get there!
We recognize these route suspensions makes it more difficult for many people to use transit. Customers can take Sound Transit routes 577 and 578 from Federal Way Transit Center for some trips. If these routes and the 193 are overcrowded Metro will be prepared to add extra trips. We will be watching the routes closely and working with Sound Transit to try to serve as many customers as possible.
We know that this may not work for everyone who normally takes these other routes. Other options that may work for some people who can get to other park and ride locations would be to take the new route 162 which will stop at Kent Des Moines Park and Ride; or to take Link light rail from Angle Lake Station or Tukwila International Blvd Station.
The 193 is already running 100% over the new maximum capacity of 18, having 36+ riders on every 530am trip the last 2 weeks. People are forced to sit side by side already, and you say IF OVERCROWDED metro will increase trips? Haha.
The 26 is my only way to get to Greenlake and then to Wallingford. How can it go less often than every half hour??
In the September service change, Route 26 will continue to operate every half hour or better. A few morning trips to Downtown Seattle will be suspended.
Not happy 😢 about the 249 not running it’s regular schedule before COVID cuz I take that bus from where I live to get to downtown Bellevue easier & how it helps me get to other places without walking so much! I want it back immediately & when are they gonna start charging people again for bus fare’s????
177, serves us through busway. Decided to drive since we waited another 45 minutes to catch another bus that runs to busway.
It may be time for an in depth study of what routes can provide the most support to OUR community, serve our working public as well as securing funding for the vital service Metro provides.
Plus the ones that serve college students like the 164 or the 181 like wtf
Hello, Route 181 will operate at full service in September. Route 164 will be replaced by new Route 165, which will also operate at full service in September.
Oh, the 208 (which already runs every 2 hours normally) is gonna have service reduced? Very cool!
Route 208 will have only a handful of low ridership trips suspended. On weekdays, an early morning trip eastbound, and the last trip of the night in each direction will be suspended. On Saturdays, the last westbound trip will be suspended. Peak and mid-day service will be back to its pre-COVID service level.
Art, I was another of the reporters “at” that media briefing (held by teleconference/phone) and as we reported (I haven’t seen the Times story so I don’t know how they worded theirs), what Metro said was that they’re “looking at” end of June/start of July, but they hadn’t finalized the plan yet.
“The agency also announced a few summer changes, to begin charging fares again about July 1 and to install shields near the driver’s seat so that front-door boarding and seating may resume. But social distancing, such as a 6-foot separation between riders, will continue indefinitely.” (Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times) – this is what’s on the ST website and seems factual, but maybe the reporter took a few liberties, so thanks for sharing what you heard.
People of Seattle you don’t need parking, you don’t need cars. Metro has one of the best commuter systems in the country. Just ask them. “We can get you where you want to be, when you want to be there”…..except for when we can’t. Good luck commuters hope you didn’t sell your car. Set your alarms early so that you can sit in the rolling parking lot on 35th sw, Roxbury, High Point Hill, West Marginal, Delridge and 1st Ave bridge.
Since the 158 and 159 have been eliminated and also were at capacity to standing is there or are there replacement routes to replace what you have eliminated?
It’s just being replaced …. New route 162
Hi, my name is Lucian. I take the 169 from Renton Transit Center to the Kent Sounder Station, and from the Kent Sounder Station; I transfer to the 180 and get off at Central Ave S & S 266th street. So if these two routes get eliminated. How I’m I supposed to get to work. It feels like the working people of Renton,Kent,Auburn. Are getting screwed.
click link for information on new route 160.
That should cover your trip. ( Without needing to transfer.)
So the77 won’t be operating for morning commute or evening commute at all in September?
No, the 77 will not be operating in September. We recognize that this makes it more difficult to use transit. Here are some alternatives that you could consider if any work for you:
North of NE 125th St, use Routes 347 or 348 and connect with Route 41 to/from downtown Seattle.
At NE Northgate Way, use Route 75 and connect with Route 41 to/from downtown Seattle.
At NE 82nd St, walk north-east to Lake City Way NE at 20th Ave NE and Route ST 522 to/from downtown Seattle
No more 190? Take the 193 and walk a bunch. No more 192? Take the 193 and walk a bunch. No more 197? Take the 193 and walk a bunch and hope you can transfer to another route that your run is probably canceled. Is Metro aware that the 193 is already a route that transports people and aren’t just empty buses waiting for all these displaced riders? Sorry 193 riders, you’re gonna get SQUISHED.
In addition to the Route 193, riders on Route 190, 192, and 197 can also take Sound Transit Routes 577 and 578, which will be operating their full schedule.
I am a employee of Centurylinkfield and come from Auburn . I am curious will I be able to still
Work the night games and concerts if the route 150 hrs gets shortened or will that stay the same?
Route 150 is not being reduced. You should still be able to use it for working night games and events as you have in the past. Thanks.
Wow…..who made the decisions regarding the 164, 166, and 169? As far as I can tell…. that will absolutely disable anybody’s ability to get around the Kent/Des Moines area. Obviously, people making these poor choices haven’t EVER had to ride a bus anywhere.
Routes 164 and 166 will be combined and replaced by new Route 165, which cover the large majority of Routes 164 and 166’s service today. Route 169 will be replaced with new Route 160.
Wow you absolutely cannot reduce the 120. I have seen the same faces on my buses for years and know they are nearly all essential. Nurses and doctors and other hospital support staff. Construction and utility service workers. Security. The list goes on. The bus was always packed in the morning and now that people are going back to work after lockdown they are “full” and we are being passed up repeatedly bus after bus that goes by. I get that you don’t have money but you need to figure something out. Better management with bus frequency. Im sure less buses can run around say 10am and more at 7am etc.
The 120 will have a few trips removed during midday and night times. Exact schedules will be available closer to the September service change. The 120 is also future RapidRide H line so Metro is committed to offering high-frequency service on this route now and into the future.
Is there a way to link to a transit map to see these changes in graphic form?
We’re working on some maps to help show the changes, and will be rolling out further information in the coming weeks, well before September changes, so riders can prepare and make plans.
Your cancelling runs 177, 178 will make it impossible for me to get to work. That is a ridiculous decision. Are you not looking at where these buses run to or from? You say count on us we will get you there but you won’t be doing that in the future and you sure as heck aren’t doing it now.
Hello, riders on the Routes 177 and 178 will have access to commuter service from Federal Way via Metro Route 193 or Sound Transit Express Routes 577 and 578, all of which are expected to operate their full schedule.
So there is seriously going to be only one overburdened route (193) to service all of the federal way, north Auburn, and west areas of kent to downtown?! And it isn’t even to downtown, it’s to first hill with a half mike trek to 2/3/4th avenues. No 190, no 192, no 197? That’s a massive service area all funneled into one route that already runs beyond the covid capacity as is. Traffic is going to reach whole new levels of hell this summer and fall.
Apparently everyone one in Kirkland/Kingsgate must start driving to work in Seattle. The Kingsgate cuts are ridiculous. Been working this whole time(healthcare worker) and getting to work been crazy. Now you’re going to make it permanent. Ugh. Shouldn’t have to make 3 to 4 transfers just to get to my work place. And forget working pass 6pm or on the weekends.
In the Kingsgate area, Metro is restoring Route 257 to its full service level for a direct route to downtown Seattle. Additionally, Route 239 will be restored to its full all-day service level to provide local service in Kingsgate and connections to other all day routes such as Route 255 to Seattle, and Route 250 for connections to Redmond and Bellevue.
Although Route 255 will have some trips reduced, they will be spread throughout the day. Route 255 will be restored to the same space of service, as before the current service reductions, and will operate well past 6pm on weekends.
I would LOVE for the Metro transportation planners to go out and ride the buses they are planning for. Do they do this? Or are the buses just pieces on a chessboard to them? Do they themselves bus to work or do they drive to work? Experience the day in the life of a commuter perhaps? Doe Rob Gannon ride the buses he oversees? Will he ride a route that is being cut to see the impact? Does he see the crowding on buses and no social distancing? Does anyone at Metro in the planning department go out into the real world with the working people who depend on buses?
As a king county transit operator for well over 20 years, I agree with you. Once a year Metro sends planning advisers out to each of the bases to get feedback from drivers on routes with issues, such as overcrowding, timing of connecting routes etc. Its been mine and several other operators opinons that the “advisers” take notes and nothing gets accomplished even on critical routing issues. Several issues continued for years, even after several other operators and myself brought to their attention a serious issue with one of our major lines. My opinion, its politics, well over my pay grade and little ever gets corrected. In fact when we asked the three advisers if they had ever taken the routes that me and my fellow operators had serious concerns about, (a major route), all three said no, and one went to the route book, just to find that particular route! In other words, it’s my opinion, planning just plain refuses to actually ride distressed routes, so nothing gets addressed to correct problems.
I don’t Metro’s current way of making these decisions but I do know in the past they made decisions and had people volunteer as passengers to ride the new routes and give feedback. Mind you-Metro administrators ultimately made their own decisions anyway.
Metro planners are avid bus supporters and riders. We understand these cuts make it harder to use transit, but reductions have to happen due to the decline in revenues. Through the summer and fall Metro will be monitoring ridership and adding extra trips where possible to alleviate crowding and serve customers as well as possible given the reductions.
Thanks for the detail, it’s unfortunate Seattle won’t have replacement TBD in place, I don’t think people realize how much service that actually purchased.
“The cuts are made with direction from the City of Seattle in expectation that the Seattle Transportation Benefit District will discontinue revenue collections at the end of the year.”
Does this mean it’s now official that the city of Seattle isn’t even going to try to renew the TBD, even on a presidential election ballot? Or is Metro is just conservatively not assuming that anything would pass until the election.
We have to make budget assumptions at this point, and have to assume revenue will be discontinued at year’s end.
Really sad to see West Seattle get reductions – the 113 and 120 are always super packed during commute times. Many times there is no room. This is not good
Route 120 will have a few trips removed during the midday and night times. An exact schedule will be available closer to the September service change date. Route 120 is also future RapidRide H Line so Metro is committed to offering high-frequency service on this route now and into the future
Wow, north Seattle and West Sesttle hit pretty hard in restructuring and cancelled routes.. Metro you not making getting ti work easier on the routes needed tio get west or north.. i understand budget cuts service but implementing services on SRT lasts a minimum service gives people a chance to at least catch earlier routed budes to make a hopeful chance to get around town
Less service to and from West Seattle? Really?? This will only be adding to the stress already felt by everyone feeling trapped over here. Should I leave now to get to work by Sunday in Pioneer square?
Less service to and from West Seattle?? REALLY??? This has got to be a typo right
Would like a response for specifics to a decrease in a route for Line C for example. With lose to the Bridge would it be useful to have more access to transportation on the lower bridge using Metro?
More information about exact trips will be available later in the summer once schedules are written. The C Line will have a few trips reduced throughout the day such as in the early morning before 6:30, in the early afternoon between 2-3 p.m., and in the evening. In September some other routes will be restored that may be an option for some customers, such as the 55, 56, and 57.
So now the Lake City Way area is almost entirely without bus service (71 and 312 cut; 372 and 73 reduced). Awesome.
Sound Transit Route 522 is the all-day service int he Lake City area and a key part of the ongoing network.
As a follow-up to the previous question from Art K. I still don’t understand your policy on social distancing. So if the bus is “full” or getting “full” the bus driver is told he/she can say to the waiting passenger “Wait for the next bus…” But what if the next bus is “full” and the next bus is “full” etc. etc.
What if the rider has a job to get to? How many buses does this worker have to have pass by before the bus driver says hop on? This is totally unpredictable logic. I know someone who had to take an UBER since he was passed by a couple times and didn’t want to be late to work. I still don’t get it! Especially when some routes might have been decreased due to cuts. Clarify please!
The pandemic can make it more difficult to travel at peak times, or when demand is high on certain routes. You’ve laid out a scenario that can occur, however we also have monitored bus routes and times that had more crowding as we limited the number of riders on board. As a result we added back about two dozen buses operating hundreds of trips a day on specific crowded routes to help. It’s not perfect, but we’re doing what we are able and adapting as we can.
West Seattle will require more transit, not less, as we come out of social isolation. Otherwise a huge swath of the city will cease to function. I envision mass transit being key to alleviating and solving the West Seattle Bridge debacle, not adding to it.
Metro’s financial situation means that even with growing needs there will be reductions. We are working closely with the City of Seattle. We also have the ability to add extra trips if routes become overcrowded as demand grows this summer and fall.
How can you even think of reducing the C line serving West Seattle with the bridge closure? This seems incredibly short sighted.
The C Line will have a few trips cut throughout the day, due to loss of funding. Metro will be watching ridership closely and we can add extra trips back if the route becomes overcrowded.
What about the 45?
Added to the list, thanks for flagging!
Could you address some of these issues? Are you collecting or waiving fares on Metro buses and for how long? Is front door boarding resuming? Are you limiting riders/seats on buses, while running less of them on restored limited run buses (like the 125) and would they be moving to articulated buses carry more passengers – for example reaching 12 or 18 passengers is very likely if you’re not running buses are frequently as before, during peak periods (going to/coming home from work). As a West Seattle commuter, I’ll assume that you’ve already taken into account the future congestion (ie., delays sitting in traffic) that detours while the WS Freeway are creating now during light usage in Stage 1.5 vs. Stages 2 – 4.
We haven’t yet announced the formal start of fares, so save the front door for ADA access for the time being. We continue to limit the number of riders per bus, and are moving to restore some service June 22, stay tuned. West Seattle service will continue to evolve June 22 and in September, and we’re working with SDOT on plans to serve riders. Teleworking has taken a big bite out of peak ridership in West Seattle and elsewhere, so we’re monitoring how demand adjusts as more places open up.
Today’s Seattle Times article seemed to mention a press conference or meeting with the media where July 1st was stated to be the return of fares and shields would be installed by the driver to restart front door boarding – was the reporter incorrect?
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