King County Metro Transit quietly released final recommendations for a major network change last night. Spurred on by the introduction of light rail to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in early 2015, Metro will revise 27 routes, delete 7, and debut 5 new routes (depending upon how you count). This comes on the heels of a nearly year-long process of public review that started with an ambitious plan to revise the transit network in North Seattle, Central Seattle, and the Eastside. But following overwhelming concerns by the public, most of the big ideas for network changes were shelved in the most recent iteration.
The proposal at hand now focuses on reorienting as much service in Northeast Seattle and through-routes of the University District toward the future University of Washington Station. The idea here is that light rail service to Downtown Seattle will save riders time over one-seat bus rides while offering a chance to boost frequency and span of service on local routes. Network highlights include:
- Adjustments to routes servicing Capitol Hill Station, which has resulted in the deletion of Route 43 and revision of Routes 8 and 11;
- A new express service network in Northeast Seattle;
- Better east-west connections from Sand Point to Greenlake with New Route 62;
- Revisions to local services from Northgate;
- Route 48 will be split in half in the University District with the introduction of New Route 45; and
- The infamous Route 8 will also get a split at Mount Baker Station with New Route 38. There is hope that this change will offer more reliability to riders in Southeast Seattle, but it does nothing for the main chokepoints on Denny Way.
Over the coming weeks, the King County Council will have a chance to weigh in on the proposal to make likely revisions and approve a final ordinance.
Metro is planning the deletion of seven routes. Five of these deletions are largely attributed to service duplication; they include Routes 43, 68, 71, 72, and 242. Two routes, however, are slated for deletion due to poor ridership numbers; these include Routes 25 and 30.
Metro plans to introduce five new routes, including:
- New Route 38 – This new route will be carved from the southern half of the Route 8 and run from Mount Baker Transit Center to Rainier Beach as the shadow line to Central Link Light Rail. Span of service and frequency will be unchanged from the Route 8 of today.
- New Route 45 – This new route will be carved from the northern half of the Route 48 and run from the Loyal Heights to University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium. Span of service and frequency will match the Route 48 of today, but see improved frequency on weekday nights and all day Sunday to be a 15 minute or better route at all hours. Service will be extended to 1am on weekdays, up from midnight.
- New Route 62 – This new route will form the primary trunk of today’s Route 16 between Pioneer Square and Greenlake. The tail to Northgate will be deleted. Instead, the route will be revised to continue onward to Sand Point via 65th St. The Aurora routing has been abandoned in favor of Dexter Ave and Fremont Bridge. Frequency on the route will improve over to 15 minute or better service for most time periods for all days.
- New Route 63 – This new route will replace the Route 66X by providing 7 to 8 daily trips in the weekday peak between Northgate and First Hill via Roosevelt, University District, and South Lake Union. Notably, the route will use portions of I-5 to provide ridership with express service.
- New Route 78 – This new route will be through-routed with Route 73 and serve to replace Routes 71 and 25 in Northeast Seattle. Frequency will increase over the Route 25 of today, but essentially remain the same as Route 71. Span of service, however, will be reduced on weekdays.
A suite of routes will be revised through network proposal:
- Route 8 – Frequency would be increased midday on weekdays to every 12 minutes, up from 15 minutes; span of service would be extended to 1am, up from midnight. Significantly, the Route 8 will be truncated at Mount Baker Transit Center with New Route 38 taking the remainder of the Ranier Valley routing. A portion of the route will be adjusted on 19th Ave E to interline with Route 11 while a jog will be introduced in the Central District.
- Route 10 – Frequency will be increased in Fall 2015 on weekday nights and all day weekends to 15 minutes.
- Route 11 – Frequency will be increased across all time period of the week, except for Sunday. The route will be revised to directly service Capitol Hill Station via Olive Way and John St. The route will continue to Madison Way via 19th Ave. Service on Pine St will be dropped.
- Route 12 – Frequency will be improved on weekday nights and span of service will be expanded all day to midnight, up from 11pm.
- Route 16 – Partially becomes New Route 62 (above) and revised Route 26X (below).
- Route 26 Local and Express – The local version of Route 26 will be renumbered as Route 26X. The local routing will be dropped in favor of the express version via Aurora Ave. The northern tail of today’s Route 16 from Greenlake to Northgate will be added to Route 26X. Frequency will be increased in the weekday peak over the Route 26 of today, but remain the same at all other hours.
- Route 28 Local and Express – The local version of Route 28 will be renumbered as Route 28X. The local routing will be dropped in favor of the express version via Aurora Ave. Span of service and frequency will match the local version of today, but see additional trips during the weekday peak.
- Route 31 – The route will serve Wallingford Ave N instead of Stone Way N to compensate for the loss of service by the Route 26 Local. The route will be through-routed with Route 75.
- Route 32 – The route will serve Wallingford Ave N instead of Stone Way N to compensate for the loss of service by the Route 26 Local. The route will be through-routed with Route 75.
- Route 44 – Frequency will be increased in Fall 2015 during the weekday peak to 10 minutes while Saturdays will improve to 12 minutes.
- Route 48 – Frequency will increase on weekends and weekdays while span of service on weekdays will be extended from 5am, up from 6am. Noticeably, frequencies will be improved to 10 minutes in the weekday peak and midday, and even during parts of Saturday service. The route will be broken in half with Route 48 providing service Mount Baker Transit Center to the University District as far as NE 45th St. New Route 45 (above) will be carved from the 48 northern half running to Loyal Heights.
- Route 49 – Frequency will increase to 12 minutes weekdays during peak and midday; weekday evenings will improve to 15 minutes. Saturday service will improve to 15 minutes.
- Route 64X – The route will be revised to serve First Hill via South Lake Union and Boren Ave. One additional afternoon trip will be added.
- Route 65 – Frequency during the weekday midday will improve to 15 minutes. The routing tail will be adjusted to directly serve University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium.
- Route 66X – This route will become New Route 63 (above).
- Route 67 – Frequency and span of service will improve greatly for Route 67. Baseline weekday frequency will improve to 15 minutes with 8 minutes in the peak. Saturday and Sunday service is added with frequency between 15 minutes and 30 minutes. Span of service will be 5am to 1am weekdays and 6am to 1am on weekends. The routing will be revised to operate on Roosevelt Way NE from NE 105th St to NE Ravenna Blvd and then continuing to University of Washington Station via 15th Ave NE and NE Pacific St. This change will result in service being dropped from 5th Ave NE, the southern portion of Roosevelt Way NE, and the campus loop at the University of Washington.
- Route 70 – Service will be added on weekday nights and on Sundays with frequency at 15 minutes. Span of service will be 6am to 1am everyday.
- Route 73 – The revised Route 73 will operate as a local route between Jackson Park and the University of Washington. As a result, the express tail to Downtown Seattle will be deleted. The route will be through-routed with New Route 78. Service on 15th Ave NE between Roosevelt and NE Campus Parkway will be dropped in favor of 11 Ave NE and Roosevelt Way NE. Frequency will improve during weekday nights to 30 minutes, although span of service will be reduced.
- Route 74 – Peak hour trips will increase to 11 in the morning and 11 in the afternoon. Service on 15th Ave NE will be dropped in favor of 11th Ave NE and Roosevelt Way NE
- Route 75 – Frequency during the weekday peak and midday will improve to 15 minutes or better. Saturday service will improve with frequencies between 15 and 30 minutes.
- Route 76 – Peak hour trips will increase to 16 in the morning and 15 in the afternoon.
- Route 238 – Service will be extended to Woodinville to compensate for the loss of Route 372.
- Route 316 – Peak hour trips will increase to 11 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.
- Route 372X – Frequency will double at all hours during weekdays and span of service will be extended. Service is introduced to the weekends with 15 minutes on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday; span of service will be from 6am to midnight.
- Route 373X – The route is revised to operate on 15th Ave NE instead of University Way NE through the University District.
Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.