King County Metro and Sound Transit are proposing a significant restructure to routes on the Eastside, which would affect communities stretching from Bellevue to Bothell, Woodinville, and Redmond. The proposal would simplify the route structure and offer more reliable, frequent service to riders by creating six new routes and revising three others. The proposal, however, would result in the elimination of 10 routes. Changes are proposed to go in effect at the September 2019 service change, if approved.

Metro's proposal to restructure service in the Northeast sector.
Metro’s proposal to restructure service in the Northeast sector. (King County)

The following routes are proposed for elimination:

  • Route 234 (Kenmore to Bellevue);
  • Route 235 (Totem Lake to Bellevue);
  • Route 236 (Woodinville to Kirkland via Totem Lake);
  • Route 238 (Woodinville to Kirkland via Juanita);
  • Route 243 (Overlake to Kenmore via Redmond);
  • Route 244 (Overlake to Kenmore via Totem Lake);
  • Route 248 (Avondale to Kirkland);
  • Route 277 (Juanita to University District);
  • Route 540 (Kirkland to University District); and
  • Route 541 (Overlake to University District).

The proposal by largely keeps service on the corridors where routes are proposed for elimination. The most substantial service losses, however, would be on NE 116th St, NE 80th St, and a pocket of Inglewood in Kirkland.

In place of eliminated service, Metro and Sound Transit are proposing to create the following new routes:

  • Route 225 would operate from Kenmore to Overlake by way of Totem Lake. The frequency of service would be every 30 minutes during peak hours and midday on weekdays while weekday nighttime and weekend service would be hourly. Metro is proposing that span of service run from 5.30am to 10pm on weekdays and 8am to 9pm on weekends. 
  • Route 230 would operate from Bothell to Kirkland Transit Center by way of Juanita. The frequency of service would be every 30 minutes during peak hours and midday on weekdays while weekday nighttime and weekend service would be hourly. Metro is proposing that span of service run from 5.30am to 10pm on weekdays and 7am to 8.30pm on weekends. 
  • Route 231 would operate from Woodinville to Kirkland Transit Center by way of Brickyard Park-and-Ride. The frequency of service would be every 30 minutes during peak hours and midday on weekdays while weekday nightime and weekend service would be hourly. Metro is proposing that span of service run from 6.30am to 9.30pm on weekdays and 7am to 9pm on weekends. 
  • Route 239 would operate from UW Bothell to Kirkland Transit Center by way of Kingsgate and Totem Lake. The frequency of service would be every 30 minutes during peak hours and midday on weekdays and weekends. Weekday nighttime frequency would range from hourly to half-hourly. Metro is proposing that span of service run from 5.30am to 12.30am on weekdays and 6am to 12am on weekends. 
  • Route 250 would operate from Avondale to Bellevue by way of Redmond and Kirkland. The frequency of service would be every 15 minutes during peak hours and midday on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weeknights and weekends. Metro is proposing that span of service run from 5am to 12.30am on weekdays and 6am to 11pm on weekends. 
  • Route 544 would operate from Overlake to South Lake Union by way of South Kirkland, SR-520, and I-5. The service would only operate during weekday peak hours at frequency of every 12 to 15 minutes.

Additionally, the transit agencies are proposing to alter Routes 255, 545, and 930 in several ways:

  • Route 255 would no longer serve Downtown Seattle. Instead, the route would terminate at University of Washington Station in Seattle, forcing transfers to light rail for those who are traveling to the city center. The occasional extension to Kingsgate would also be eliminated in favor of the terminal at Totem Lake. However, frequency on the route would increase on weekdays and weekends. Peak hours would see service intervals improved to every 30 minutes or better (as few as every eight minutes in some cases). Weekday nighttime service would range from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes, essentially a doubling of trips during those hours. Weekend service would improve from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes. Span of service on weekends would also be extended by one hour to midnight.
  • Route 545 would no longer serve stops in Capitol Hill, simplifying the route and speeding up service. However, new Route 544 would still serve the stops.
  • Finally, Route 930 would see span of service improve so that midday trips operate every 30 minutes from 6am to 7pm on weekdays.

Public comment on the proposal is open through November 13th.

The featured image is credited to Atomic Taco via Wikipedia Commons.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.