2021 Fall Transit Service Changes Are Coming to Puget Sound Agencies

1
A photo of a King County Metro bus pulling into a bus station on a tree-lined street.
Fall service changes are coming to transit agencies in the Seattle metro area. (Credit: King County Metro Transit)

The fall service changes are coming to transit agencies across Puget Sound. They won’t all happen at the same but there are some very significant changes that are coming with the addition of extended light rail service in North Seattle and bus network changes that will be oriented that new service. Pierce Transit (and partly Sound Transit) and Intercity Transit will kick off the service changes on September 19th followed by King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit on October 2nd, then Metro’s King County Water Taxi service on October 16th, and then Everett Transit on October 24th.

Sound Transit

Sound Transit is implementing two rounds of service changes to coincide with Pierce Transit’s revisions and the start of light rail service to Northgate. The latter is the most significant set of changes, but both will make life better for riders.

Beginning on September 19th, the following changes go into effect:

RoutesChanges
S Line (South Sounder)Two trips will be restored with Train 1507 running from Seattle to Tacoma at 2:35pm and Train 1520 running from Tacoma to Seattle at 4:06pm on weekdays.
560, 577, 590, 592, 594, 595Schedule times will be adjusted due to traffic levels.
566The route will be revised in Renton to avoid traffic.
578One additional southbound trip will be added at 10:43pm and schedule times will be adjusted due to traffic levels.
580One additional trip will be added to serve Train 1507 at Puyallup Station.
596One additional trip will be added to serve Train 1507 at Sumner Station.

Beginning on October 2nd, the following changes go into effect:

RoutesChanges
1 Line (Central Link)Service will be extended to Northgate with new stops at U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate Stations.
510This route will serve Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station.
511The southern terminal of this route will be moved to Northgate Station. Additionally, this route the stop at Ash Way Park & Ride will be moved to Bay 2 from Bay 1.
512The southern terminal of this route will be moved to Northgate Station and this route will no longer serve the NE 145th Street freeway stop. Additionally, the stop at Ash Way Park & Ride will be moved to Bay 2 from Bay 1 and, on Sunday nights, the final two northbound trips will run from Downtown Seattle with stops at NE 45th Street and Northgate Station.
513The southern terminal of this route will be moved to Northgate Station with increased frequencies. Additionally, this route will serve Bay 1 at Ash Way Park & Ride and Bay D3 at Lynnwood Transit Center.
522The southern terminal of this route will be moved to Roosevelt Station with increased weekend frequencies.
532The stop at Ash Way Park & Ride will be moved to Bay 2 from Bay 1 and the schedule will be adjusted.
535Nineteen trips will be added allowing for 30-minute frequencies.
542The western terminal of this route will be moved to U District Station.
550A courtesy stop on South Bellevue Way will be delete and the route will serve the bus loop at South Bellevue Park-and-Ride.
556Service on this route will be restored after having been suspend during the pandemic. The western terminal of this route will be moved to U District Station with frequency every 30 minutes during peak hours.

King County Metro

Metro will feature the largest set of service changes, which will impact 116 routes, starting on October 2nd. The bus restructure around light rail in the north end is a big reason for so many changes, but the agency is also planning to restore service that had been reduced during the pandemic. Service levels will reach 90% of what they were prior to the pandemic. However, some service will be reduced due to cuts from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District.

Going into the service change, Metro will maintain suspension of 18 routes, including Routes 19, 37, 47, 116, 118X, 119X, 122, 123, 143, 154, 157, 178, 179, 197, 200, 219, 252, and 931. The full suite of service changes shake out as follows:

RoutesChanges
9, 15X, 17X, 18X, 22, 29, 113, 114, 121, 167, 177, 190, 214, 216, 217, 232, 237, 246, 249, 268, 342, 630, 891, 892, 893, 894, 895, 981, 982, 984, 986, 987, 988, 989, 992, and 994These routes will be fully restored.
2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 24, 28X, 33, 56, 57, 106, 107, and 125 as well as the RapidRide D LineOn these routes, several trips will be eliminated due to cut funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District.
5X, 26X, 41, 63, 71, 74, 76, 77, 78, 308, 309, 312, 316, 355, and 373These routes will be deleted as part of the Northgate bus restructure.
16XThis will be a new weekday peak-hour route that runs from Broadview to Downtown Seattle via Greenwood.
20This will be a new route from Northgate to U District Stations via Green Lake and Wallingford.
31 and 32These routes will be revised in the University District and will run via NE 45th Street instead of through the University of Washington campus.
40This route will serve Bays 1 and 4 at Northgate Station.
44This route will be revised to serve U District Station.
45This route will be revised to connect with Route 75 at Children’s Hospital and run through the University of Washington campus.
48A small revision will better serve University Heights Center, but several trips will be eliminated due to cut funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District.
49 and 70This route will be revised to serve U District Station and no longer make stops north NE 45th Street.
60 and 120In response to the West Seattle Bridge closure, several trips will be added to address demand.
64XThis route will be revised to serve Roosevelt Station and run through South Lake Union; it will not longer terminate in First Hill and run north NE 130th Street.
67This route will serve Bay 1 at Northgate Station.
73This route will be revised to serve Roosevelt Station and receive other corridor adjustments.
75This route will be revised to serve Northgate and U District Stations and connect to Route 45. At Northgate Station, the route will serve Bays 1 and 4.
79This will be a new route from the University to Roosevelt Station via Ravenna, Bryant, Sand Point, and View Ridge.
131 and 132Some trips will be through-routed with Route 28X. Trips that are not will have a northern terminal at 3rd Avenue and Bell Street.
177This route will be partially restored. It will no longer serve stops on 23rd Avenue S at S 319th Place. Additionally, the route will use Bays 2 and 7 at Federal Way Transit Center.
241, 249At South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, the route will serve Bay 2 on the bus loop.
255Service will be restored to pre-pandemic levels and extended to NE Campus Parkway to serve additional stops.
301This route will be revised to provide service from Aurora Village Transit Center to Northgate Station via Shoreline Park-and-Ride during weekday peak hours. The route will no longer serve Downtown Seattle. At Aurora Village Transit Center, the route will serve Bay 2 and at Northgate Station it will serve Bays 3 and 4.
302This new route will run from Richmond Beach to First Hill via Aurora Village and Northgate during weekday peak hours.
303This route will be revised to provide service from Aurora Village to First Hill via Northgate Station during weekday peak hours. The route will no longer serve Shoreline Park-and-Ride. At Northgate Station, the route will serve Bay 3.
304This route will be revised to provide service from Shoreline Park-and-Ride to Northgate Station during weekday peak hours. The route will not longer serve Richmond Beach, Downtown Seattle, and some other former segments. At Northgate Station, the route will Bays 3 and 4.
320This new route will run from Kenmore to South Lake Union via Lake Forest Park, Lake City, and Northgate during weekday peak hours.
322This new route will run from Kenmore to First Hill via Lake Forest Park, Lake City, and Roosevelt during weekday peak hours.
345 and 346These routes will serve Bays 1 and 4 at Northgate Station.
347 and 348These routes will serve Bays 1 and 4 at Northgate Station and receive minor route adjustments.
372This route will be revised to serve U District Station and no longer make stops Campus Parkway NE.
980 and 995These routes are being deleted at the request of Lakeside School.
RapidRide C LineOn weekends, several trips will be eliminated due to cut funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District. However, several trips will be added to address demand on weekdays in response to the West Seattle Bridge closure.
RapidRide E LineSeveral trips will be eliminated due to cut funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District and some late-night northbound trips will be extended to Stadium Station.

In support of the Northgate Link extension opening, Metro will be trialing “spider maps” that detail buses departing from each of the four North Seattle light rail stations.

Additionally, Metro will implement a service change for the King County Water Taxi West Seattle service on October 16th. An agreement with the City of Seattle and Metro will essentially continue the summer sailing service levels by providing service seven days a week but from 6:00am to 7:00pm, which is a somewhat adjusted span of service. Ferries will run every 35 minutes during weekday peak hours and every hour during weekday middays and evenings and on weekends. This service agreement is meant to address the mobility challenges that the West Seattle peninsula faces with closure of the West Seattle High Bridge. No changes are planned for the Vashon ferry route.

Community Transit

Along with Metro and Sound Transit, Community Transit will be implementing service changes beginning on October 2nd to coincide and support the Northgate Link extension opening. Bus routes will be specifically rerouted to directly serve the station and accommodate transfers. Other service improvements will be delivered to add trips across the network.

RoutesChanges
105One additional trip will be added southbound in the morning and three additional trips will be added northbound in the afternoon/evening.
112One additional trip will be added southbound in the afternoon and two additional trips will be added northbound in the afternoon.
113One additional trip will be added southbound in the morning and one additional trip will be added northbound in the midday.
119Two additional trips will be added southbound in the evening, two additional trips will be added northbound in the morning, and one additional trip will be added northbound in the morning.
120One additional trip will be added westbound in the morning and one additional trip will be added eastbound in the afternoon.
130One additional trip will be added westbound in the afternoon and two additional trips will be added eastbound in the afternoon.
209In the southbound direction, the route will be revised through Quil Ceda Village to serve additional stops.
222Frequencies will be increased to every 50 minutes up from hourly on weekdays. Additionally, in the westbound direction, the route will be revised Quil Ceda Village.
413 and 415These routes will serve Bay 2 instead of Bay 1 at Ash Way Park & Ride.
810This route will no longer serve Lynnwood Transit Center. Additionally, the southern terminal of this route will be moved to Northgate Station.
821Trips deleted from Route 855 will be added to Route 821. Additionally, the southern terminal of this route will be moved to Northgate Station.
855This route will be deleted.
860, 871, and 880The southern terminal of these routes will be moved to Northgate Station.

To summarize the revised commuter bus network with light rail, Community Transit has put together a handy diagram highlighting how they’ll all work a complete piece.

A schematic of Snohomish County-oriented commuter and express bus service by Community Transit and Sound Transit. (Community Transit)
A schematic of Snohomish County-oriented commuter and express bus service by Community Transit and Sound Transit. (Community Transit)

Frequency on Community Transit’s 800 series routes will generally be every 15 minutes during weekday afternoons and evenings, which will allow for fast trips to Snohomish County from Seattle.

Pierce Transit

On September 19th, Pierce Transit will implement small adjustments to service with no new net service. However, the agency will be going entirely digital for schedules with few exceptions. The agency has cited the pandemic as a key reason for the change.

“The Routes & Schedules book has become a dated resource; it can lead to bus riders referencing obsolete bus schedules, since schedules may change throughout the year. This has been especially evident during the pandemic, when we were forced to change schedules multiple times in response to COVID-19 related effects,” the agency posted on its service change page. “This transition will significantly reduce the agency’s use of paper, and eliminate time spent developing and distributing books that become less accurate over the year. Customers preferring to use paper schedules may print their own from this website — just choose your route, and click ‘Download Route PDF.’ Or, request free printed schedules from our Customer Service department.”

The service changes going into this month are as follows:

RoutesChanges
2 and 57On all days of the we, some trip times will be adjusted.
3, 10, 11, 16, 41, 54, 55, 206, 402, and 501On weekdays, some trip times will be adjusted.

Intercity Transit

On September 19th, Intercity Transit will restore some weekday and weekend service. The agency says that weekday service levels will reach 76% of pre-pandemic levels while weekend service will be back to 95% of pre-pandemic levels. Generally speaking, the agency will start service earlier on routes with most beginning at or before 6:00am.

RoutesChanges
The OneThis route will return as a weekday commuter service and operate during peak-hour periods. Frequency will be every 15 minutes from 7:15am to 9:30am and 1:30pm to 6:20pm.
13Service on this route will improve from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes.
60This route will be adjusted to serve Martin Way between Ensign Road and Lilly Road.

Everett Transit

On October 24th, Everett Transit will roll out service improvements, which will restore some bus service that had been cut during the pandemic. The changes are as follows:

Routes Changes
2Sunday service will be added along with earlier weekday trips in both directions. Service will run from 6:00am to 7:11pm on weekdays, 9:45am to 5:45pm on Saturdays, and 9:45am to 5:41pm on Sundays.
4Weekday service will be improved from hourly to every 45 minutes and with earlier service. The route will be revised to serve the Riverside Business Park and taken off of Harrison Avenue, and 23rd Street, and a segment of Everett Avenue. Service will run from 6:00am to 5:50pm on weekdays, 8:30am to 6:10pm on Saturdays, and 9:30am to 6:10pm on Sundays.
6Service will be restored to all days of the week with 40-minute frequencies. The route will be revised to terminate at the Port of Everett. Service will run from 6:20am to 6:10pm on weekdays and 9:00am to 5:30pm on weekends.
7Service will be restored to 15-minute frequencies from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Service will run from 5:00am to 11:0pm on weekdays, 7:00am to 10:00pm on Saturdays, and 7:00am to 9:45am on Sundays.
29Service will be improved from every 45 minutes to every 30 minutes on weekdays and from every hour to every 45 minutes on weekends. Later trips will also be added on weekdays in both directions. Service will run from 5:30am to 11:00pm on weekdays and 8:00am to 9:00pm on weekends.

We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that depends on donations from readers like you.

Stephen is an urban planner 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. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian

I assume it is the western, not eastern, terminals of 542 and 556 that are moving to U District Station. Those would be rather short ST routes otherwise 😛