Link Connections – King County Council public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 6 – UPDATED

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit are working with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.

The King County Council is considering recommended bus service changes (detailed here) that would begin after Link light rail reaches Capitol Hill and the University District in the first quarter of 2016.

UPDATE 10/1/15: Metro presented an overview of the recommended changes to the Transportation, Economy, and Environment (TrEE) Committee earlier this week. Here are some new ways to learn about what’s being proposed:

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed new Metro bus connections to get people to fast, frequent Link trains from North Seattle, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area. The proposal would also provide more frequent bus service on major corridors in those areas, and more east-west service between places like Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake and Sand Point. Read the Executive’s news release

The County Council is accepting public comment on these proposed changes now. There are several ways you can tell the Council what you think.

Attend the public hearing
Tuesday, Oct. 6
6:30 p.m. Open house
7:00 p.m. Public testimony
Mountaineers Club
7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle
Served by Metro routes 30, 74, and 75
Use Metro’s Trip Planner to plan your travel

Attend a meeting of the Transportation, Environment and Economy Committee
Provide public testimony at the beginning of either of the following committee meetings where this item will be discussed:

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
King County Courthouse, 10th Floor
516 Third Avenue, Seattle

Submit your comments online

Visit the King County Council’s website for details about the Council’s decision making process.

Six peak bus routes relocated from downtown Seattle transit tunnel

With more peak hour trains – coming every six minutes – a handful of Metro peak bus routes have relocated from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and are now serving surface street stops in Seattle. The change affects routes 76, 77, 216, 218, 219 and 316, effective Sept. 28, 2015.SnipOfNewPaths_tunnelroutes

Having more frequent train service in the tunnel is part of Sound Transit’s efforts to extend Link light rail service to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in 2016. To make room for more trains during peak commute times meant removing about 100 daily bus trips from the tunnel out of a total of about 1,200.

We are hoping for help from riders to keep the tunnel moving smoothly for trains and buses – easy things like having your fare ready and keeping pathways clear. Also, bus divers that are third in line at a platform will direct customers to board when the bus reaches either the first or second position, a move intended to help maintain or speed up the flow of tunnel service.Keep-Boarding-Areas-Clear Have-Fare-Ready Dont-Delay-Bus Know-Your-Schedule Use-Rear-Door-To-Exit

We appreciate riders’ patience as these changes take place and as Metro and Sound Transit undertake expansion and improvements to our transit network!

Route 628 schedule change to offer later weekday morning trip beginning Sept. 28

King County Metro Transit riders looking for a later morning ride will be able to take advantage of a new 8:25 a.m. weekday trip on Route 628 from the North Bend Premium Outlet mall to Issaquah Highlands beginning September 28. The underused 4:54 a.m. trip from North Bend has been eliminated to make the new later trip possible. The change was made in response to customer feedback.

Route 628 operates 24 daily trips between North Bend and Issaquah Highlands Park-and-Ride on weekdays during morning and evening peak commute periods, making stops in the City of Snoqualmie. Route 628 was created earlier this year as part of Metro’s Alternative Services Program.

Route 628 is made possible through a partnership between King County Metro and the City of Snoqualmie. The Cities of North Bend and Issaquah are also key stakeholders in making this service possible. Route 628 is operated by Hopelink, a local non-profit organization.

Learn more about service improvements coming as part of Metro’s September service change by visiting our website.

Transit Alert – Regional traffic, transit delays expected this week

Major traffic snarls are possible this week and transit riders and all commuters should expect and be prepared for significant delays, rerouted buses and some detours in the Seattle area and greater Puget Sound region.

Key events include a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday-Thursday, which will require street closures in the area of the Westin Hotel. There also is a Wednesday evening’s Sounders match at CenturyLink Field expected to affect commute-time traffic.

Buses on 22 routes that travel on Stewart and Virginia streets will be rerouted all day Tuesday, Wednesday, and early Thursday: routes 25, 64, 66, 70, 71, 72, 73, 83, 106, 150, 177, 178, 190, 192, 252, 257, 268, 304, 308, 311, 355 and Sound Transit 545. NOTE: Routes will be affected only at times they are scheduled to travel Stewart and Virginia streets.

Additionally, intermittent brief street closures and traffic slowdowns will affect travel time on area arterials and freeways.  Transit service may not be able to operate on schedule during these closures, and estimated departure times may not report accurately in some transit apps.

All transit riders and commuters are advised to check media reports and the websites of local jurisdictions and transit agencies; be aware of road and street conditions in the areas where they travel; consider other routes or modes of travel; consider alternate work options; allow plenty of extra time, and be patient.

Visit the Metro Service Advisories page for specific reroute information for Metro service. Transit reroutes, as well as their start and end times, may be subject to change.

Visit Metro’s Online Regional Trip Planner to find out how to get to and from events and locations.

Link Connections – Executive proposes more buses to link more riders in North and Central Seattle to light rail

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit are working with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.

With Link light rail service reaching Capitol Hill and the University District in the first quarter of next year, King County Executive Dow Constantine today proposed new Metro bus connections from North Seattle, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area to the new, faster trains, along with more frequent service on major corridors and more east-west connections between places like Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake and Sand Point. See the Executive’s news release, or our Link Connections website with details.

The closely-knit transit network is a result of the Executive’s direction to more fully integrate Metro and Sound Transit to create greater operating efficiencies and expand service. An estimated 80,000 daily bus riders will see more buses per hour on designated corridors, with better local service connecting neighborhoods with the new light rail stations at the University and at Capitol Hill.

The proposal sent today to the Metropolitan King County Council was drafted over the past nine months with the help of bus riders and a 21-member sounding board, who asked for better, faster service while maintaining connections they have today to destinations most important to them. As a result, changes are proposed for 33 Metro routes serving North and Central Seattle, including investments funded last year by voters in Seattle. View our public engagement report for a full summary of what we heard.

Link photo 2

Sounding Board members consider Metro proposals, offer rider perspectives at an August meeting in the U District.

Sounding board members and riders advocated for making transfers work easily for riders. To accomplish that, King County Metro, Sound Transit, the City of Seattle and the University of Washington are working together to make it as easy and convenient for riders to use the proposed improved and more frequent grid network of bus service. Riders will experience transfers that are as convenient as possible between frequent buses and light rail trains. Also, stops will be relocated at key transfer points, and transit agencies and the city are coordinating better wayfinding, signage and passenger information, and shelters and lighting at stops.

Metro Transit proposed route changes

Proposed changes are posted online, describing each route in the improved, frequent corridor network, boosts to commuter service and better connections between neighborhoods and Link light rail. Riders will see recommended network maps, summaries of changes by area and information by route.

  • Proposed changes are shown for routes 8, 10, 11, 16, 25, 26 (local and express), 28 (local and express), 30, 31, 32, 43, 44, 48, 49, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 238, 242, 316, 372 and 373.

Frequent, all-day service

  • The proposed network provides improved frequency on 14 routes: 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 44, 48, 49, 65, 67, 70, 73, 75 and 372X

Other proposed transit improvements

  • Extension of the RapidRide C and D Lines: Funding from Prop. 1 is proposed to separate RapidRide C & D lines. C Line will instead extend to South Lake Union, and D line will extend to Pioneer Square.
  • Route 200 would be modified to respond to community feedback and better serve Issaquah riders by connecting to Swedish Medical Center Issaquah and deleting a low-ridership loop near Issaquah High School.
  • Implementation of the first phase of the Southeast King County Alternative Services project, including frequency improvements for DART Route 915.
  • More peak service is proposed on Interstate 5 in the south corridor, implementing a Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Mobility Grant on routes 179 and 190. Adding two morning and two afternoon peak trips to both routes 179 and 190 will allow Metro to serve more riders, relieve crowding on existing service and reduce single-occupancy vehicle traffic.

The King County Council will deliberate the proposals over the coming weeks.

» Read the full news release (King County Executive, Aug. 25, 2015)

Come to a Third Ave. Neighborhood Session, share the transit and pedestrian improvements you think matter most

Last fall, we collected public input to help us create a list of potential improvements to Third Avenue in downtown Seattle. Next week, we invite you to meet us on the street to hear about design updates and share your thoughts:

Metro Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation want to get your thoughts on what improPicture1vements are most important as they work to enhance the Third Avenue corridor for transit users, pedestrians, business and visitors. During August 31-September 3, they will host three Neighborhood Sessions along Third Avenue to hear from you. The goal of the project is to make the corridor an inviting, accommodating, safe and attractive place where people want to be.

You’ll be able to talk with the project team and learn how community input collected last fall has been incorporated into the design, what the team sees as the critical improvements to make, and share your priorities for improving Third Avenue for pedestrians, transit users, visitors, business, and downtown residents alike.

The sessions will take place outside on the sidewalk (rain or shine) along Third Avenue on the following dates:

Monday, August 31

3:00 – 6:00 PM
Between Battery and Bell Streets

Business District
Wednesday, September 2

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Between Pike and Union Streets

Pioneer Square
Thursday, Septe
mber 3
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Between Yesler Way and S Washington Street

Third Avenue is downtown Seattle’s most heavily used transit corridor. More than 2,500 buses travel the corridor every weekday, serving an estimated 42,000 riders each day. Thousands of visitors, workers, shoppers and area residents also use Third Avenue daily.

The project will complement the many other improvements currently underway in the downtown area.

For more information about the project visit the project webpage.

Rally at Westlake Park celebrates 25 years of Americans with Disabilities Act


Braille and raised text identify Metro coaches for riders.

On Wednesday, July 22, our community is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a rally 4-6 p.m. at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle underscoring the positive changes created by the ADA. Transit service will take people to and from the event and we extend the invitation to riders to mark the occasion and join in the celebration.MetroHistoryDisability_19 MetroHistoryDisability_20 MetroHistoryDisability_5

People living with disabilities or who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices ride Metro each and every day, enjoying the freedom the transit system supports. Decades ago, before ADA, Metro pioneered the use of specialized lifts to support riders who use wheelchairs, opening up a world of transit access previously unavailable.

Systems to make riding better for those with disabilities continue to evolve. We make stop announcements for the sight impaired, and ensure that our website and online timetables work with screen readers. Recently, Metro’s Transit Advisory Commission – which represents concerns of all riders, including those living with disabilities – asked Metro to install tactile coach numbers on the inside of our buses. We’re installing these on our fleet – both braille and raised numbers – and by taking this step, we further assist riders who are blind and support their independence.

These measures demonstrate Metro’s continuing commitment to making transit accessible for everyone. The 25th anniversary is an opportunity for us to mark the success we’ve achieved and recommit ourselves to continuing improvements that better serve riders with disabilities.