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

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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.

New Mercer Island Shuttle Starts Service- Metro Route 630

What a sweet ride!

Several morning commuters were treated to a sweet ride Monday on the nePhoto 6-10-15w Mercer Island shuttle service. At one stop of the new Route 630, elected officials welcomed riders with donuts. Mayor Bruce Bassett was at the United Methodist Church Park and Ride to greet the 40 morning riders and celebrate the launch of the new shuttle service. King County Councilmember Jane Hague and Mercer Island City Councilmembers Debbie Bertlin, Jane Brahm and Benson Wong were also on hand to welcome riders and observe the service in action.

The new peak-hour community shuttle provides flexible service in the Shorewood neighborhood and trips to First Hill and downtown Seattle. This shuttle was a community-based project developed through Metro’s recently expanded alternative services program (Link to news article) and is jointly funded by Metro and the cities of Mercer Island and Seattle. This new service was developed in response to some of the transit service reductions last year.

Hopelink employees were also on site to make sure the inaugural rides were a success and to identify any issues with the shuttle service. Hopelink is a Redmond-based non-profit contracted to operate the new service.

The new 19-passenger shuttles are “low-floor” vehicles, which speed boarding when using a lift. The vehicles can accommodate up to two wheelchairs and space for two bicycles.

Another new service called “TripPool” will be debuting for Mercer Island riders traveling to the park-and-ride. Through a free app, users can ask for a ride in a volunteer-driven community van and get picked up at home and dropped-off at the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride, where they can catch a ride on the new Route 630 or Metro routes 201, 204, and 216 and Sound Transit routes 550 and 554.

You heard our PSAs, and we heard from you – Metro removing three new public service announcements from buses

Boy did we hear from riders this weekend! We tried out three new on-board public service announcements to improve safety on Metro buses, but it sure didn’t turn out the way we hoped or expected. Based on quick and clear feedback from riders and transit operators, staff worked Sunday to take immediate steps to diligently remove the safety announcements. We’re working to make sure we remove them all, but a few stragglers might find their way into the Monday morning commute. We’ll take care of them all as quickly as possible. Our apologies for any aggravation, and thanks in advance for your patience.

The announcements, asking riders to “hold on” in English, Spanish and Mandarin, asking riders to “stand behind the yellow line” and that “illegal activities are recorded and reviewed” were driven by goals to improve the safety of our customers. We designed the announcements to be activated in rotation each time the bus door closed, or five minutes thereafter on longer trips. It is clear that this is too frequent based on customer and operator feedback, and there are challenges with finding the right volume level that can be heard clearly but isn’t too loud.

We’ll be reassessing and taking into consideration concerns about the volume, frequency and tone of the announcements before moving forward with any revised announcements, and be sure to share them with customers ahead of time.

Audio safety reminders are provided by other transit agencies across the country to meet similar goals. Our job is to try to meet our safety goals in a way that also works for our community and our riders.

We apologize for the irritation these announcements caused many riders this weekend and appreciate the feedback we received that led us to quickly act and make things right. Please share any further concerns you have with customer service at 206-553-3000 or customer.comments@kingcounty.gov, or via form online. We take customer feedback very seriously and want to provide you with the best transit experience possible.

Downtown Seattle tunnel stations closed May 30-31, June 6-7

CBDTunnelMap

Click to see PDF map of surface street bus stops when the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel is closed.

The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will be closed during the next two weekends (May 30-31 and June 6-7) and transit customers in the downtown area, and other areas served by affected routes, are advised to allow plenty of time for their transit trips on those days.

Bus service that normally operates in the transit tunnel on those two weekends will operate instead via surface streets and stops, and Link light rail will not travel north of Stadium Station, as Sound Transit completes work to prepare for the expansion of Link service in 2016.

During the weekend tunnel closures (May 30-31 and June 6-7):

  • All downtown tunnel stations will be closed.
    The Metro-operated Link Shuttle Route 97 will operate. All bus stops on the SODO Busway will be open, and bus service will operate via normal routes and stops in the SODO area.
  • Metro bus routes 41, 71, 72, 73 & 255 heading toward Northgate, the University District or Kirkland respectively, will travel through downtown Seattle via Fourth Avenue and Olive Way; heading south into downtown Seattle they will travel via Second Avenue.
  • Metro routes 101, 106 and 150 heading to their south end destinations, and Sound Transit Route 550 to Bellevue, will travel through downtown Seattle via Stewart Street and Second Avenue; heading north into town they will travel via Fourth Avenue.

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Burien, Mercer Island shuttles debut June 8 to connect key places in communities

New Burien shuttle freshly wrapped and ready for riders – keep an eye out. Service begins June 8.

New Burien shuttle freshly wrapped and ready for riders – keep an eye out. Service begins June 8.

Burien and Mercer Island residents are eager to welcome new transit service June 8, when Metro launches community shuttles to connect riders with popular destinations via direct service.

The shuttles will operate as two-year demonstrations as part of Metro’s Alternative Services program.

Burien shuttle
Burien residents will be able to board the new Route 631, restoring weekday service previously provided by Route 139. Route 631 will connect Gregory Heights and Seahurst to critical places like the city’s downtown area, Burien Transit Center and Highline Medical Center. It also will offer flexible service in the Gregory Heights neighborhood.

Route 631 is the outcome of community input and a partnership between the city of Burien and Metro. Hopelink will operate the shuttle under contract.

During an outreach period early in 2015, the city and Metro heard from area residents about their transportation needs and how improved services would affect their lives. Over 50 residents attended a community meeting and nearly 200 answered a survey. Residents favored a predictable, scheduled service to get to medical appointments, downtown services and the transit center.

“I’m going to sleep better tonight knowing I’ll have this transportation,” one resident said after a sneak peek of the new vehicle earlier this month. Several others shared that they were impressed with the size of the van and the ease of getting on and off. Route 631 adds a feature that former Route 139 lacked: a flexible area where riders can reserve a pick-up or drop off beyond the route.

Mercer Island shuttle
On Mercer Island, a new peak-hour community shuttle, Route 630, will provide flexible service in east Mercer Island and trips to First Hill and downtown Seattle. The service is jointly funded by Metro and the cities of Mercer Island and Seattle through the regional partnership program created by Seattle’s Proposition 1. Hopelink will operate the shuttle under contract.

Some commuter transit service was eliminated last year because of low ridership numbers. Metro worked with both Seattle and Mercer Island to expand commute options and reduce the number of drive-alone trips on already-clogged highways and city streets.

Another new service will be debuting for Mercer Island riders traveling to the park-and-ride called “TripPool.” Through a free app, users can ask for a ride in a volunteer-driven community van and get picked up at home and dropped-off at the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride, where the new Route 630 shuttle awaits, as well as existing service on Metro routes 201, 204, 216, 981, 989, and Sound Transit routes 550, 554.

About the new Burien Community Shuttle – Route 631

  • The shuttle will operate every 30 minutes Monday through Friday from about 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The route forms a one-way clockwise loop with marked stops from the Burien Transit Center to Highline Medical Center, along SW 160th Street and 21st Avenue SW and SW 152nd Street.
  • The new route will provide a midday complement to peak Route 123 between the Gregory Heights and Lake Burien areas and downtown Seattle.
  • From the Burien Transit Center, riders can connect to seven all-day routes and three peak-period express routes to destinations such as downtown Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport, Highline College, Southcenter, Renton and downtown Bellevue.
  • ADA-eligible riders can also use Access and riders 55+ or disabled can use Hyde Shuttle.
  • Riders in the Gregory Heights neighborhood will additionally be able to take advantage of both scheduled marked stops as well as a new flexible service allowing them to call ahead to request a pick-up or drop-off.
  • Standard peak and off-peak fares will be charged, accepted in cash or ORCA card.
  • The shuttle will use a new 19-seat, “low-floor” vehicle, which speeds boarding when using a lift. The vehicles can accommodate up to two wheelchairs and space for two bicycles.

About the new Mercer Island Community Shuttle Metro – Route 630

  • The Route 630 will operate five morning and afternoon trips between Mercer Island and downtown Seattle Monday through Friday.
  • 30-minute service will be offered weekdays between 6:15 to 8:15 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.
  • The shuttle will use a new 19-seat, “low-floor” vehicle, which speeds boarding when using a lift. The vehicles can accommodate up to two wheelchairs and space for two bicycles.
  • Riders will be able to plan their trip using Metro’s online Trip Planner and track location status in real time.
  • In addition to scheduled service, flexible service will be offered in the Shorewood neighborhood. Riders can call ahead for a ride off the route.
  • Standard peak and off-peak fares will be charged, accepted in cash or ORCA card.

Explore Metro’s neighborhood pages to learn more about other transit services in and around Mercer Island.

Frequent, reliable bus service proposed to connect to Link light rail next year

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.

King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit and the City of Seattle are proposing a better bus network in northeast Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District, with more frequent and reliable service as the agencies prepare for the 2016 extension of Link light rail service to the University of Washington.

Proposed changes were released today — see our joint Metro and Sound Transit news release, or our website with details. The proposal comes after several months of public outreach and input from thousands of riders who helped shape the region’s future transit service to better serve the University District and Capitol Hill areas. The proposal is informed by prior outreach on service alternatives and work with a community sounding board and partner institutions the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s hospital.

Making the future bus and rail system work together to better serve riders is a central element of King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine’s transit integration initiative.

In 2016, University Link will offer an 8-minute trip between UW and downtown Seattle, no matter what time of day. Under the bus restructure proposal, there will be 9 percent more bus trips than today to both of the new Link stations, totaling about 860 bus trips to UW Station and 570 bus trips to Capitol Hill Station each weekday.

Proposed bus routing and schedule changes will affect 32 Metro bus routes and three Sound Transit routes. Affected routes include: 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 25, 26, 28, 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 and Sound Transit routes ST 540, ST 542, ST 545.

» Read the full news release (King County Executive, May 12, 2015)

Link Connections – how public feedback shaped our proposal

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.

We heard from nearly 8,000 people in March about two alternatives for how bus service might integrate with Link light rail after it begins operating to Capitol Hill and UW at Husky Stadium in early 2016. View a full summary of what we heard. Thank you to those who took the time to share their input. Watch a video that captures our public meeting process last March.

Based on this feedback, we have created a final proposal. Below are topics we heard during our previous community engagement phase and how the new proposal took each into consideration.

WHAT WE HEARD PEOPLE WANT – IN GENERAL

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

Reliable Service

Our proposal:

  • Replaces complicated and unreliable all-day bus service between northeast Seattle and downtown Seattle with frequent connections to Link light rail at UW Station
  • Provides frequent connections to Link light rail at Capitol Hill station
  • Splits Route 8 into two routes (8 and 38).  Each route would be operated independently (no through-routing)
  • Splits Route 48 into two routes (45 and 48).  Each route would be operated independently (no through-routing)
  • Operates Route 67 independently (no through routing)
  • Routes 31 and 32 would be through-routed with a single route (75) instead of two routes (65 and 75)

Better east-west connections

Our proposal provides:

  • A new connection between Sand Point, View Ridge, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Wallingford and Fremont (revised Route 16)
  • Continuous service on Madison Street between Madison Park and downtown Seattle (revised Route 11)
  • Improved frequency on Routes 8, 10, 11, 12, 44, 65 and 75

WHAT WE HEARD PEOPLE WANT – ON CAPITOL HILL

Convenient all-day connections to Capitol Hill Station17002269175_768335c373_z

In our proposal:

  • Routes 8 and 12 would provide frequent east-west service on John/Thomas/Olive
  • Routes 9, 49 and the First Hill Streetcar would provide frequent north-south service on Broadway

Direct connection between Madison Park, Madison Valley and Downtown Seattle

In Alternative 1, the combination of three routes serving the Madison corridor (8, 38 and 49) was confusing

In our proposal:

  • The revised Route 11 would provide continuous service on Madison Street between Madison Park and Downtown Seattle
  • The revised Route 11 would be the only route operating in the Madison corridor

Frequent service in the Pike/Pine corridor

In our proposal:

  • Routes 10, 12, 47 and 49 would all serve the Pike/Pine corridor and would provide service every 10 minutes or better

Connection between the top of Capitol Hill and the University District

Connection to downtown Seattle from the northeast quadrant of Capitol Hill

Service on 19th Avenue E

Our proposal provides:

  • Improved frequency on Routes 8 and 48
  • Frequent connection to Capitol Hill Station on Routes 8 and 12
  • Improved frequency on Routes 8, 11 and 48
  • A revised Route 12 that would serve 19th Avenue E between E Galer Street and E Thomas Street, then travel down E John Street past the Link light rail station, to the Pike/Pine corridor into downtown Seattle’s Central Business District

WHAT WE HEARD PEOPLE WANT – IN NORTH SEATTLE

Convenient all-day connections to UW station

  • 16379875784_d8224b0f42_mThe proposed network provides service every 8 minutes or better between the heart of the U District and UW Station on five all-day routes (44, 45, 48, 67 and 271)
  • Routes 65 and 941 would serve stops on Montlake Boulevard NE adjacent to UW Station
  • Routes 44, 45, 48, 65, 67 and 271 would serve stops on NE Pacific Street
  • Routes 31, 32, 65, 73, 75 and 372X would serve stops on NE Pacific Street
  • Metro is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation and other partners to establish bus stop locations near the new light rail stations that will allow connections to be made as conveniently as possible.
  • Routes 44, 45 and 67 will terminate near UW Station, which will help outbound trips depart on time and connections between bus and rail occur more reliably.

Connection between Wedgwood, Laurelhurst and UW Station

  • In the proposed network Routes 65 and DART 941 would serve stops on Montlake Boulevard NE adjacent to UW Station

All-day service on the Roosevelt/11th couplet in the U District

  • In the proposed network Revised Route 73 would operate on the couplet between NE 65th Street and NE Campus Parkway

All-day service on 15th Avenue NE in Pinehurst and Maple Leaf

  • In the proposed network the revised Route 73 would serve 15th Avenue E Between NE 145th and NE 65th streets; it would operate on the Roosevelt/11th couplet between NE 65th Street and NE Campus Parkway

Connection to the north end of the U District from Eastlake corridor

  • No changes are proposed for Route 70 in the proposed network

WHAT WE HEARD PEOPLE WANT – ON THE EASTSIDE

16382175183_e68c7ab23e_zAll-day service between Kirkland and Downtown Seattle

  • No changes are proposed for Route 255 in the proposed network

Direct peak period service from the I-405 corridor to downtown Seattle

  • No changes are proposed for Routes 252, 257 and 311 in the proposed network

Half-hourly service between Issaquah and Eastgate

  • No changes are proposed for Route 271 in the proposed network

You can check out the full details of the proposal on our project website, then tell us what you think. Complete an online survey or come to an outreach event. We’ll be accepting public comments through May 31.