Revised proposal designed to increase service and coverage to Georgetown

Thanks to our partnership with the City of Seattle, the revised proposal gives residents:

  • Increased overall bus service to Georgetown
  • Trips every 15 minutes on Route 124,
  • New connections and service to Beacon Hill, and maintained connections to Rainier Beach and Renton via an extended Route 107 that will serve Georgetown
  • More service to/from Tukwila
  • More service to Cleveland High School, Aviation High School, Boeing Field, and the Museum of Flight,
  • Metro’s commitment to work with the Georgetown community and City of Seattle to improve the schedule reliability of the route 124 and to consider additional stops for the Route 107

SESeattleSnipMetro’s proposal to change routes 9 express, 38, 106, 107, and 124 is seeking to address a number of long-standing and unmet mobility needs south of downtown. For a number of years we’ve spent time listening to the concerns of communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities accessing opportunities – culturally and language-appropriate social services, healthcare, cultural events, family gatherings, religious and businesses – along the Martin Luther King Jr. Way (MLK) corridor. They have shared concerns about the loss of historic community connections between the International District and Renton, seeking more convenient access for riders coming from around the county to access opportunities along MLK Way.

Click here for map: (PDF 2MB) SESea_Basemap_withinset

This proposal also raises service levels, with bus service every 15 minutes most of the time, to what the communities between Renton and downtown Seattle and Tukwila to downtown Seattle need, based on population, employment and demographic analyses using Metro’s Service Guidelines. At the same time, this proposal also seeks to address the needs Georgetown residents have told us are important to them while we have sought to hear from and engage communities that would be affected by the change.

We would like to ensure riders have current, accurate information about how we have revised the proposal, based largely in response to what we heard from Georgetown residents and businesses who have a stake in how King County Metro serves the transit community. Our latest proposal is possible thanks to the City of Seattle’s financial commitment to support additional service on Route 124 using their Prop 1 regional transit partnership fund as well as our commitment to continued work with the Georgetown community on key issues raised about what’s going well or poorly with the Metro routes currently serving the community. Details about the current, revised proposal can now be found on our project website at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/seseattle2015.

The service improvement proposed for Route 124 and also the extension of Route 107 into Georgetown are both intended to provide replacement service for the community, in response to the proposed change to the Route 106, which would be revised to operate between Renton and the Chinatown/International District through the Rainier Valley and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

Today, as the 106 and 124 are each operating between Georgetown and downtown Seattle, both routes are scheduled independently and they follow different pathways, with the 106 originating in Renton while the 124 is starting in Tukwila. When both routes are operating every 30 minutes, some trips passing through Georgetown are often closely spaced while at other times there are longer gaps, resulting in an uneven and irregular service frequency. With the proposed improved weekday and Saturday service, Route 124 will operate on an even schedule and common pathway, with trips arriving about every 15 minutes throughout the day. So even with a single route, this can provide a higher level of service in Georgetown than with two, uncoordinated 30-minute routes.

The improved service level on Route 124 could also provide a greater benefit to Georgetown as the 124 serves the entire community, both the residential neighborhood between South Bailey Street and East Marginal Way, as well as the town center and the business district along Airport Way South, while Route 106 just serves the north half of Georgetown. The added service frequency on Route 124 will not only benefit Georgetown but also doubles the service between Georgetown and Tukwila, including the East Marginal Way South corridor, with improved access to employment and education sites and connections with other service and Link at the Tukwila Station. This is the segment in which the large majority of riders coming to and through Georgetown use the route 124.

While service on Route 106 between Georgetown and downtown Seattle is a few minutes faster and slightly more reliable than the Route 124, we recognize this concern and intend to improve the reliability of the 124 in conjunction with the development of the new 15-minute weekday and Saturday schedule. This will involve an analysis by Metro schedulers to identify route segments by time of day where additional running time is needed along with adequate recovery time between trips. A primary goal will be to assure that the southbound Route 124 trips coming through downtown to Georgetown and Tukwila operate as close to on time as possible. Metro will also be working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to identify potential signal timing, routing or other improvements that can reduce the delay for transit.

To maintain the connection between Georgetown and Beacon Hill, Rainier Beach and Renton currently provided by Route 106, it is proposed that Route 107 be extended along South Albro Street to 13th Avenue South/South Bailey Street and back to Swift Avenue South on Beacon Hill. Route 107 would link these communities and also provide a single transfer point with routes 60 and 124. The Route 107 would operate every 15 minutes in the peak periods and every 30 minutes in the midday and evening. While the Albro loop routing is the current proposal, Metro is willing to examine other routing options with the community and SDOT that may extend the Route 107 further into Georgetown so as to provide additional coverage.

In total, the combined service improvements to the Route 124 and extension of Route 107 would result in a net increase of bus trips to and from Georgetown of 45 trips each weekday, a 23% increase, while maintaining connections provided by the current Route 106.

Spring service change provides additional ridership boost on Metro’s RapidRide C and D lines

It’s not your imagination – Metro’s RapidRide C and D lines are more popular than ever.

Just a month out from our largest service change ever, it’s clear the adjustments we’ve made to provide better service are paying off for thousands who ride our buses.

Even before the service change took effect, ridership on the two lines was climbing. The C Line connecting West Seattle to downtown Seattle showed an impressive 12 percent annual jump with the D Line serving downtown to Ballard up 9 percent from a year earlier.

But what a difference a month makes. Since extending the C Line to South Lake Union and the D Line to Pioneer Square on March 26, ridership has jumped again –26 percent and 21 percent respectively compared to the same period last year.

While it will take a bit longer to confirm formal ridership trends, so far we like what we see. We think these growth numbers show our riders are, in fact, experiencing better connections, service reliability and better alternatives to driving.

And of course, this data reinforces what we and our riders have known for quite a while – RapidRide remains popular across the board. Ridership has been on an upward swing since we introduced the A Line back in 2010.

rapidride-weekday-boardings-chart

And there’s more to come. We think RapidRide will continue to play a pivotal role in our future mix of transit services. Our long-range plan, Metro Connects, calls for 20 additional rapid transit lines. You can find out more about our long-range thinking by visiting www.kcmetrovision.org.

UPDATE: Revised Southeast Seattle bus service recommended to County Council

(Editor’s note: We also have a related April 29 post: ‘Revised proposal designed to increase service and coverage in Georgetown.’)

Metro is updating its recommended changes to bus service in Southeast Seattle after coming to agreement with the City of Seattle on cost sharing to improve Route 124 service to operate every 15 minutes. Metro is now working with the King County Council to amend the current service change ordinance. Details are described below and more information will be posted on Metro’s website in coming days.SESeattleSnip

The recommended changes are similar to a larger proposal shared for public comment last year – that included changes to routes 9X, 38, 106, 107 and 124 – but now with several improvements to address concerns we heard. Now, the recommended changes to Route 107 include a short route deviation into the Georgetown community to maintain this neighborhood’s connection to Skyway and Renton (also serving the same stops as routes 124 and 60, strengthening these connections for riders). See proposed changes here (PDF 2mb) SE Seattle recommended transit changes map

In addition, through a partnership with the City of Seattle, Route 124 will more thoroughly serve Georgetown by operating every 15 minutes throughout most of the day. Today, riders in Georgetown choose between the 106 and 124 – two infrequent routes operating on different streets into downtown with uncoordinated schedules. With this proposal, riders will be better served with consistent, evenly scheduled service to get into downtown on a consolidated single pathway.

Under this proposal, riders will receive the 15-minute all-day transit service that Metro’s service guidelines call for in these communities, Monday through Saturday: Route 106 from Renton through Skyway to Rainier Beach, and 124 from Tukwila to downtown Seattle.

Midday riders of Route 9X will continue to have frequent service options to get between the Rainier Valley and First Hill via service provided by Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar, or with a connection to Link light rail serving Capitol Hill.

It’s likely this set of changes will replace what the council is currently considering at the May 3 meeting of the council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee (TrEE) meeting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. If the King County Council adopts these changes, they would be implemented this September:

  • Revise Route 106 – would be changed to go through the Rainier Valley along MLK Jr. Way South, Rainier Avenue South, and South Jackson Street to the International District. Route 106 buses would come more often—every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays and Saturday, and every 30 minutes later at night. That’s the same as the current Route 38, which the 106 would replace.
  • Revise Route 107would be extended beyond Rainier Beach, through south Beacon Hill, into Georgetown, then to the Beacon Hill Link light rail station, to replace this segment of Route 106. Route 107 would come more often—every 15 minutes on weekdays during peak periods and every 30 minutes later at night. That’s the same as the Route 106, which the 107 would replace along South Beacon Hill.
  • Increase Route 124 – Route 124 would be improved to come every 15 minutes 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, every 30 minutes between 7:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and hourly during the remaining times it operates today seven days a week. This would provide a more reliable service between Georgetown and downtown while keeping a comparable level of service now provided between Georgetown and downtown Seattle by the combination of Routes 106 and 124.
  • Delete Route 38 – New Route 38 would be replaced by Route 106 in September 2016.
  • Reduce Route 9X – would operate during peak periods only. This reduction in service would help cover the cost of changes to routes 106, 107, and 124. During the day and in the evenings, riders of Route 9X could use Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar to go between Rainier Valley and First Hill. Link light rail also goes to Capitol Hill, stopping near Seattle Central College.

These changes are the outcome of a four year conversation with the Southeast Seattle community –culminating in a recent public process (November –January) on proposed changes to Routes 9X, 38, 106, 107 and 124.

Earlier this month, Metro forwarded a recommendation to King County Council that would have made changes to only routes 9X and 38. (Read the blog post.) That earlier proposal reflected what Metro could do with the resources available at the time to address consistent, persistent feedback from communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities in the MLK corridor. They shared concerns about the loss of historic community connections between the International District and Renton, seeking more convenient access for riders coming from around the county to access opportunities along MLK Way at times when they need it most.

While that initial proposal created impacts for only midday Route 9X riders, it still didn’t go far enough to meet the needs identified in our outreach and by Metro’s Service Guidelines. So Metro, elected officials, and the City of Seattle kept working to partner on an approach that would benefit more people while minimizing its negative impacts.

 

 

Help shape the future of transit in King County

I invitLRP Header imagee you to explore Metro Connects, our draft plan for giving you more and better transit service through 2040,and tell us what you think.

During an intensive year-long community outreach process, Metro listened to what you said.  You told us you want more frequent, reliable bus service and light rail. You also want well-designed connections, service that starts early and ends late, and corridor improvements to get buses through traffic faster. You want service you can count on, with more choices and innovative travel tools.

Here’s how you can learn more and weigh in:

  • Visit kcmetrovision.org to learn more and take the survey to tell us what you think.
  • View the calendar of open houses and attend to learn more and talk with Metro staff:
    • April 19, Ballard, 5:30–7:30 p.m. *
    • April 25, Auburn, 4–5:30 p.m.
    • April 26, West Seattle, 5:30–7:30 p.m. *
    • April 27, Redmond, 5:30–7:30 p.m. *
    • April 28, downtown Seattle, 11:30 a.m.–1: 30 p.m. *
    • April 28, Federal Way, 5:30–7:30 p.m. *
    • May 2, Sammamish, 6:30- 8 p.m.
      (more Open Houses to be added soon)

*Metro and Sound Transit co-located open houses. Presentation from Sound Transit and Metro, 6-6:30 p.m.

A new day for mobility in the region

The Metro and Sound Transit open houses about their future plans follow a transformational month for public transit in this region. Metro Transit is proud to have been part of it:

  • Sound Transit opened the long-awaited ULINK light rail extension to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium, and the initial ridership numbers are eye-popping.
  • At Metro we redeployed buses to bring riders to the new Capitol Hill and University Stations – tripling the number of households in Northeast Seattle close to 15-minute bus service, and doubling the number on Capitol Hill that now see buses come every 12 minutes.
  • Executive Constantine presented the Sound Transit Board with his proposal for more light rail for the next generation, and spoke to it in his State of the County address.

I congratulate and thank our riders and our staff at Metro for making the major bus redeployment in the ULINK service change as smooth as possible.

This revolution in transportation – integrating buses with light rail – is something we’ll see more of in the future, as Link light rail is built out to Northgate, Bellevue, and Federal Way under the voter-approved ST2.

You’ll hear more about this as Metro and Sound Transit hold five joint open houses, starting today. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about Metro’s draft long-range plan, known as “Metro Connects: More Service, More Choices, One System.”

We hope to see you at an open house or hear from you via our online survey.

-Rob Gannon
Interim General Manager, Metro Transit

 

 

With King County travel ban to North Carolina in effect, Metro calls upon conference organizers to relocate event

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently ordered that all employee travel to North Carolina be canceled due to detrimental changes in that state’s discrimination protection laws. Metro Transit Interim General Manager Rob Gannon sent the following letter to national transit conference organizers.

March 30, 2016

Dear Mr. Melaniphy:

On behalf of King County Metro Transit and King County Executive Dow Constantine, I urge you to take immediate steps to relocate the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference scheduled for this coming May in North Carolina.

Last week, North Carolina passed a non-discrimination law that excludes lesbian, gay, and transgender people from that law’s protections while simultaneously barring cities and counties from passing their own protections for LGBT people. It goes further to bar people in North Carolina from using bathrooms that do not match their birth gender.

Here in King County, named after the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and with our logo featuring his image, we embrace the values of inclusion and diversity.  We cannot allow the taxes and fees paid for by the communities we serve to be used to subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination.

To condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law, Executive Constantine has banned all travel by County executive branch staff to that state.  To that end, I am directing all sections of Metro to immediately cancel employee travel to the state of North Carolina, and to any other jurisdiction where similar laws are adopted.

This means that unless APTA takes action to move the Bus & Paratransit conference and the International Bus Roadeo scheduled to be held in Charlotte, NC, King County Metro will not participate in any of the meetings, seminars or competitions related to these events.

To further demonstrate our resolve and support of Executive Constantine’s leadership, we will identify all King County contracts with firms headquartered in North Carolina so that our concerns as a customer can be clearly communicated to those with whom we have business relationships, and to coordinate a review of alternatives to those relationships.

I call on APTA and all of its members to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to equity and social justice in the services we provide to our communities.  Join King County Metro and Executive Constantine in calling attention to these unconscionable laws and remembering the words of Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Rob Gannon
Interim General Manager
King County Metro Transit

 

Shuttles, reroutes for SR 520 celebrations April 2-3

UPDATE! Weekend reroutes for routes 27, 43, 44, 45, 48, 62, 65, 71, 73, 255 and 271, and ST routes 545 and 554 are posted in our Alerts Center. A transit alert is in the works was sent to route subscribers, and more updates are coming. Because event shuttles will be staged on Montlake Boulevard, buses that typically serve those locations will be rerouted. Transit customers who usually use those routes and who are transferring to or from Link light rail or heading to events shuttles will be temporarily directed to stops that are farther away, along Stevens Way, 15th Avenue NE or University Way NE. Riders are encouraged to allow additional travel time to travel several blocks to reach event shuttles and navigate expected traffic congestion in the Montlake area. Cross-lake SR 520 buses will be affected for the duration of the weekend closure.

Original post

The world’s longest floating bridge is having an epic ribbon cutting this weekend – and Metro is providing shuttles 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 2 for the state’s celebration – and rerouting some buses as a result.

More details about the reroutes are pending soon – including updates to this blog post – and will list temporary service revisions in the Montlake Triangle area near UW Station, where buses will be temporarily serving different stop locations.

SR520_0307__Shuttle_OverviewMetro shuttle buses will carry people to the floating bridge for the event from southbound Montlake Boulevard, Houghton Park-and-Ride, South Kirkland Park-and-Ride and the Bellevue Transit Center. Details are on the SR 520 celebration page which has a special Saturday event Getting There section. Other bus routes that typically cross SR 520 will travel Interstate 90 instead all weekend while the SR 520 bridge is closed.

As with all big events, it’s a good idea to start planning how you will get there. Metro will carry passengers from shuttle locations as quickly as we can, filling buses and looping back to carry more. Depending on how many people attend the event, there’s a chance that riders should prepare for possibly lengthy wait times to board shuttle buses. Think sunscreen and patience.

About bikes

No bikes will be allowed on the floating bridge during the Saturday event. WSDOT has arranged for centralized bike corrals in Seattle near the UW Station near Husky Stadium and on the Eastside atop the Evergreen Point Road lid, near the park and ride.

Metro proposal extends Route 38 to the International District

Route 9X would be reduced to peak hours only

King County Metro today proposed an extension of  Route 38 to the International District from Mount Baker Transit Center. The route would operate in both directions between the Mount Baker Transit Center and Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the International District on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. This extension would be funded by reducing Route 9X to operate during peak hours only.

The County Council will consider this and other changes to be made in September 2016.

SE-Seattle-1From last Nov. 23 through Jan. 10 of this year, Metro asked for public input on a proposal that would have changed routes 9X, 38, 106, 107, and 124. The proposal was shaped by Metro’s four years of work with community-based organizations whose mission is to provide access to opportunity. More recently we also heard from a community advisory group that met in 2015. More than 1,000 people shared their opinions about the changes—thank you!

We heard from people who took our online survey or called or wrote to us that they thought the proposed tradeoffs in service would be difficult for them. People told us they want more convenient transit access between downtown Seattle, MLK Way, and Renton, but don’t wish to see the route(s) they currently use reduced or changed.

On the other hand, outreach conducted by our trusted advocates found that a majority of people taking the bus to reach services along MLK Way said proposed revisions to routes 106 and 107 would make their travel easier. They would have less travel time, fewer transfers, and shorter distances to walk to reach these services, and they’d have new, valuable connections to communities and services between Renton and MLK Way.

>>Find background on this process on our project website.

Based on all that we heard, Metro recommends reducing Route 9X and extending Route 38 to the International District on weekdays only. The extension of Route 38 will provide more convenient access for riders coming from around the county to access opportunities along MLK Way at times when they need it most – answering consistent, persistent feedback from communities of color, low-income and non-English speaking communities in the MLK corridor about the loss of historic community connections between the International District.

This recommendation limits impacts of these changes to Route 9X riders only. Midday riders of Route 9X will continue to have frequent service options to get between the Rainier Valley and First Hill using Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar, or with a bus connection to Link light rail, which now serves Capitol Hill – consistent with how we consider equity and ridership in establishing service levels.

In addition, the limited stop pattern of recommended Route 38 between Mount Baker Transit Center and the International District is designed to replace Route 9 express service between Mount Baker and Little Saigon (12th Ave S/S Jackson St).

The Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment (TrEE) Committee is expected to introduce Ordinance #2016-0199, an ordinance approving September 2016 public transportation service changes for King County, at their meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 9:30 a.m.

Find details of Ordinance 2016-0199 by downloading the following:

>>Learn more and participate by visiting the TrEE Committee’s website.