Metro proposes changes to routes 8 (new Route 38), 9 Express, 106, 107, and 124

Have-a-Say-Spanish-500pwideWe’ve been working with community organizations in recent years to find out how Metro can help people get around better in Southeast Seattle. We’ve heard that people need better connections between Southeast Seattle and Renton and other areas south of the city. People also want more convenient bus service to stores, services and other activities along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South (MLK). If these changes are approved by the King County Council in coming months, they could start as soon as September 2016.

We want to know what you think of these proposed changes:

  • Revise Route 106 – to go MLK Jr. Way South, Rainier Avenue South, and South Jackson Street to the International District. Route 106 buses would come more often.
  • Revise Route 107 – to start beyond Rainier Beach and go through south Beacon Hill to the Beacon Hill Link light rail station, to replace this segment of Route 106. Route 107 would come more often.
  • Add trips to Route 124 – to keep the same level of service now provided between Georgetown and downtown Seattle by routes 106 and 124.
  • Replace southern Route 8 / new Route 38 – in March 2016, Route 8 will become two routes. The part of Route 8 operating between Rainier Beach and Mount Baker Transit Center will become the new Route 38. Route 8 will continue to operate between Mount Baker Transit Center and Seattle Center. If the proposed changes are approved, new Route 38 would be replaced by Route 106 in September 2016.
  • Reduce Route 9 Express – to operate during peak periods only. This reduction in service would help pay for the improvements and changes on routes 106, 107, and 124.

Have your say by Wednesday, Dec. 23

Find more information at:

New bus stop coming to Third Avenue, between Union and Pike

Starting November 23, several routes that currently serve northbound and southbound stops on Third Avenue between Pine and Pike will begin serving two new stops one block south, between Pike and Union streets.

The Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro will install two new bus stops along Third Avenue between Pike and Union Streets. These stops will split routes that currently serve the stops at Third and Pike into two pairs: Rapid Ride routes and their companions will continue to serve the stops between Pike and Pine, while other routes now serving Pike-Pine will move on block south beginning Monday, November 23. (see routes listed on map below).


Adding these new stops will help improve transit capacity and rider’s access on Seattle’s most heavily used transit corridor. It also supports the goals of the Third Avenue Transit Corridor project to make Third Avenue a place where people feel safe and comfortable while waiting for transit or walking along the street.

The construction will:

  • Establish new transit stops, one in each direction, along Third Avenue between Pike and Union Streets including a shelter with trash cans in the northbound direction
  • Fill in the existing load zones along Third Avenue between Pike and Union Streets
  • Establish a new loading zone on Union Street east of Third Avenue

Construction impacts during the next two weekends:

  • Construction is scheduled the weekends of November 13-15 and 20-22
  • Work hours from 9 AM to 3 PM weekdays, and 6 AM to 3 PM weekends
  • Temporary sidewalk narrowing along Third Avenue to accommodate construction activities
  • Noise, dust, and vibration associated with concrete work activities
  • Delivery loading zones along Third Avenue between Pike and Union Streets will be closed. A new loading zone along Union Street east of Third Avenue will continue accommodating business deliveries

Project Information and Contact:

On the street: New hires and promoted bus drivers deliver growing level of transit service


Metro’s latest class of full-time drivers, on the street starting Oct. 24


Recent class of part-time drivers graduating to full-time.

Recent boosts in bus service in Seattle and around the county are helping Metro meet longstanding rider demand. As a result of adding service in June and September, we now have more than 2,500 bus drivers and 11,500 trips scheduled each weekday – an increase of 600 trips a day. But increasing the number of bus trips meant we needed to hire hundreds of new bus drivers. Since January, we’ve hired or promoted over 500 part-time and full-time drivers—and we’re still hiring.

Photo of Metro instructor handing student box of gear and certificate of completion.

Metro Transit Instructor Joe Dorage gave student Orel Goldberger his certificate and his first Metro uniform.


Metro uniform issued to Goldberg and hundreds of other new drivers like him.

The challenge has been delivering some peak-period commute trips. Unfortunately, we sometimes had to cancel trips unexpectedly. Some recent weeks have been hard on riders because of canceled trips—they’ve had to wait for the next bus that comes.

Our peak times are when we need to have the most buses and drivers on the street, but we’ve had to pull some part-time drivers away for a week at a time to complete training to do full-time work. The good news is that another class of full-time drivers graduated today. These drivers started as Metro part-time operators with shifts primarily during peak commutes. Now they will have all-day routes or work as back-up drivers to fill trips where a driver isn’t available. We also recently graduated a batch of new part-time operators who are working peak commute times, getting workers to their jobs and students to class. With new and promoted drivers now heading out on the road, riders can expect improved service in coming weeks.


Brand new part-time Metro drivers ready to do their part.

Behind the scenes, Metro’s staff continues to work hard every day to put as much service on the road as possible, finding ways to fill trips that might otherwise have been canceled. Thanks go especially to those Metro drivers who step up and substitute when a driver isn’t available, working overtime or adjusting their schedules to fill the need.

More driver graduation days are ahead as we prepare to ramp up service next spring. This year marks a period of fast, unprecedented growth in transit service, and we appreciate riders’ patience as we staff up to meet the need.

Link Connections – Approved: More frequent, reliable bus service will connect Seattle riders with light rail in 2016

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.

More frequent and reliable bus and light-rail service is in store for tens of thousands of transit riders in Seattle and surrounding areas under plans approved Oct. 19 by the Metropolitan King County Council.

Changes are planned to three dozen bus routes, five new routes will be added and five routes deleted in 2016 when swift, reliable light-rail service is extended from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington.

Overall, an estimated 80,000 daily bus riders will see more buses per hour on designated corridors in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill, with better local service connecting neighborhoods with the new light rail stations. The estimated number of Northeast Seattle homes with access to 15-minute mid-day bus service will triple from 8,700 to 28,000. On Capitol Hill, the estimated number of homes with access to 12-minute mid-day service will more than double from 15,600 to 40,000.

It’s a major milestone decision that concludes about a year of effort by Metro, Sound Transit and Seattle to listen carefully to what riders wanted in a revised transit network, including months of work to fine tune and adjust plans. Thanks to the 16,000 riders who gave input since last November, especially Sounding Board volunteers who dove into the details to sharpen Metro’s proposals on behalf of their fellow riders.

More work is ahead. Changes as originally recommended by Metro are posted online, but updated information and maps will be added in coming weeks to reflect the final restructure as approved by the County Council. Work also is planned by Metro, Sound Transit, Seattle and University of Washington to prepare riders to use the revised bus and train network. Some updated network maps are already online, and individual route sheets will follow.


  • Changes for 36 bus routes primarily serving North and Central Seattle.
  • Five new bus routes will be added.
  • Five bus routes will be deleted.
  • We wrote in a previous blog post about recent amendments to the recommended plan, including keeping some service on routes 43 and 71 that was previously slated for deletion.
  • Sign up for Link Connections updates.

Link Connections – Proposed #Bus2Link changes amended, move ahead to full King County Council

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.

Proposed changes to bus service in Seattle are headed to the full King County Council Monday, Oct. 19, for consideration as part of a year-long effort to restructure bus service to better connect neighborhoods to each other and to Link light rail in 2016.

The Transportation, Economy and Environment committee voted Oct. 14 to send the proposed changes to the council.

Proposed changes to several routes came via an amendment offered by Councilmember Dembowski which responds to key concerns raised by riders regarding previously recommended changes.

Key changes affect routes 40, 43, 65, 67, 71, 73, 76, 78, 316, 346 and 373, finding ways to balance tradeoffs within available service hours. Further fine-tuning of language is expected prior to the council’s final adoption.

  • Rather than being completely deleted, Route 43 will operate during peak times in both directions on its current path.
  • Rather than being deleted, Route 71 will operate between Wedgwood, Ravenna, Roosevelt, the University District and UW Station Monday through Saturday.
  • The new Route 78 will operate only between Laurelhurst, the UW, and the UW light rail station at times when Route 25 currently operates. This avoids duplication with the retained Route 71 segments.
  • Routes 73 and 373 will pair up to provide service along 15th Avenue NE and along the Ave in the U District, but route 73 will not operate at the same times as 373 to reduce duplication. Both routes will connect with Link light rail at UW.
  • Route 73 will keep Saturday service.
  • Routes 67 and 73 will stay on their current pathways through the U District via the Roosevelt/11th couplet and University Way, respectively.
  • Through-routing routes 65 and 67 is proposed to save money needed to apply to service included in the changes listed above. This means Route 65 will operate differently than previously proposed. Rather than loop through campus and around to the Montlake Triangle, it will operate via Stevens Way in the south/westbound direction and via Montlake Boulevard in the east/northbound direction.
  • Route 67 will operate every 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes heading away from the University District in the afternoon peak hours.
  • Revising service to be added to route 76 and 316.
  • Routing changes for Routes 40 and 346 in Northgate to improve connections with revised Route 26X.

In addition to amending route changes, the committee added language to address customer satisfaction and ensure the work Metro has already begun with its partners best serves the public. This language addresses the following:

  • Customer satisfaction – Metro is asked to conduct a “customer and resident service assessment survey” to be completed by March 2017.
  • Transfer environment – a list of transfer points are identified where Metro is expected to work with partners to make the transfer environment as convenient and safe as possible.
  • Customer education/communications – Metro is expected to conduct a large-scale education and outreach effort to prepare people for these changes.

The amendment identifies reporting milestones at which Metro is asked to present its plan and work on these items to council.

Metro plans to update its website with route and service change information after the council takes final action in coming weeks, including remaking affected maps so riders can clearly see what changes can be expected in 2016. Members of the public can comment on these changes at the King County Council meeting this Monday. Public comment is accepted at the beginning of the meeting, which starts at 1:30 pm in King County Council Chambers (map/directions.)

Transit alert: Presidential visit – prepare for possible significant delays Friday, Oct. 9

Transit riders and commuters should expect and be prepared for significant delays and some detours in downtown Seattle on Friday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. due to President Obama’s visit.

Buses that travel on Stewart and Virginia streets will be rerouted.  Routes 25, 66, 70, 177, 178, 304, 355 and Sound Transit 545 are affected.trolleys

Additionally, intermittent brief street closures and traffic slowdowns will affect travel time on area arterials. Transit service may not be able to operate on schedule during these closures, and real time departures 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 – Thank you for having your say, next steps

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.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who showed up last night to testify to King County Councilmembers about bus changes (detailed here) proposed when Link light rail begins serving Capitol Hill and UW at Husky Stadium. Metro staff answered questions during an open house that preceded testimony.

Those in favor spoke of the new possibilities a frequent transit network will provide them, with connections to the regional light rail system. They spoke of how these changes will benefit thousands more who don’t use transit today because of the lack of frequency and connections in the current network. They urged council to act now rather than wait until light rail is extended to Northgate. Among those speaking in support were organizations representing the University of Washington, Futurewise, Transportation Choices Coalition and Solid Ground.

IMG_4454Opponents who spoke view the proposed changes as a degradation of their service – exchanging a one-seat ride for a two-seat ride, having to transfer at Montlake, concern about the effects of these changes on seniors and those with mobility issues, and said they doubt the ability of bus service to be as reliable as Metro is promising. Specific routes mentioned consistently were the 71, 72, 43, and changes to the 16 and 26X.

Some attendees live tweeted the comments being shared. You can read the commentary on social media using hashtag #Bus2Link.

IMG_4464The Transportation Economy and Environment Committee will hold a special meeting Oct. 14, 1:30-3:30 pm, to discuss and take action on the changes. It is expected that the changes will be before the full council at their meeting on Oct. 19.

You can still comment to council online using King County Council’s online comment form. Visit the King County Council’s website for details about the Council’s decision making process.