A Line ridership starts up – and stays there

Ridership counts indicate that the A Line is popular – more so, in fact, than the Route 174, which it replaced. The graph below shows average weekday boardings for the A Line starting with the launch of RapidRide service in October 2010, well above the highest numbers for Route 174. From there, RapidRide’s numbers climbed through July 2011, when the latest figures were available.

In fact, weekly A Line boardings in July 2011 were a whopping 52.5 percent higher than those on Route 174 just one year earlier!

Average weekday boardings chart

6 thoughts on “A Line ridership starts up – and stays there

  1. That’s really impressive, hopefully we’ll see the numbers bump up to a solid 12-14k though, considering it is BRT style service. I’m stoked to see those numbers though!

  2. The A Line needs a Northbound stop at 182nd St….. this is the MAIN ENTRANCE to the airport!

    There is no airport entrance at the 180th street stop, and it is almost a mile from the 176th street stop to the end of A concourse.
    We need a northbound stop at 182nd. Street.

  3. Metro had planned for a northbound stop at S 182nd Street, but the right-of-way at that location is limited and we were unable to get approval from the property owners.

    So we had to place the stop further north at S 180th Street. We realize this is not the most desirable or convenient location for airport employees, but unfortunately it was our only option.

  4. I’m curious to know how the travel time savings on the A Line compares to the predicted travel time savings. From my memory the predicted travel time savings was supposed to be about 25% to 30% over route 174. Has this been achieved? Also, from my riding experience on the A Line, it seems the buses are get stopped at red lights quite often and are also not receiving “early greens”. Is the TSP functionality turned “on” and working as planned?

  5. Has the moderator been able to consider these questions about travel time savings and TSP on the A Line?

  6. Sorry to take so long, TransitRider, and thanks for the gentle reminder.

    Our current data indicate a travel time savings on the A Line of about 10 percent, which is well below our hoped-for figure of 25 percent.

    Part of this is due to construction in Federal Way. As we understand it, another traffic lane through this construction area should be opening up during the next week or two, which ought to help reduce delays.

    Also, we’re still adjusting the Transit Signal Priority system. Yesterday, for example, the signal at Pacific Highway S and S 316th Street was changed to allow buses to make a southbound left turn on a flashing yellow arrow when there is a safe gap in northbound traffic instead of stopping and waiting with a red arrow. This change should help reduce our delay at this intersection.

    And we expect travel time to improve as more people begin to use ORCA cards, because ORCA users can pay before boarding and then board through the middle and back doors of RapidRide buses. ORCA use has been on the rise but is still only at 51 percent, and Metro is working on new ways to get out the message and increase that number.

    We will also be looking more closely at why our experience is so much lower than our original estimate for time savings on the A Line.

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