Homework time: Major changes coming for transit riders this month

The countdown has begun–in just a few weeks, transit riders across King County face major changes as Metro Transit focuses bus service to serve more people, begins a pay-on-entry system and launches two new RapidRide lines serving downtown Seattle.

Thousands of riders will see changes to their routes starting Sept. 29. Dozens of routes will have different bus stops, travel on different streets or have changed schedules. Some low-ridership routes will be eliminated and buses moved to serve more people.

Riders can now go online and see a summary of the changes Metro has planned and use the online trip planner to map out which routes work best for them. Printed rider alert brochures will be distributed in coming weeks and teams of Metro personnel will be on the streets at the end of September and first week of October to answer rider questions.

Sept. 29, Metro also is transitioning to a pay-on-entry system on all buses. Eliminating the downtown Ride Free Area, which has been in place nearly 40 years, will raise needed revenue and preserve transit service. Riders should prepare for initial delays as lines form to pay fares when boarding.

Riders can speed up boarding times and be ready for the pay-on-entry system by getting an ORCA card. For those who relied most on the Ride Free Area to reach services in downtown Seattle, a free circulator shuttle will be implemented in association with the city of Seattle to serve those who need to access downtown human services and health resources.

Metro also is launching two new RapidRide lines Sept. 29, with frequent service and special features. RapidRide C Line will travel between downtown Seattle and West Seattle, and RapidRide D Line will travel between downtown Seattle and Ballard via Uptown.

Tools for riders
Metro Transit has many tools online, with more planned in coming weeks.
• Route changes and Metro’s online trip planner are online at metro.kingcounty.gov/up/scvchange.html
• Pay-on-Entry/Ride free area elimination information:
metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/ride-free-area/changes.html
• RapidRide information page: metro.kingcounty.gov/travel-options/bus/RapidRide
• ORCA card information page: www.orcacard.com

General information about Metro Transit services is online at www.metro.kingcounty.gov.

7 thoughts on “Homework time: Major changes coming for transit riders this month

  1. It would be nice to have up-to-decided-route maps available now…before the change. But there isn’t any !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Regarding the 15E – I know there are 6 trips in the morning and 6 in the afternoon. What I don’t know is when these will run. Will I still take the 6.24am from Blue Ridge and be at my desk at 7.00am in the morning as usual to deal with the offices of my company that operate in the other time zones in the US? And what time will the buses run in the afternoon to take me home?

  3. Route 50 is poorly planned in my opinion. The ONLY reason I started commuting by bus is because I have been able to take the bus 39 or 34E from Seward Park to Downtown Seattle. Route 7 is horrible to take when all I want to do is to do is get to work and home peacefully and safely. After serveral un-nerving experiences on the 7 at different times of the day, I decided to stop taking the bus and drove to work. Then, a year later I happened to notice the 39 bus stop, once I learned it came downtown I tried it. It was a better bus, a better environment and a lovely route. I was sold. I just never thought that if there was a change, it would not stop through downtown at all. It makes NO sense to have a route go from seward park to west seattle without stopping downtown first. Yes, it probably makes send on paper to have a straight line, but when you live in the area and have a limited number of buses that can take you downtown, the straight line to west seattle really makes not sense! I think the people who are implementing these plans are absolutely not considering those people who work downtown and live in seward park. As a woman, this was the only route that I felt safe on….now that is gone. PLEASE CONSIDER REINSTATING EITHER BUT 39 OR BUS 34E….OR BOTH! WE LOVE OUR ROUTE!

  4. Tia, you can take the 50 to transfer to the light rail to get downtown. I’m a guy, but I know what you mean about the 7, and you just don’t see that kind of behavior on the train.

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