About Jeff Switzer, King County DOT

Communications and public information officer at KCDOT

Safety is always Metro’s #1 priority

By Grantley Martelly, Metro Transit Managing Director of Safety and Security

Metro Transit’s track record for safely operating service is among the best in the country – and an ongoing focus of everyone at the organization, from drivers to mechanics to managers.

That’s essential. We’re a transit agency that traveled about 44 million miles last year, carrying more than 121 million riders. We do that through congested streets and highways – and are mindful of more pedestrians each year.

Drivers must always be vigilant to operate our buses safely.

For all the millions of people served and millions of miles traveled, Metro experiences about two dozen pedestrian collisions each year, ranging from people running into the side of our moving buses to more serious collisions while turning in an intersection.

Metro cares about its customers, its drivers, pedestrians and the public it serves. That’s why Metro is focused on training operators to operate safely. We also are implementing a comprehensive safety review, funded by savings we achieved by reducing collisions in past years.

In February and April this year we recorded zero pedestrian collisions, and our year to date total is four collisions – much lower than 10 we had in the same time period in 2016.

graph of Metro pedestrian collisions 2006-2016, with totals peaking halfway through the time period and decreasing generally over time.

It’s good news, but not really a cause for celebration – each new day brings with it challenges and our 2,700 operators must always take great care to travel safely on our roads.

We check with customers regularly to make sure we are meeting their expectations, and strive to improve where we are not. We ask customers how safe they feel with how our drivers are driving, and 95% reported they are satisfied – 76% of which are very satisfied.

Based on 2015 reports to the National Transit Database, we rank sixth in the country among the 30 largest transit operators based on all collisions per miles traveled.

Each collision has the potential for serious injury and represents the highest and most costly risk as we operate transit service. When these rare collisions occur, we investigate, make corrections and sometimes are responsible for settlements to cover the injuries received by a pedestrian.

Working with King County Risk Management, Metro addresses claims and lawsuits deriving from incidents involving our transit system. The outcomes vary depending on many factors.

Our goal is zero collisions, zero incidents, and our work is focused on achieving that.

Visit our online open house through May 22 to learn about Northgate TOD effort

Thank you to those who attended our open house this past weekend for the Northgate Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project. We appreciate the nearly 300 community members and transit riders who took the time to learn about the project and share their thoughts with the team.

For those that were unable to attend, information presented at the meeting and the opportunity to provide feedback is available online through May 22 at NorthgateTOD.Participate.Online. Please visit and share your thoughts.

About the Northgate Transit Oriented  Development project

King County and the City of Seattle are working together to redevelop King County’s property near the Northgate Mall and future Northgate Link Light Rail Station. The project will replace an existing surface parking lot and transit center with a residential, commercial, and retail development. A portion of the redevelopment is planned to open as soon as 2021 when the new bus and light rail station opens. This project will also provide an opportunity for new public benefits such as open space, pedestrian and bicycle paths, and affordable housing in this area.

Para solicitar esta información en español, sírvase llamar al 206-263-9988 o envíe un mensaje de correo electrónico a deanna.martin@kingcounty.gov.

If you have questions, please contact DeAnna Martin, King County Community Relations Planner, deanna.martin@kingcounty.gov or visit the project website kingcounty.gov/northgate.

Do you use Access Transportation? Find out what Metro has planned and let us know how well we listened 

Invitation to provide feedback on changes planned in near, mid, and long-term

King County Metro is inviting more feedback through a survey of customers on how actions planned now, under a new contract, and in the future address key concerns identified by customers.

To better serve Access Transportation customers, Metro already is taking steps to improve service under existing contracts. Those steps include improved scheduling and routing for customers, an upcoming option later this year for making online reservations, and updated travel time estimates that account for current traffic congestion levels.

Access vanUnder a new contract, Metro will do a number of things, including increasing performance goals and incentives and disincentives for meeting those goals, have Metro customer service handle customer complaints, and provide more travel options for customers at the time of booking.

More work remains aside from the current and upcoming contracts, and Metro will continue to explore other changes requested by riders, including flexible pilot programs, vehicle tracking and arrival time estimates and options for paying fares.

Members of the public can learn more about these actions and provide feedback on them via a survey or attending an outreach event through June 5. A link to the survey and calendar of events is available on the project website.

On April 13, Metro released a Request for Proposal for Access Transportation service. Customer feedback, work with a national consultant to help identify service models that were appropriate for King County, outreach to multiple agencies across the Country to gain insight into best practices being applied at other transit locations, and preliminary findings from a King County audit, which is still in process, were taken into consideration in preparing the request for proposals. Information about the Request for Proposals is available at King County’s procurement website.

Metro and its contractors work to provide safe, reliable and consistent Access Transportation services for customers. We appreciate and value the feedback of customers and advocates as we work to improve existing service and strive to improve service going forward.

Need information about this process, the survey, or a calendar of events in a different format?

Leave us a message at 206-263-9768 with your phone number and a good time to reach you. We’ll call you back to discuss options.

 

Convention Place Station will have nighttime construction

The Convention Place Station at the north end of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will undergo construction activity from spring to fall 2017. Most work will take place on weeknights after 9 p.m.

Impacts will be minimal to customers, and signage will be posted at the facility to help customers understand what changes will be taking place that may impact their route or bus stop locations. Customers should follow signs to access available escalators, stairs and elevators to reach transit service.

Beginning May 2, on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Metro routes 101, 150 and Sound Transit Route 550 will serve Bay letter “I” at Convention Place Station for both boarding and exiting buses, instead of Bays C, D and E.  At all other times, all buses that serve Convention Place Station will serve their normal stops. No schedule impacts are expected.

May Day is today: Expect major transit service disruptions Monday, May 1

(Editor’s note: UPDATED INFORMATION Monday 11 a.m.: Revised map from SDOT, now showing only this afternoon’s march.)

Transit riders should prepare for significant traffic delays and rerouted buses in downtown Seattle on Monday, May 1, especially during the afternoon and evening commute, as dozens of Metro and Sound Transit routes will be temporarily rerouted or intermittently delayed during May Day events. Seattle First Hill and South Lake Union streetcar service also will be affected on May 1 as a result of planned marches.

As city streets temporarily close as a result of planned May Day activities, certain Metro Transit buses will be rerouted; others will face delays starting midday and likely well into the evening.

  • Bus reroutes are planned around the Immigration March (Judkins Park to Seattle Center) around 1 p.m., rerouting 11 Metro routes (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 36, 43, 47, 49 & 106) and delaying ST Express Routes 522, 545, 554 and all other transit service traveling downtown Seattle streets.

    SDOT map of planned march, click for details on their blog

  • Bus rolling slowdowns or temporary short-term reroutes will be implemented as needed for all other expected and unexpected demonstrations, marches and rallies, managed by transit chiefs using information from Seattle Police Department, Seattle Emergency Operations Center and the Metro Transit Control Center.
  • First Hill Streetcar service is expected to be disrupted during the day, and part of the route will not be served while marchers are on the street.
  • South Lake Union Streetcar service might be disrupted by a march expected to occur between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. As a result, streetcar service will be halted at 9 a.m. after the end of the morning peak service, with cars tentatively scheduled to return to the base yard until supervisors determine service can be reliably restored.
  • Link light rail service will operate more three-car trains during the day.

What do riders need to know?

  • All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area might be subject to delays during and after Monday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.
  • Though we’ll try to keep bus service moving, if demonstrations temporarily block a street, buses will have to wait until traffic begins moving again. Safety is Metro’s top priority.
  • If gridlock happens, predicted arrival times on apps and real-time signs will not be accurate in estimating when buses will be at stops.

Tools for riders

 

 

May Day: Expect major transit service disruptions Monday, May 1

(Editor’s note: UPDATED at 5:50 p.m. to show 11 bus routes will be rerouted, many others could face delays or short reroutes. Information will be sent to customers and posted online Friday afternoon, April 28, regarding expected transit service disruptions.)

Transit riders should prepare for significant traffic delays and rerouted buses in downtown Seattle on Monday, May 1, especially during the afternoon and evening commute, as dozens of Metro and Sound Transit routes will be temporarily rerouted or intermittently delayed during May Day events. Seattle First Hill and South Lake Union streetcar service also will be affected on May 1 as a result of planned marches.

As city streets temporarily close as a result of planned May Day activities, certain Metro Transit buses will be rerouted; others will face delays starting midday and likely well into the evening.

  • Bus reroutes are planned around the Immigration March (Judkins Park to Seattle Center) around 1 p.m., rerouting 11 Metro routes (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 36, 43, 47, 49 & 106) and delaying ST Express Routes 522, 545, 554 and all other transit service traveling downtown Seattle streets.

    Seattle DOT map of planned marches (click for details)

  • Bus rolling slowdowns or temporary short-term reroutes will be implemented as needed for all other expected and unexpected demonstrations, marches and rallies, managed by transit chiefs using information from Seattle Police Department, Seattle Emergency Operations Center and the Metro Transit Control Center.
  • First Hill Streetcar service is expected to be disrupted during the day, and part of the route will not be served while marchers are on the street.
  • South Lake Union Streetcar service might be disrupted by a march expected to occur between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. As a result, streetcar service will be halted at 9 a.m. after the end of the morning peak service, with cars tentatively scheduled to return to the base yard until supervisors determine service can be reliably restored.
  • Link light rail service will operate more three-car trains during the day.

What do riders need to know?

  • All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area might be subject to delays during and after Monday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.
  • Though we’ll try to keep bus service moving, if demonstrations temporarily block a street, buses will have to wait until traffic begins moving again. Safety is Metro’s top priority.
  • If gridlock happens, predicted arrival times on apps and real-time signs will not be accurate in estimating when buses will be at stops.

Tools for riders

 

 

Plan ahead, transit riders! Service disruptions, delays expected Monday, May 1 (May Day)

Now is a good time to start planning for May Day, when severe traffic and transit disruptions are expected in downtown Seattle throughout the day due to a series of rallies, demonstrations and marches.

If you plan to ride transit to the demonstrations and events, or for your commute into and out of Seattle, please plan lots of time for travel and expect severe service delays, especially following the marches and events.

While more complete information will be posted on Metro’s website later this week, commuters are encouraged to consider options and alternate travel plans, watch for media updates and sign up for Transit Alerts.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has a summary of key events on their blog.

Earth: ‘Thank you for riding transit!’

If you ride Metro regularly, you know how easy it is to climb on and zone out with a good book, tunes, games or TV shows on your phone (and the occasional power nap).

Behind the scenes, you’ve left your car behind, and that is one of the single best things you’ve done for the environment.

By the numbers

According to the Earth (and science), transportation is a huge contributor to pollution, and riding Metro buses and vanpools is the best way to travel and reduce pollution. Our electric trolley buses, hybrid buses and the growing fleet of battery electric buses (120 by 2020, baby!) show King County means business when it comes to climate change.

We’re not done, and we need your help. As our transit network grows, and more frequent buses and light rail expands, you might not know how that new network can work even better for you.

Make a plan to give it a try, maybe even this Saturday (hint-hint, Earth Day), by using our online trip planner or Puget Sound Trip Planner app to find a way to climb aboard!

If you don’t want to pay cash, you can test drive our Transit Go Tickets on mobile, or buy an ORCA day pass at a ticket vending machine

Expect demonstrations, events, heavy traffic & bus reroutes on Saturday, April 15

If you are attending downtown Seattle demonstrations, the Ms game or Sakura-Con on Saturday, April 15, be prepared for heavy traffic and rerouted buses. Photo of Route 70 bus in downtown Seattle

On Saturday, April 15, from approximately 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m., some Metro service will be rerouted and most transit service and traffic in Seattle will likely experience delays during daytime demonstrations and a 6:10 p.m. Mariners game.

Sign up for transit alerts, and follow Metro’s tweets, and those of Seattle DOT, Seattle Police and Sound Transit.

Planned reroutes during Saturday’s demonstrations
Metro routes 10, 11, 12, 47, 49 and 62, and Sound Transit routes 522, 545 and 554, will be rerouted in downtown Seattle due to civic events around the Federal Building, downtown streets and Westlake Park. The actual times of the reroutes vary based on the route and direction of travel, and are further subject to change without notice.

During the daytime civic events,

  • routes 10, 11, 47 and 49 will not operate on either Pine or Pike streets west of 7th Av, and
  • routes 12, ST 522, ST 545 and ST 554 will be rerouted off of streets near the Federal Building and off of 4th and 5th avenues. Expect possible additional service delays in the afternoon due to a 6:10 p.m. Mariners game at Safeco Field.

All transit customers should use the regularly published schedules for their transit service, determine the alternate bus stop due to reroutes or events as necessary, allow plenty of time for transit trips, and expect possible significant delays.

Planned event information
Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for complete information about revised bus service, routing and stops for planned events.  The start and end times and other details for planned reroutes are subject to change.

Civic and other large event information

In areas where there are crowds, traffic or unscheduled events disrupting normal travel patterns or activities, transit riders are advised to be aware of conditions in their immediate vicinity – such as street closures, detours, police directions, etc. – and be prepared for delays or to make revisions to travel plans – such as using a different bus stop or a different route – based on specific circumstances.

During these kinds of events, be prepared for unexpectedly revised traffic or routing and for delays in transit service. Use the regularly published timetable for your route, allow plenty of time, then be prepared for possible schedule delays.  It may not be possible for Metro to provide real time updates.

Transit riders are encouraged to know what alternate stops or routes may be in the vicinity of their starting points and destinations. Depending on the time and the nature of such events, Metro may not be able to provide real time information or service updates via email or text. Reroute start and end times and other details may be subject to change.

Additional information

Metro and Redmond propose transit, pedestrian and bike enhancements at Old Redmond Road and 148th Ave NE

Metro is working with the City of Redmond to improve the eastbound right-turn at the Old Redmond Road and 148th Avenue Northeast intersection.

The goals of this improvement are to enhance the performance of bus Route 245 and improve safety for everyone who bikes or walks through this location.

The intersection’s current approach includes a “pork chop” pedestrian island which separates the eastbound through-movement and a short eastbound right-turn ‘slip’ lane. Continue reading