Ride Metro to Seafair festivities

BlueangelsformationpdThe Seafair Torchlight Parade kicks off a busy week leading up to Seafair weekend and Metro has options for people traveling to see hydro races, air shows and other festivities.

Riders should prepare for delays and bus reroutes during Saturday’s parade and other events such as temporary closures of the Interstate 90 floating bridge for the Blue Angels.

Torchlight Parade, Saturday, July 29
Buses traveling through downtown Saturday could experience delays of 30 minutes or more between 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. during the Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Run and Parade. Transit customers traveling through downtown are advised to ride Link light rail or buses that use the Downtown Transit Tunnel during the events.

Details about reroutes are on Metro Online or Sound Transit’s rider alerts page. Metro riders can use the online Trip Planner or call Metro’s Customer Information Office at 206-553-3000 to plan transit trips to Saturday’s events. The Customer Information Office is open weekdays, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you’re traveling via King County Water Taxi, the taxi will operate its usual weekend schedule out of West Seattle, with the last sailing out of downtown Seattle leaving at 10:45 p.m. For a full sailing schedule and more information, visit kingcounty/watertaxi.

Ride transit to the hydros, August 5-6
Metro will add service to the Route 50, with buses every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for passengers traveling to the Albert Lee Cup hydro races. Route 50, which normally operates every 30 minutes, serves Genesee Park near the Stan Sayres Pit on Lake Washington and connects with light rail at the Columbia City and Othello light rail stations.

I-90 bridge closure reroutes and shuttles, August 3-6
When the Blue Angels take to Seattle’s skies, all I-90 bus service will be rerouted to State Route 520 during I-90 bridge closures, which affect eastbound, westbound, mainline and express lanes. Certain I-90 and I-5 ramps also will close 30 minutes to one hour before flight times.

During the I-90 closures, Metro will provide shuttle bus service between the park-and-ride lots at Eastgate and Mercer Island on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 3-6. Regular fares will be required on the I-90 shuttles.

Sound Transit Routes 550 and 554, which normally travel via I-90, will be rerouted to SR 520 and will not serve stops on I-90 at Rainier Avenue South and Mercer Island.

 I-90 transit service will be rerouted during the following times and days:

  • Thursday, Aug. 3, 9:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 4, 12:55 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 5, 12:55 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 6, 12:55 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

NOTE: There is no Mercer Island shuttle on Sunday. WSDOT has I-90 bridge closure information and the Seafair website has event information.

Details about reroutes are on Metro’s Service Advisories page. Riders  can use the online Trip Planner or call Metro’s Customer Information Office at 206-553-3000 to plan their transit trips to Seafair weekend events.

SODO workers: Metro wants your feedback on transportation options

Sodo_business

Metro invites SODO commuters to tell us about your unmet transit needs. By taking our online survey between now and July 27, participants can help Metro understand how to improve the commutes of people working in the SODO neighborhood.

Metro’s Community Connections program uses community partnerships to learn how to close transit gaps where regular bus service isn’t the right fit. For this project, Metro is working with the City of Seattle and the SODO Business Improvement Area to identify transportation gaps and explore innovative, easier ways for people to get where they need to go in SODO.

After the survey ends, a group of community members will help Metro review your feedback and develop a list of priorities that will guide development of new solutions.

Tell us what you think by Thursday, July 27: Take a survey in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. 填寫我們的問卷,  Llene la encuesta, or Điền vào phiếu khảo sát .  Learn about Metro’s Community Connections project in SODO: www.kingcounty.gov/metro/sodo

Route 99 is leaving First Avenue

Route 99, which serves First Avenue in downtown Seattle, will be relocated later this summer or early this fall when the Seattle Department of Transportation begins construction on the new Center City Connector Streetcar.

A popular route for visitors during the summer, Route 99 currently travels along First Avenue between Broad Street and South Jackson Street, and along South Jackson Street between First Avenue and Interstate 5. During the summer, it runs seven days a week, all day long. The rest of the year it runs only during peak commute hours.

When construction begins, Route 99 will move to Third Avenue for northbound trips and Second Avenue for southbound trips.

Metro is proposing to eliminate the route next March. There are many alternative bus routes on Third Avenue for riders to choose from, and the new streetcar is scheduled to begin serving First Avenue in 2020. Metro will consider ideas for future transit service in the area at that time.

We invite riders and stakeholders to take this online survey and tell us your thoughts on this proposed change and other ideas for future transit service in the area. The deadline is July 16.
RT99Map
Metro initially considered moving Route 99 to Western Avenue instead of Third Avenue, but found road conditions on Western unable to support bus service. Also, congestion around the Pike Place Market would likely affect reliability.

New Belltown stops proposed

To help riders who would be affected by lost service in Belltown, Metro is proposing to add a new pair of stops on Broad Street at the intersections of First Avenue and Second Avenue. These would connect to service between Belltown and Pioneer Square.

Metro invites riders to share their feedback and ideas for future transit service in the area through an online survey, open through July 16.

Metro, Sound Transit to run late night service for July 4 revelers

Juy 4

Metro and Sound Transit are running extra service on the evening of July 4 to get you home by dawn’s early light.

For the first time since light rail began operating service, revelers celebrating Independence Day this year will be able to ride Link trains until 2 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5—an hour later than normal. For bus riders, King County Metro will deploy more than 40 extra buses from 10:30 p.m. to midnight on routes serving Seattle Center, Gas Works Park, downtown and light rail stations to help crowds get home.

Metro will add 250 hours of service, augmenting 20 routes that serve large crowds after July 4 festivities, as well as routes that connect with Link light rail. Routes include the 5, 8, 26, 28, 31, 32, 40, 44, 49, 62, 70, 120, RapidRide A, B, C, D, and E Lines, and ST Routes 545, 550, 554. Metro’s Service Quality supervisors will monitor crowds during the evening and deploy the extra service as needed.

The last southbound Link train from the University of Washington Station will leave at 2 a.m. The last northbound train from Angle Lake Station will leave at 1 a.m. Southbound trains from the UW will operate every 30 minutes starting at midnight. Northbound trains from Angle Lake will operate every 30 minutes starting at 11:30 p.m. The downtown transit tunnel, which will stay open late to accommodate extended light rail service, will close at 2:20 a.m.

Light rail trains will operate on a Sunday schedule on July 4. Link service will resume normal weekday operating hours on July 5.

During the rest of the day, Metro will operate on a normal Sunday/Holiday schedule. More holiday schedule information is available at soundtransit.org or metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/holidays.html. Some transit service will be re-routed due to various July 4 events. Customers should make sure they’re signed up for Rider Alerts, which provide information about special service to events, schedule changes and help riders plan trips around inclement weather. Just go to soundtransit.org/Subscribe-to-alerts or kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/alerts-updates.aspx.

Several ST Express bus routes will not operate on July 4, while other routes will run on a Sunday schedule. Sounder commuter rail service also will not operate on July 4.

Expect transit delays during Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Fremont Solstice Parade

Seattle celebrates two big annual traditions this weekend for those ready to rock ‘n’ run and bike in the buff. Metro buses The Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Fremont Solstice Parade both will affect transit service, so riders should plan ahead and prepare for delays due to street closures and crowds.

Fremont Solstice Parade/Saturday

The Fremont Solstice Parade  starts Saturday at 1 p.m. from Northwest 39th Street and Fremont_solstice_avatarLeary Way Northwest and travels east along North 36th Street on its way to Gas Works Park.

Metro will operate a special shuttle from downtown to the south end of the Fremont Bridge. The shuttle service will operate every 15 minutes, from  10 a.m. to 7 p.m., starting from Sixth Avenue and Blanchard Street. Regular fares, transit passes and paper transfers will be accepted. (Try not to get body paint or glitter on the seats, please!)

Several bus routes that normally serve the Fremont area will be rerouted during Saturday’s parade, including routes 31, 32, 40 and 62. Sign up for transit alerts or check Metro online for service alerts.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon/Sunday

On Sunday, runners will be out bright and early for the Alaska Airlines Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and half-marathon. The full race starts this year from Husky Stadium and makes its way through the Arboretum, down along Seward Park, up through the Rainier Valley and over to State Route 99 before looping back to CenturyLink Field.

For transit service during the race, the following routes will be affected by street closures: 2, 5, 7, 8, 14, 26, 27, 28, 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 65, 106, 120, 125, 271, RapidRide C, D and E Lines, ST 522, ST 545 and ST 554. The Route 7 reroute will temporarily end at at Rainier Avenue South and South McClellan Street.

While runners are in the Rainier Valley, between 5:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., regular Route 7 service will operate between downtown Seattle and the Mount Baker Transit Center, and a free shuttle bus will provide service every 20 minutes between the Mount Baker Transit Center and South Henderson Street.

For information about regular transit service, or to plan other trips, visit Metro Online or Metro’s online Trip Planner. When planning your trip, check Metro’s Service Advisories page to find out about any known revisions to your routes.

Metro has new ideas for transportation in Sammamish

Metro is IMG_1704working with the City of Sammamish to develop innovative, customized services to meet local transportation needs.

Almost 500 people took our survey in January to tell us about transportation needs in Sammamish. We reviewed this feedback with the help of a stakeholder group and developed four service ideas that are tailor-made for Sammamish.

Tell us what you think by June 16

Take a survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SammamishMCC.

Learn about Metro’s Community Connections project in Sammamish: http://kingcounty.gov/metro/alt-sammamish

Plan ahead: South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closes May 30

The South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closes Tuesday, May 30, and Metro and Sound Transit are ready to help commuters who use the 519-stall facility find new options.

Sound Transit has to close the park-and-ride for up to five years to make room for construction of the East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond. It’s the second big change this month for Eastside commuters, following closure of the Overlake Transit Center on May 1 — also to accommodate light rail construction.

While it may be stressful for some commuters to adjust, Metro and Sound Transit are here to help.

New locations

Sound Transit has leased several park-and-ride lots from property owners nearby and there are other existing lots with spaces available. More information on those locations is available via this map on Sound Transit’s website.

Customers may also want to try an alternate location that has spots available and offers direct bus service to Seattle, such as the South Sammamish, Tibbetts Creek, and South Kirkland Park-and-Rides. But plan ahead because those locations may fill up sooner.

ST Park_and_Ride map

Park-and-ride options during East Link construction.

How to get more info

For commuters who want to try something new, Metro’s JustOneTrip.org has information on alternatives to driving such as carpooling, vanpooling, and biking and walking connections; or where they can fill out a form online to request assistance creating a custom trip plan.

Metro’s customer service representatives (commute counselors) are available to help with online requests or to answer questions over the phone at (206) 553-3000.

Metro also is working to more efficiently manage other park-and-ride locations so as many transit customers can use them as possible.  This month, Metro stepped up enforcement at park-and-rides to ensure people are following the rules and spaces are being used by transit customers.

Metro will have extra staff monitoring park-and-rides with high rates of complaints and violations, such as Eastgate, Kingsgate, Redmond and Northgate, to make more room for transit customers and maintain a safe parking environment.

Carpool Parking Permit program

Metro also leases park-and-ride spaces on available properties near transit hubs (provided at no cost to transit riders) and launched a Carpool Parking Permit program in February that allows drivers with two or more regular transit riders (average of three days of ridership per week) to reserve spaces at any of six area park-and-rides.

Metro also launched a new partnership with Diamond Parking Service that connects people with new fee-based parking on commercial and residential properties near major bus routes.

Mercer Island Community Shuttle to be extended another 2 years

In partnership with the City of Mercer Island, King County Metro debuted the Mercer Island Community Shuttle Route 630 in June 2015 to give residents a new rush-hour option for getting to downtown Seattle after the loss of regular bus service. Launched initially as a two-year pilot, the shuttle is exceeding ridership goals and will be extended for another two years, until March 2019. Mercer Island Commnuity Shuttle_photo

The 630 Shuttle makes 10 trips per day during peak hours, from Southeast 46th Street/Island Crest Way and downtown Seattle via First Hill and includes a connection to the Mercer Island park-and-ride. It also includes flexible service for residents in the Shorewood area.

This week, Metro and Mercer Island are celebrating the 630 Shuttle’s two-year anniversary and previewing upcoming service improvements. Customers and others are invited to join the celebration from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 16, at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center.

Daily ridership is surpassing initial goals, and currently is 140 boardings per day. The shuttle is equipped with 19 seats and a wheelchair lift and a two-slot bike rack. Riders also are able to plan their trip using Metro’s online Trip Planner and track location status real time. Customers pay standard Metro fares and can use their ORCA cards.

Upcoming improvements will include moving the first stop to a sheltered location and extending the flexible service area.

The 630 Shuttle was launched under Metro’s Alternative Services program, now known as Community Connections, which focuses on cost-efficient solutions in areas that don’t have the infrastructure, density or land use to support, regular fixed-route bus service. Services can include routes with flexible service areas, real-time ridesharing between home neighborhoods and transit centers, reservation-based local trips and private carpool ridematching.

Plan ahead: Overlake Transit Center and South Bellevue Park-and-Rides to close

hero_riderguide_overlakeTCThe Overlake Transit Center Park-and- Ride closes for up to six years on Monday, May 1, and Metro and Sound Transit are ready with options and resources to help customers plan an alternate commute.

The park-and-ride will close for construction of the new East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond. Metro and Sound Transit customers are encouraged to plan ahead and take advantage of trip-planning resources that are available.

East Link construction also will cause the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride to close May 30. Customers who use that park & ride also are encouraged to start planning ahead.

Sound Transit has leased several park & ride lots from property owners nearby and there are other existing lots with spaces available. More information on those locations is available via this map on Sound Transit’s website.

For commuters who want to try something new, Metro’s JustOneTrip.org has information on alternatives to driving such as carpooling, vanpooling and biking and walking connections; or where they can fill out a form to request a custom trip plan. Customers also can call (206) 553-3000 to speak with a customer service representative who can help plan a route.

Metro and Sound Transit buses and Microsoft shuttles will continue to serve the Overlake Transit Center while the park & ride is closed. Routes that serve the Overlake Transit Center include Metro routes 232, 243, 244, 245, 249, 268, 269, and the RapidRide B Line, and ST routes 541, 542, 545, 566 and 567.

For more information on Overlake Transit Center Park & Ride closure May 1:

Plan for service delays/reroutes during March for Science and weekend events

It’s going to be a busy weekend in the Seattle area, with big runs, walks and a March for Science that is expected to draw tens of thousands  downtown.

Transit riders should plan for reroutes and significant service delays due to traffic, crowds and congestion associated with these events. Riders are urged to sign up for transit alerts to get the latest information.

Saturday

March for Science — Earth Day:  Buses serving Pine Street and Fourth Avenue will be rerouted as thousands are expected to march from Cal Anderson Park to Seattle Center to show support for science and celebrate Earth Day. The march is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. See all the affected routes on Metro’s Service Advisories page.

Customers should plan for significant delays.eventLogo_MarchForScience_banner

The Tenacious Ten Run: From 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., routes 40 and 70 will be rerouted as follows:

  • Route 40: Heading toward Northgate, Route 40 will be rerouted off of Westlake Avenue N between Thomas Street and Fourth Avenue North, and will travel via Dexter Avenue North instead.
  • Routes  70: Heading toward downtown Seattle, route 70 will be rerouted off of Northeast Campus Parkway between Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and the southbound ramp to the University Bridge.  The 40 and 70 will serve all regular and temporary posted bus stops along their reroutes.
  • Route 40 to downtown Seattle, and route 70 to the University District: These buses will operate via their regular routes and stops, but may experience delays.

Nalamasu Baraat Processional: From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., route 125 will be rerouted off First Avenue in downtown Seattle and will not serve the stop on First Avenue at University Street.  It will travel instead via Third Avenue.

Sunday

All in for Autism Run/Walk in Bellevue: From 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Routes 240, 241, 249 and Sound Transit’s ST 550 will be rerouted off Northeast Fourth Street, Bellevue Way Northeast/Southeast and 112th Avenue Northeast/Southeast.