Alaska Junction bus shelter changes ahead

As part of an effort to address customer comfort and access to Metro bus service as well as to address non-transit use including illegal and uncivil behavior at the Alaska Junction, Metro is moving forward with the retention of two of the four oversized “double” shelters at one of the six transit bays in the area of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street as soon as Dec. 20.

The decision to remove two of the shelters was finalized after several weeks of public feedback and further analysis of rider usage. With this change, the remaining two double shelters at Bay 2 will continue to provide a weather-protected area sufficient for the riders who use these facilities. Metro also provides two RapidRide shelters at Bay 1 for transit riders. The removed shelters will be reused at other bus stops that are in need of shelters, and the artwork will be relocated to bus shelters within the Junction.

Bay 2 is served by routes 50 (Alki to Othello Station) and 128 (Admiral to White Center and Southcenter). Route 50 generally operates every 20-30 minutes and Route 128 every 30 minutes. Metro staff were sent to the location to observe how riders were using the stops at different times and days. Staff observed between zero and five customers waiting for buses at any one time under normal conditions, based on recent observations during peak and off-peak hours.

Metro solicited comments between October 28 and November 21 and received feedback from both riders and non-riders, some opposed and some supporting the change. The majority of comments opposed to the removal were based on the misconception that Metro intended to remove all shelters at this location.

The change is expected to reduce non-transportation use of Metro facilities, and to better match transit facility supply and demand.

Ride transit to Sounders victory celebration – but plan for downtown street closures

Congratulations to the Seattle Sounders FC on their 2016 MLS Cup championship! Now it’s time for all of Seattle to celebrate during a victory march Tuesday (Dec. 13)  through downtown, followed by a rally at Seattle Center.

Thousands of people are expected to attend. The march is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Westlake Center from Fourth Avenue and Pine Street and travel north before turning right on Cedar Street, and then north on Fifth Avenue before stopping at Seattle Center.

A rally is expected to follow from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei is greeted as the team arrived Sunday at King County International Airport/Boeing Field. 

Fans can ride transit to and from the parade, either by Metro, Link light rail or Sounder train. But plan ahead, and make sure to leave early, as several streets, including Fourth Avenue, will be closed during the march. Metro will reroute buses from Fourth Avenue once the street is closed to traffic. Specific route information is posted on Metro’s Service Advisories page.

Metro urges all transit riders Tuesday morning to plan ahead and prepare for possible delays. Riders also can sign up for Transit Alerts to get the most current information before you travel. to get the most current information before you travel. Information is available via text, email, tweets  @kcmetrobus, RSS via desktop or the mobile RSS reader.

Any transit service that travels to or through downtown Seattle will get fans close to the event. Returning downtown from Seattle Center, transit riders can ride the Seattle Center Monorail, or any bus southbound on Queen Anne, Fifth, Dexter, or Westlake Avenues. Again, expect crowds and likely delays.

For those traveling by light rail, Sound Transit will operate extra 3-car trains to accommodate crowds. Fans from South King County can return home via midday Sounder train service to Lakewood, which departs King Street Station at 2:32 p.m. Tuesday’s train will have four cars instead of the usual 2-car train.

 

Metro and Seattle DOT team up to ease Route 8 traffic choke points

Route 8 riders can look forward to more-reliable service starting in 2017.

That’s when Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation are scheduled to begin work on a number of traffic and parking revisions from Lower Queen Anne to Capitol Hill that will help keep Route 8 on schedule.

Plans include more green time for traffic signals at Denny Way and Fifth and Sixth avenues, and left-turn restrictions at several intersections to avoid traffic tie-ups that slow everyone down.

The most significant change will convert the center westbound lane of Denny Way between Stewart Street and Fairview Avenue into an eastbound bus-only lane. This measure alone will cut Route 8 travel time by about 60 seconds, with minimal impact on traffic according to our traffic studies.route8_map_blog

On Capitol Hill, on-street parking will be restricted on short sections of Denny Way, Olive Way, East John Street, and East Thomas Street. Also in the works are two expanded bus stops on Olive Way and East John Street so buses don’t have to leave and re-enter heavy traffic, and to provide more space and amenities for waiting passengers.

Many of these improvements will help traffic flow a little more smoothly for everyone, a win-win for both transit riders and motorists.

Metro received grants from the Federal Transit Administration to fund the improvements. The funds will cover SDOT’s costs to design and make the improvements, and also Metro’s costs to add new shelters, benches, and better lighting at bus stops from Denny Way and Second Avenue to 15th Avenue East on Capitol Hill.

To reduce construction impacts, Metro and Seattle are working to coordinate improvements with nearby projects such as the Denny Way Substation Project at Fairview Avenue.

Route 8 serves an estimated 10,000 riders a day, connecting people in Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, Judkins Park, and Mount Baker to the Capitol Hill and in Mount Baker Link light rail stations as well as major employment hubs like South Lake Union.

Though reliability increased when Route 8 was divided into two separate routes in March 2016, late buses are still a problem, especially during rush hour and major events at the Seattle Center.

The project improvements will be made in phases during 2017 and 2018.

RapidRide D Line gets extra bus trip to cover growing student ridership

Metro is always monitoring bus routes for reliability and frequency. Starting Dec. 1, Metro added an extra afternoon bus trip to the Rapidrapidride_d_scheduleRide D Line through Ballard to alleviate overcrowding as increasing numbers of students from Ballard High School ride the bus home.

Over the last few months, we heard from riders and operators about an increase in high school students boarding the D Line buses after the school bell rings. Metro has been using a standby bus on some days, which are placed along the route to fill gaps in service, typically when traffic is bad or buses are getting crowded.

Metro has now assigned the standby bus permanently. It enters service at 3:16 p.m., heading southbound from 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 85th Street to help cover the overflow near the high school and continue service to downtown.

The D Line is the second busiest of Metro’s six RapidRide routes and continues growing strong since it was extended to Pioneer Square. In October, the D Line hauled an average of more than 15,000 passengers every day. That’s a 22 percent increase over its ridership in October 2015.

The extra trip is an example of little changes Metro makes when possible to respond to concerns and emerging challenges. Twice a year, Metro also unveils big system-wide service changes — in March and September — to improve the frequency, reliability and access of our bus routes.

Veterans ride free to 6th annual ‘Seattle Stand Down’

King County Metro Transit is offering free rides to veterans attending the 6th Annual Seattle Stand Down on December 1-2 at South Seattle College’s Georgetown campusseattle_standdown_pass

The Seattle Stand Down event connects homeless and at-risk veterans with local resources and services. Representatives from businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, and all levels of government are brought together at one location to provide housing assistance, case management referrals, employment opportunities, legal aid, medical screenings, eye exams, dental services, haircuts, personal hygiene items, and meals.

Representatives from ORCA LIFT, the reduced-fare transit card, and ORCA to Go, which provides information and sales of regular-fare ORCA cards, will be on-site both days.

Veterans traveling to or from the two-day event can ride free by showing one of the following forms of ID:

  • Veteran Health Identification Card
  • Uniformed Identification Card
  • DD-214

Veterans also can obtain a special two-sided free bus pass (pictured above) by contacting Hopelink at llink@hopelink.org or visiting one of the following service providers:

Metro bus routes that travel to or near the campus include routes 60, 124, 131 and 154.
Route 154 is peak-only service.   For additional information about transit
service, visit Metro Online or Metro’s Puget Sound Trip Planner, or call Metro’s Customer
Information line at 206-553-3000.

The Seattle Stand Down will open for registration at 7 a.m .on Thursday, December 1. Services will be available from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. On Friday, December 2, registration will begin at 7 a.m. with services available from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

More information is available at www.theseattlestanddown.org.

 

 

Northgate Transit Center Park & Ride Changes

As early as December 5, 2016, crews will begin building a new driveway for the Northgate Park & Ride (west) on NE 103rd Street, adjacent to First Ave NE. Driveway construction is expected to take two days to complete, weather permitting. This driveway is needed to accommodate the next phase of Sound Transit’s construction changes coming to the Northgate Transit Center Park & Ride.

In this new configuration, drivers will enter the Northgate Park & Ride (west) from the driveway on NE 103rd Street and exit from the driveway on NE 100th Street.

Upcoming construction of the Northgate light rail station will occupy additional space in the Northgate Park & Ride (west) as indicated on the map. Fencing will go up as early as December 7 around the middle section of the west lot. To replace the loss of those stalls a new replacement park-and-ride will open on the west side of First Ave NE between NE 100th and 103rd Streets. This new, North Seattle Park & Ride, has 102 new stalls and is expected to open as early as December 5, 2016.

Northgate Park & Ride Changes Mapphase-2-change-map

For more information:

Visit http://www.soundtransit.org/northgatestation/northgate-transit-center-park-and-ride

Contact Andrea Burnett, Sound Transit Community Outreach at 206-398-5300 or andrea.burnett@soundtransit.org

For issues that need immediate attention after normal business hours, call Sound Transit’s 24-hour construction hotline at 888-298-2395

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Transportation Survey Seeks Input on Community Shuttle Route 628

Take the survey online through December 7

Through a new transportation survey of people who live, work or go to school in Snoqualmie, Issaquah or North Bend, the City of Snoqualmie and King County Metro Transit are evaluating awareness of Community Shuttle Route 628 to better meet the community’s needs.

shuttle-blueskyKing County Metro Transit Route 628 operates every 30 minutes during peak morning and late afternoon commuting hours between North Bend, Snoqualmie, and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride. The transportation survey seeks information from local residents about their commuting times and area destinations, even if residents don’t currently use Route 628.

Residents can take the survey online through December 7. More info about Route 628 is available at the King County Metro Transit website.

Ride Metro to Huskies, Seahawks games

The Huskies and Seahawks both play at home the weekend of Nov. 19. As the teams set their sights on playoffs, King County Metro can be a convenient way for riders and fans heading to one or both games.

Fans and regular Metro riders should be prepared for heavy game-day traffic and delays in and around the University District on Saturday, Nov. 19, and in and around Pioneer Square and downtown on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Huskies vs. Arizona State, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19

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Metro operates Husky game-day non-stop shuttle buses to UW Husky Stadium from park-and-rides at Eastgate, Houghton, Kingsgate, Federal Way/South 320th Street, Shoreline, South Kirkland, South Renton and Northgate Transit Center.

Pre-game shuttles leave designated park and ride lots as they fill starting 2½ hours prior to kick-off time, with the last buses from each park-and-ride leaving approximately 40 minutes before kick-off, except for the Federal Way shuttle; this trip can take up to one hour and the shuttles are scheduled accordingly.

A $5 round trip voucher is required for each person age 6 and older to board the shuttle. Purchase vouchers from the vendor located at each park-and-ride lot. No passes or transfers are accepted on the Husky park-and-ride shuttles, including ORCA and UPASS. Game tickets are not accepted as fare on any service.

Post-game shuttles depart from designated locations near UW Husky Stadium. The last park-and-ride shuttle leaves the Husky Stadium area 30 minutes after the game.

Buses rerouted

With shuttles picking up and dropping off on Montlake Boulevard and NE Pacific Street, riders of regular Metro routes serving the UW Link light rail station (31, 32, 44, 45, 48, 65, 67, 71, 73, 75, 271 and 372) will be rerouted to 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Campus Parkway before and immediately after the game (see for more info).  Riders headed to or from Husky Stadium can walk or ride a free shuttle the rest of the way.

The UW Link shuttle operates about every 7½ minutes from a posted shuttle stop southbound on University Avenue Northeast just north of Northeast Pacific Street. It serves stops along Pacific before turning around at Montlake to provide westbound service back to the University District.

Seahawks vs. Eagles, 1:25 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20

Seahawks shuttles serve the Eastgate park-and-ride, Northgate Transit Center, and South Kirkland park-and-ride and travel nonstop to CenturyLink Field. Nearly all regularly scheduled Sunday transit service – including Sound Transit Link light rail and the First Hill Streetcar – that serves downtown Seattle also travels to or near CenturyLink Field and is a great way to get to Seahawks games and other stadium events. Sound Transit also operates Seahawks Sounder trains with stops in Auburn, Kent and Tukwila.

Metro’s park-and-ride shuttles leave parking areas two hours prior to kick off time and as they fill, with the last bus leaving about 30 minutes before kickoff. The park-and-ride shuttles do not operate for weekday games.  Fans who miss the shuttles can ride regularly scheduled service from the same locations to get to the game.

A cash-only, exact fare of $4 one way or $8 round trip per person is required on the shuttles. No ORCA cards, passes or transfers are accepted.  A valid regular fare is required on all other regularly scheduled Metro service. All pre-game shuttles arrive near CenturyLink Field on Fifth Avenue South at South Weller Street.

After the game, shuttle buses returning non-stop to Eastgate and South Kirkland leave from southbound on Fifth Avenue South at South Weller Street, and the Northgate shuttle leaves northbound on Fifth Avenue South from just north of South Weller Street. The last bus leaves 45 minutes after the end of the game.

For information about regular transit service to games, 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.

Make Metro a safe place for everyone

By Rob Gannon, Metro Transit General Manager

In this moment of change and transition, County Executive Constantine has reaffirmed our values and principles.  King County is a place that values women, people of color, people with disabilities, people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, immigrants and refugees, and people of every religion, or of no religion.

In the delivery of our service to the public, Metro Transit does not tolerate harassment of any kind.  The vehicles we operate will remain safe places for our passengers.  Acts of harassment on our buses or at our shelters violate Metro Transit’s commitment to inclusion for all in our community and our rider Code of Conduct.  Should they occur, we ask people to report them to our employees or call 911 if law enforcement is needed immediately.

Metro Transit GM Rob Gannon portrait photo

Rob Gannon, Metro Transit General Manager

We will take enforcement actions against violators of this code.  And we are reminding operators of our procedures for addressing violations of the code of conduct aboard their coaches.

King County is a growing community rich in diversity and is one of the world’s great metropolitan areas.  Metro demonstrates our contribution by providing the best service possible, safely and with respect given to all our customers.  We ask all our riders to join in that commitment.

Ride safe, and help us keep our system safe for everyone.

Survey: Help Metro learn about transit gaps since Route 331 service was reduced

1016auroravillagetc001-2In September 2014, Metro reduced evening and night service on Route 331, which connects Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Shoreline, and the Shoreline Community College campus. Now our Alternative Services Demonstration Program is working with the communities of Lake Forest Park and Shoreline and with Shoreline Community College to identify transit service gaps that might have been created by this reduction.

Do you live, work, or go to school in Shoreline or Lake Forest Park? Tell us about how you use or would like to use public transportation to get around.