Changes coming to Northgate Transit Center Park-and-Ride

As early as Monday, October 10, 2016 a new interim park-and-ride lot (Lot B) will open across the street from the Northgate Transit Center at the southeast corner of NE 100th Street and First Avenue NE. The new interim lot is needed to replace stalls that will be unavailable after the Northgate Link light rail station construction begins later this fall.

Construction will occupy the west side of the Northgate Transit Center Park-and-Ride along First Avenue NE. The park-and-ride entrance on NE 100th Street will stay open at this time.

The capacity of the existing interim park-and-ride lot (Lot A) at the corner of NE 103rd Street and Fifth Ave NE will be reduced as Northgate Mall resumes exclusive use of some stalls.

As construction of the station progresses, we’ll keep you informed about additional changes to the park-and-ride.

For more information:

 

Map of Phase 1 Changes

  • 20160920-northgate-link-extension-parking-phase1

Take a survey, share input on park-and-ride parking

Our customers count on quick access to reliable parking at our park-and-rides. Yet many tell us it’s getting harder to find spaces, especially as more people use transit.1795

We also know some of our park-and-ride spots are being filled by people who aren’t there to catch a bus, vanpool, or carpool—instead, they’re going to nearby businesses, apartments, or construction sites.

Metro is now looking at a range of options to improve management of parking at our lots and garages, and we want your input.1830

One option might be permits for priority parking for carpoolers, similar to a program Sound Transit will roll out this fall.

We’d like your thoughts about permit parking, as well as any other ideas to help us better manage parking at our park-and-rides.

Take this 10-minute online survey to tell us what you think, or contact us at haveasay@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-9768.

The deadline for comments is Friday, August 19.

Learn more
Project website: www.kingcounty.gov/metro/parking
Sound Transit parking permits: www.soundtransit.org/permitparking
Metro Connects (our DRAFT long-range plan – see Pages 35-42):
www.kcmetrovision.org/plan/metro-connects-draft-plan

Transit service connections, reroutes for Fourth of July celebrations

MetroFireworksAvatar_largeFourth of July daytime parades and nighttime firework shows are planned across King County, and are expected to draw tens of thousands of people. As you explore how to get to these events using transit, please review planned reroutes and service adjustments that are scheduled to be in place for the holiday. We also have some tips for how to get home after the big show on Lake Union.

In observance of Independence Day on Monday, July 4, Metro Transit will operate a Sunday schedule, with 25 additional buses put in service following the major fireworks display at Lake Union. Metro offices, including the Customer Information office and the Lost and Found, will be closed.  If a Metro bus route does not normally operate on Sunday, it will not operate on Independence Day.

Transit service Monday night following the Lake Union fireworks display
While crowds will trickle into the Gas Works Park area throughout the day for festivities, everyone is leaving at about the same time after the fireworks, leading to likely service delays and overloaded buses. Here is some information to help get you home:independence_day2

  • Ride routes 32 & 44 from the Wallingford area to the Link light rail University of Washington Station; 10-15 minute service after 10:00 PM; Route 44 service until 2:00 AM; Route 32 will be rerouted between Stone Way N and the U-District.
  • To downtown Seattle, ride routes 5, 40 or 62 from the Fremont area; service operates about every 10-15 min until almost 1:00 AM.
  • From Aurora Av N, the RapidRide E Line operates to downtown every 15-30 minutes until about 2:00 AM.
  • Ride routes 26 & 40 to Northgate from Fremont and Wallingford respectively; service operates about every 30 minutes until about 1:30 AM; Route 26 will be rerouted off of NE 40th St.
  • Between downtown Seattle and the University District, ride Route 70 via Eastlake Av E; service about every 15 minutes until 1:00 AM; last trip northbound from downtown is 1:06 AM; last trip southbound from the University is 1:51 AM.
  • The South Lake Union Streetcar is operating additional trips after the fireworks display ends.
  • Additional buses will be used to mitigate overloads.

Other holiday transit service notes include: Continue reading

Congratulations! Gary Archer is Metro Transit’s 2016 Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year!

In a surprise ceremony Wednesday, lead mechanic Gary Archer was named Metro Transit’s 2016 Vehicle Maintenance Employee of the Year – to the smiles and applause of his coworkers and team at South Base in Tukwila.

It’s the second time Gary has won the award, unprecedented in Metro’s history. Archer was selected by his peers, more than 600 vehicle maintenance workers across Metro’s seven bus bases. Gary first won the Employee of the Year award in Vehicle Maintenance in 2003.

Mechanic Gary Archer“Seeing Gary today with his colleagues, it was clear to me what a quiet, humble man of integrity he is,” said Rob Gannon, interim Metro Transit general manager. “His team is truly inspired.  He is a model of leadership for all of us.”

Metro hired Gary as a mechanic in December 1979. He was promoted to his present position as a lead mechanic in September 1982. Throughout his more than 36 years with King County, he has received numerous commendations for his outstanding work.

Thanks to his hard work leading a team of mechanics, nearly 300 of Metro’s 1,400 buses are ready to roll out of South Base every morning for transit operators. Gary has dedicated his career to providing safe, dependable vehicles for bus riders and transit operators – key to keeping commuters and the economy moving.

Winning the award a second time shows the continuous admiration and respect Metro’s mechanics have for Gary. He is known for his people skills, confidence and focus on teamwork. He is admired for being solid, fair, even-tempered, a mentor, humble, honest, well-liked, dependable and a problem solver. We’re honored to have Gary Archer as a part of our team in Vehicle Maintenance!

Link Connections – King County Metro bus riders will see many changes in March

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium on March 19, 2016. Metro and Sound Transit have worked with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail starting March 26, 2016.

On Saturday, March 19, Sound Transit will expand Link light rail to Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations, one week before Metro’s spring service change takes effect on Saturday, March 26. This new extension of the Link light rail network features frequent, fast service between downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University of Washington near Husky Stadium.

Especially in areas with new Link service, transit customers will need to know that they will continue to use current bus routes and schedules for one week before new ‘Link Connection’ bus service becomes available.

During the first week of University Link service, use current bus service to connect with light rail
From Saturday, March 19 through Friday, March 25, the following routes will serve the new Link light rail stations:

  • Capitol Hill Station – at Broadway & E John St: Currently served by Metro bus routes 8, 9, 10, 11, 43, 49 and 60, as well as the new City of Seattle First Hill Streetcar.
  • University of Washington Station – at Husky Stadium: Currently served by
    Metro bus routes 25, 31, 32, 43, 44, 48, 65, 67, 68, 75, 167, 197, 271, 277, 372
    and 373, and on Sound Transit Express routes ST 540, ST 542 and ST 556.

Many bus routes change March 26
Starting Saturday, March 26, Metro’s spring service changes will take effect. These changes, shown on Metro’s Link Connections page, include a redesigned network of bus service to better connect riders with Link light rail and to provide new connections and service improvements you’ve told us you want, featuring:

  • New or improved connections to University of Washington Link Station on existing and new routes 31, 32, 45, 48, 65, 67, 71, 73, 75, 78, 372 and 373. See where these – and other routes that aren’t changing – connect to the University of Washington Link station;
  • New or improved connections to Capitol Hill Link Station on routes 8, 10, 11 and 49, and on unchanged routes 9, 60 and the First Hill Streetcar that will also connect with Link;
  • Route deletions or replacements: Routes 16, 25, 26 Local, 28 Local, 30, 66X, 68, 72 and 242 are deleted or replaced with other service.
  • Peak service improvements on routes 64X, 74X, 76 and 316;
  • Increased frequency on routes 8, 12, 48, 49, 65, 67, 70, 73, 75 and 372X;
  • More reliable service on routes 8 and 48 – currently often delayed by traffic; they will each be split into two shorter routes;
  • New east-west connections between Sand Point, Wedgwood, Ravenna, Roosevelt, Green Lake, Wallingford and Fremont on new Route 62;
  • New connections to South Lake Union and First Hill employment sites on
    new Route 63;
  • New night and weekend service on routes 8, 12, 67, 70 and 372X, and
  • Route 43 maintained with 30-minute peak period service on weekdays.

Find out how your routes are changing on Metro’s Link Connections website.

Other changes
In partnership with the City of Seattle, Metro’s RapidRide C Line will be extended to serve South Lake Union, and will no longer continue as the RapidRide D Line to Ballard. The RapidRide D Line will be extended to serve Pioneer Square, and will no longer continue as the RapidRide C Line to West Seattle. Read more.

Background
Implementation of Link light rail service to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, and the related bus network revisions, are a culmination of several years of work by Metro, Sound Transit and the City of Seattle, along with many other stakeholders, and have included an extensive multi-phase public outreach that has featured online information, surveys and comment periods, public meetings and a Sounding Board composed of area residents. The King County Council adopted these changes on October 19, 2015. Additional administrative changes have been made since Council acted in October. For details on the history of this project and what has changed over time, read our series of blog posts categorized as Link Connections.

What do riders need to do to prepare, and when?
Starting now, riders can prepare for changes by:

You can plan bus trips to and from the new Link stations now by using current timetables in Metro Online, or by using a travel date of March 25 or earlier and
entering the station names as your destination or starting point in Metro’s online Trip Planner. Specific information about University Link trips and schedules will be in the
Trip Planner in early March.

In early March, we’ll let you know when you can:

  • Use a travel date of March 26 or later in Metro’s online Trip Planner to plan transit
    trips in the new network that will be effective on March 26;
  • Sign up for Transit Alerts for any new routes you may be riding, and
  • Review – during the week prior to March 26 – any trip plans or other information
    you may have previously obtained, as minor revisions may have been made.

Online timetables for Metro service effective on Saturday, March 26, will be posted
on the Metro Online website on the afternoon of Friday, March 25.

This will be the first of several updates related to transit service changes associated with the upcoming expansion of Link light rail to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. We’ll keep you informed as new information becomes available via this blog and on social media using the hashtag #Bus2Link and #ULink2016.

 

 

Link Connections – Light rail to begin serving Capitol Hill and the UW on March 19

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium on March 19. Metro and Sound Transit are focused on ensuring a smooth launch of train service and implementing changes to bus routes to better serve transit customers.

Sound Transit today announced the University Link light rail extension will open to passenger service on Saturday, March 19. Read Sound Transit’s news release.

Metro plans a major restructure of bus routes to serve the new light rail stations and improve connections.

Bus route changes start March 26, which gives a week for train operations before Metro adjusts transit routes and schedules. Both agencies are focused on ensuring a smooth launch of train service and implementing the restructure of bus routes to better serve transit customers. Learn more about how bus routes are changing.

Bus announcement volumes adjusted

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 26, we will be adjusting the volume level of internal stop announcements and external route and destination announcements on all buses to better serve transit customers. Plus, we’re going to be doing external bus announcements at all bus stops served by two or more routes and phasing out external announcements at bus stops served by just a single route.

1115BusAnncmntVolTest018b

Metro gathered a group of riders in November 2015 to give feedback about volume levels for bus announcements.

Consistent audio announcements are required by federal law and provide independence to riders who with vision impairments or other disabilities.

Improved stop, route and destination announcements will meet or exceed Federal Transit Administration requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and better serve all riders who use the Metro system. The changes address an FTA audit that found Metro did not meet stop and route announcement requirements.

Since November, we’ve implemented comprehensive on-board stop announcements on 100 bus routes, with more to be phased in during the coming months.

Learn more about Metro’s accessible services programs online and contact customer service to talk with a Metro representative about how to navigate the system.

Link Connections – Metro to change Route 10, thanks for your feedback

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit have worked with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.

Two weeks ago we shared with you that Metro won’t be able to change routes 8 and 11 to operate on shared pathway between 23rd Avenue East and Bellevue Avenue when the Capitol Hill Link light rail station opens in 2016. We asked for your feedback about a potential change to Route 10 that would move the route to serve East John Street, Capitol Hill Station and Olive Way. This routing of the 10 would follow the same path in Capitol Hill that Route 43 uses west of 15th Avenue East. Read the full blog post.

1,269 of you responded to our online survey. With your feedback and our analysis, we have decided to change Route 10.

Here’s what you told us:

  • A two-thirds majority of respondents support or can accept this change. Your comments in support of the change reflect our own rationale for making it.
  • For those of you who commented to us that you don’t like the change, but could live with it, you told us that moving Route 10 is not what you desire as an outcome of this restructure, but it will help address ridership needs in Capitol Hill and more equitably distribute bus resources on the corridors that need it most.
  • Those opposed to this change are concerned about capacity on Route 11 as the only route service Pike/Pine between Broadway and 15th You are also concerned about a loss of inter-local connections. We heard from people who live, work, shop, go to school, and play who use Route 10 to travel between the Pike/Pine corridor and the 15th Avenue corridor. Whether you are students who live along 15th going to the Northwest School or residents on Pike/Pine headed to bars and Volunteer Park on 15th, these trips become less convenient if we make this change.

Read a summary of the feedback we received on Route 10.

Despite concerns, we think this change would better meet ridership demand along East John Street and in the Summit neighborhood, where there are nearly 1,000 bus boardings every day (940 people getting on and 1,300 getting off buses) on current Route 43. The Summit neighborhood and Olive corridor are the densest parts of Capitol Hill. Residents in this part of Capitol Hill face a steep climb to the light rail station. While the Route 43 will continue to operate in the peak periods, making this change avoids a significant net reduction of service at other times of day.

While this change would remove bus service along 15th Avenue East between East Madison Street and East John Street, a large majority of the average daily ridership along this part of Route 10 are at the stops closest to 15th Avenue East and East John Street and 15th Avenue East and East Pine Street or East Madison Street. These stops would still be served by routes 8, 10, 11, and 12. For those getting on and off Route 10 in the middle of this stretch (approximately 80 per day), they are no more than 4 blocks on a flat stretch of 15th to the nearest service.

Moving Route 10 will result in more bus service connecting Capitol Hill to the regional light rail system – including an easy bus connection from Capitol Hill Station to Group Health, the 15th Avenue retail core, and Volunteer Park.

To address concerns with bus capacity on the Route 11 in the Madison and Pine Street corridor we are planning to use 60-foot-long articulated coaches when ridership is at its highest. We will also actively monitor ridership after all changes are implemented and make adjustments as needed.

We’re in the process of updating our project website to reflect this decision. In the meantime, sign up for our project email list to be informed about when our website is up-to-date. Please contact DeAnna Martin at deanna.martin@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-3835 if you would like help figuring out how to get where you need to go after this change is made.

 

 

Link Connections – Metro moves toward making changes adopted by council, needs to fine-tune Capitol Hill connections

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit are working with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.

Routes 8 and 11 will keep their current routing

Weigh in on a potential change to Route 10: take our survey

The King County Council has approved bus service changes for March 2016 that will integrate Metro buses with new Link light rail service to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. The adopted changes will make transit service more frequent and reliable, create new connections, and improve mobility for thousands of King County residents. Find details of adopted changes on our project website.

Metro is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and other partners to make sure these changes will be successful. SDOT has agreed to make roadway modifications and other improvements in eight places, but declined to make modifications that would support our approved changes for routes 8 and 11 on Capitol Hill and in the Central Area.

We were planning to revise routes 8 and 11 to operate on E Madison Street and 19th Avenue E, continuing to/from E John Street. The purpose of these changes was to keep frequent east-west service that connects with light rail at the new Capitol Hill Station, to improve transfers with Route 48 at 23rd Avenue E, to maintain service on all parts of E Madison Street, and to serve Route 43 riders after that route becomes a peak-only route.

Metro tested the turns with buses, and our traffic engineers developed a traffic rechannelization plan, which SDOT rejected. So we’ll keep routes 8 and 11 on their current paths, resulting in a gap in frequency for riders along this pathway as well as much less bus service to downtown Seattle for the Summit neighborhood (service that would have been provided by our adopted changes to Route 11).

One solution to this gap is to improve frequency on Route 8 above the levels originally approved by the County Council, to partly replace the planned combined frequency of routes 8 and 11 on E John and E Thomas streets. We will be increasing Route 8 frequency from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and on Sundays between noon and 7 p.m.

We’re are also considering moving Route 10 to serve E John Street, the Capitol Hill Station, and Olive Way (the same pathway that Route 43 takes today). We did consider this idea during earlier phases of the planning process, including with our inter-agency partners and our Sounding Board, but never brought it to the broader public for feedback. Now that network conditions have changed, we believe it could allow us to better serve Capitol Hill riders.

Please tell us what you think about this idea to change Route 10 via a short survey. The deadline for comment is this Sunday, Dec. 13. Your input will help us more fully understand the implications of this change and decide whether to move forward with it.

Find details of what King County Council adopted on our project website. Stay informed as decisions are made and new information becomes available: sign up for our project email list.

 

Link Connections – Proposed #Bus2Link changes amended, move ahead to full King County Council

Link Connections

Link is coming to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in early 2016. Metro and Sound Transit are working with the public to plan how bus service will connect with new light rail.

Proposed changes to bus service in Seattle are headed to the full King County Council Monday, Oct. 19, for consideration as part of a year-long effort to restructure bus service to better connect neighborhoods to each other and to Link light rail in 2016.

The Transportation, Economy and Environment committee voted Oct. 14 to send the proposed changes to the council.

Proposed changes to several routes came via an amendment offered by Councilmember Dembowski which responds to key concerns raised by riders regarding previously recommended changes.

Key changes affect routes 40, 43, 65, 67, 71, 73, 76, 78, 316, 346 and 373, finding ways to balance tradeoffs within available service hours. Further fine-tuning of language is expected prior to the council’s final adoption.

  • Rather than being completely deleted, Route 43 will operate during peak times in both directions on its current path.
  • Rather than being deleted, Route 71 will operate between Wedgwood, Ravenna, Roosevelt, the University District and UW Station Monday through Saturday.
  • The new Route 78 will operate only between Laurelhurst, the UW, and the UW light rail station at times when Route 25 currently operates. This avoids duplication with the retained Route 71 segments.
  • Routes 73 and 373 will pair up to provide service along 15th Avenue NE and along the Ave in the U District, but route 73 will not operate at the same times as 373 to reduce duplication. Both routes will connect with Link light rail at UW.
  • Route 73 will keep Saturday service.
  • Routes 67 and 73 will stay on their current pathways through the U District via the Roosevelt/11th couplet and University Way, respectively.
  • Through-routing routes 65 and 67 is proposed to save money needed to apply to service included in the changes listed above. This means Route 65 will operate differently than previously proposed. Rather than loop through campus and around to the Montlake Triangle, it will operate via Stevens Way in the south/westbound direction and via Montlake Boulevard in the east/northbound direction.
  • Route 67 will operate every 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes heading away from the University District in the afternoon peak hours.
  • Revising service to be added to route 76 and 316.
  • Routing changes for Routes 40 and 346 in Northgate to improve connections with revised Route 26X.

In addition to amending route changes, the committee added language to address customer satisfaction and ensure the work Metro has already begun with its partners best serves the public. This language addresses the following:

  • Customer satisfaction – Metro is asked to conduct a “customer and resident service assessment survey” to be completed by March 2017.
  • Transfer environment – a list of transfer points are identified where Metro is expected to work with partners to make the transfer environment as convenient and safe as possible.
  • Customer education/communications – Metro is expected to conduct a large-scale education and outreach effort to prepare people for these changes.

The amendment identifies reporting milestones at which Metro is asked to present its plan and work on these items to council.

Metro plans to update its website with route and service change information after the council takes final action in coming weeks, including remaking affected maps so riders can clearly see what changes can be expected in 2016. Members of the public can comment on these changes at the King County Council meeting this Monday. Public comment is accepted at the beginning of the meeting, which starts at 1:30 pm in King County Council Chambers (map/directions.)