Metro, Sound Transit seek public input on future of SR 520 transit service

link-connections-sr-520-2For bus riders commuting between Eastside communities and downtown Seattle, potential new connections between Metro and Sound Transit bus service and Link light rail offer an appealing option for beating traffic congestion on Interstate 5.

This month, Metro and Sound Transit invited Eastside residents to weigh in on potential changes in transit service along the State Route 520 corridor.

Those changes could include stopping cross-lake buses at the University of Washington light rail station so riders can transfer onto trains headed to downtown, or providing Eastside communities with new transit connections to destinations such as South Lake Union.

Connecting SR 520 routes to light rail could connect riders with congestion-free service to Downtown Seattle.  Metro first considered this option when the University of Washington light rail station opened during the University Link Connections outreach process, but decided to hold a separate process with Eastside communities.

Routes potentially affected include the 252, 255, 257, 268, 277, 311, 540, 541, 542, 545, 555 and 556.

Feedback received during the public outreach process will be used to shape service concepts that will be presented for public review in May and June. Final proposals will be shared with the public later this fall for feedback, then pre520-Link-Connectionssented to the King County Council and Sound Transit Board for consideration.

At Metro’s Link Connections SR-520 website, you can:

Metro and Sound Transit are recruiting a sounding board of 15-20 community members to advise the agencies through the planning process. The sounding board will meet regularly through November 2017. People of diverse backgrounds who reflect the affected communities are encouraged to apply, via the website.

Nearly 230,000 peo0317Sr520Outreach114ple commute in and out of downtown Seattle from throughout the region, with many thousands more coming to shop and attend cultural events. Over the next 20 years, Seattle’s center city is projected to add 55,000 more jobs and 25,000 more households. That growth will occur as downtown traffic is affected by significant changes, including demotion of the Alaskan Way Viaduct; expansion of the Washington State Convention Center; and the long-planned conversion of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to a rail-only facility, which will send seven bus routes to the surface.

Changes outside downtown Seattle over the next five years include SR-520 construction and work along I-90 in preparation for the opening of East Link in 2023.

Additionally, an effort led by the Seattle Department of Transportation in partnership with King County Metro, Sound Transit and the Downtown Seattle Association called One Center City proposes potential strategies including bus route changes alongside street and traffic improvements and other measures in Downtown Seattle.

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.

Metro surveying bus riders ahead of Link light rail extension to Capitol Hill, UW

As Metro Transit gears up to revise and improve bus service in March, you’ll see transit and research staff aboard buses, asking riders about their experiences and travel patterns in the Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill areas.

The on-board survey – planned 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays from Feb. 19 through March 18 – will help establish a baseline of customer satisfaction and ridership patterns on Metro routes in areas around the upcoming Link light rail expansion. A follow-up study is planned later this year to learn how the changes have affected passengers and to learn their opinion of the changes.

Survey workers wearing Metro vests will be riding a sample of bus trips during the weekday, handing out and collecting surveys from customers. Surveys will be available in six languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Amharic, Somali and Vietnamese. Routes where riders can expect to see staff include routes 8, 10, 15, 26, 28, 30, 43, 48, 49, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 242, 316, 372 and 373.

Metro worked with riders last year to understand what bus service you wanted in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill. Planned revisions will better connect riders to new Link light rail stations and establish a frequent, reliable network of bus service that riders have asked for. An estimated 80,000 daily riders will see more frequent service on designated corridors in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill – this doubles the frequency of buses along some key corridors that have never seen more than half-hourly service.

Thanks in advance riding transit and helping us improve your service!