King County is preparing to roll out a big group of changes to Metro bus routes, all as part of the initial launch of Rapid Ride, which provides new branded high-frequency service and upgraded amenities on select routes around the county. The first line will connect Federal Way and Tukwila, and “additional RapidRide lines debuting over the next three years will serve busy transit corridors in West Seattle, Ballard, Bellevue, Redmond, Shoreline, Burien, Tukwila, and Renton.” Note that our busy transit corridors are not currently planned to get any upgrades to Rapid status.
With Metro’s big revenue shortfall, any system expansions will have to come from somewhere, and it looks like our #14 route is one of those places. Service on that route, which runs up and down Jackson to Mount Baker, will be cut from 30 minute headways down to 60 minutes on weekdays and Saturday after 9pm. Some southbound trips in the evening will also be truncated at the Mt. Baker Transit Center, avoiding the traditional loop out to Hunter Blvd.
But it’s not all gloom if you live on the far west side of the neighborhood. The #7 route will get an increase to every 15 minutes on weekday evenings and weekend mornings. And the #60 route between First Hill and Georgetown will be improved to 30 minute frequency on weekends, possibly convenient for your Georgetown bar-hopping festivities.
Stay tuned for other bus route news in coming months as the county narrows down its options to close the gap between bus service and forecasted revenues.