There’s good news for riders of the #3 & #4 bus routes between the neighborhood and downtown. Metro is partnering with the city to increase the frequency of service by about 30% during off-peak hours, with buses running every 6-8 minutes from 9am to 3pm and 6:30pm to 10pm on weekdays. That’s more frequent service than during the peak commuting hours, and compares to the current schedule of 10-12 minutes during those same time periods.
Service will also improve on the #14 route between Mt. Baker & downtown, with peak-period service increasing to every 15 minutes vs. 18-20 minutes currently. (thx Elvis for catching this one)
Service on route 27 down Yesler will be decreased a bit, losing the current 6:50pm trip from Colman Park to downtown.
All changes take affect September 20th, and a full list of changes is available at http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/sc/rideralert/ra-092008-rtchan .
Update: I asked a followup to Metro about their partnership with the city, and found that 2/3 of the funding comes from the Transit Now sales tax increase voters approved in 2006. The other 1/3 comes from the city’s Bridging the Gap program that voters also approved in 2006.
it’s getting more service, too. for those us required to take 2 buses the short distance from the CD to downtown, I guess this is welcome news
Now if the 8 would run CD thru cap hill/downtown till late, that would be sweet.
how about if the 8 ran in a normal route than something that takes you to seattle center. is 28th and jackson to seattle center really in high demand?
There are/were a bunch of services near Seattle Center.
I definitely need the run from Union and MLK to Denny and Westlake.
Did not see any additions to the route 2. I’ve been riding the 2 for about the past 12 years now and they definitely need to add extra buses during the peak commute times. Where I get on the bus, (about 5 stops from the start of the route at Madrona) a lot of mornings it’s standing room only by the stop at 23rd & Union.
While I think it’s great they are adding more buses to a lot of routes, adding them at off peak hours just seems like a waste when the buses at peak commute hours (to which they are not adding buses) are packed liked sardines.
Good job Metro, but you’ve still got a lot of work to do.
>is 28th and jackson to seattle center really in high demand?
It practically shadows the 43 thru cap hill as well. It seems pretty full both morning and evening. I just wish there was a direct bus to cap hill so this is the best I can get :)
Amen. The 2 is clearly beyond capacity in commute hours and is becoming really uncomfortable to ride to work. It’s certainly not a bad thing to add more runs (#3, 4) during non-commute hours, but I have to assume that the Transit Now funding is not available for commuter runs?? Seems like an odd choice to put limited resources to something other than the area of greatest demand.
I used to take the 8 when I lived on Capitol Hill to Denny and Dexter and then transferred to the 26 or 28 to Fremont to get to work. I would love it if the 8 ran more frequently to the CD because it would make it much easier to bus to work. As it is now, it would take 45-50 minutes including transfer time to go 5 miles.
It would also be great if the 8 ran later in the evenings on weekdays and weekends so we could take it to Capitol Hill.
Agreed. I take both the 2 and the 3/4. The 2 gets too crowded in the morning peak hours, but to be fair, I’ve seen the 3/4 and the 14 be totally overcrowded at 6 or 6:30pm. If the 3/4 is running late in the evening, there will often be 20 or 25 people waiting at 3rd and James, for a bus that’s already standing room only.
As grateful as I am for these improvements, what about adding a few buses to the 48? It’s heavily used by commuters and both high school and UW students, and frequently standing-room only.
more service to the 8 and 48 would have been mighty welcome.
is the issue with the 48 its infrequency or its inconsistency?
in my experience, which is limited to taking it up and down 23rd from Jackson to Madison, is that it’s wildly inconsistent. My guess is the route–from Columbia City to north Seattle, doesn’t help it run on time and thus spread out usage evenly.
the 14 and 27 mirror each other but the 27 is more civilized. the 14 always reaks like dirt and BO. the 27 runs every 30.
Can we some help metro? the 27 is always packed to the gillz too.
1) The #8 was created by taking hours from other routes (including the 2/3/4 if memory serves) due to expressed community demand for a route to the Center that didn’t go through downtown, as well as for a route that served Cap Hill from the CD. I agree it would be nice to get more service on the route that ran at later hours, but that wasn’t deemed as high a priority.
2) The 3/4 hours in off-peak are easier to add because there is less demand for buses in the off-peak hours. Adding peak hour service requires both more buses and more drivers – since many of the part-time drivers work primarily during peak hours, it’s a lot easier to fill slots in off-peak when they aren’t working than in peak when they are. And the buses that you see “Central Base” and other designations on at the end of morning peak hours are available in off-peak.
3) Plenty of folks have talked about splitting the 48, much like the 7/49 split, so one route goes Columbia City – U District, and the other U District – Crown Hill. Metro has talked about it in the context of the 520 work, which could potentially change some routing through Montlake (which is one of the 48’s big problems in terms of on-time performance).
4) If you look at the top ten busiest routes in the system, all of them run in Seattle (big surprise there) but we are handcuffed by the 40/40/20 rule the County has for any new service outside of Transit Now and/or direct City funding (the Bridging the Gap funds that Scott mentioned in the article). If you want to see more hours in peak on the 2/3/4/8/48 – all of which could use them – it’s time to start pounding on City and County Council members, the Mayor and the County Executive’s office. Great project for a revitalized Central Neighborhood Association IMO, but also something that folks in Madrona, Leschi, Mount Baker etc. should be working on as well.
John, thanks for the background and insightful post.
I do have some serious questions about the wisdom of a dedicated route from the CD to Seattle Center when there are almost inexhaustible routes one can take to SC by simply transferring downtown on 5th or 3rd. In other cities, like Chicago and DC, the central hub model creates certain levels of efficiences that seem to be lost by trying to connect distance “urban centers” or whatever the planners choose to call the CD and Seattle Center.
Heck, you can take the #2 or #3 all the way through, pretty much :)
I wasn’t involved with the #8 process, but it was pretty clear that an awful lot of people wanted it, badly enough to give up hours on other routes that were already crowded. I don’t know if it’s the single-seat preference (i.e., not having to transfer) or what.
Chicago and DC – and I was just in Chicago this week! – both have rail systems, which makes a difference I think. It’s a lot easier to run high-frequency rail where you control the right-of-way than it is with buses, where you run into bus bunching, etc. With us only having one rail line (which hasn’t even opened yet) I don’t know if you have quite the same opportunities. Plus City Council has committed to connecting urban centers with bus service – not that there’s any money for the service, of course, but there was a commitment made :)
I’m still looking for a transit solution that would be easier and quicker than walking between the Broadway E. or the Group Health Area around the 15th Avenue E. and the S.Jackson and E.Union commercial areas. They would complement each other and it is ridiculous to have to transfer to get there. Really if you are feeling well walking is easier and quicker. This is important especially now that Sound Transit’s stop is at the corner of E. John and Broadway E. The original plan for First Hill was more accessible.
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