Community Post

Metro Transit Proposes Service Changes:!3{2}County Council to Hold Hearing

King County Councilmember Larry Gossett’s office is calling Central Area residents’ attention to proposed Metro bus route and schedule changes that will affect the C.D.  In particular, Gossett’s office notes that Metro #8 would have increased hours of service and more frequent service.  Route#48 would be cut into two routes, offering the possibility of better on-time service, but a transfer will be necessary for some whose destination is beyond the end point of either of the new routes.

The County Council’s press release states:

The launch of Sound Transit’s Link light rail service in July has led to a proposal from Metro Transit for a series of significant service changes. The public will have a chance to comment on the proposed changes at a special joint meeting of two committees of the Metropolitan King County Council.

The joint meeting of the Council’s Physical Environment Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee will be held:

Tuesday, April 28  6:30 p.m.
Council chambers 
10th floor,  King County Courthouse ,  Third and James Streets

“We need to consider each of the transit service changes carefully, as we balance competing goals,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, chair of the Physical Environment Committee. “We want efficient bus service that does not duplicate light rail, yet meets customers’ needs without worsening Metro’s budget gap.”

“Metro is proposing changes in bus service as a result of rail service in southeast Seattle,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett, chair of the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee. “I want to make sure that transit users are aware of the impact those changes may have on their commute and have an opportunity to give us their input before we make any final decisions.”


The council is scheduled to vote within the next six weeks on proposed Metro bus service changes for the southeast Seattle area and southwest King County that could occur next September or February.

Metro is proposing to change bus service once Sound Transit’s Link light rail service begins. The purpose of these changes is to connect neighborhoods to Link stations, avoid duplication of transit services, and make bus service more efficient.

These changes could affect Metro routes:7, 7 Express, 8, 9 Express, 14, 32, 34 Express, 36, 38, 39, 42, 42 Express, 48, 60, 106, 107, 126, 128, 140, 154, 170, 174, 179, 180, 191, and 194.


Over the past six months, Metro involved the community in planning these changes and held several open house meetings, conducted surveys, and revised proposals based on citizen comments. A major effort was made to reach out to bus riders with limited English proficiency. Two community advisory groups worked with the agency over the six-month period to help Metro evaluate all public input.


All service changes must be approved by the King County Council.

The special evening meeting will be carried live on King County TV on Comcast and Broadstripe Cable Channel 22, and replayed in its entirely several more times in the weeks to follow. For a schedule visit the KCTV Web site

Metro will post full details of the proposed service changes online on Friday, April 17.

The public may comment before the council vote by testifying at the April 28 public hearing. You can also e-mail comments to[email protected], call (206) 296-1683 (TTY Relay 711), or mail a letter to:King County Council Physical Environment Committee, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Room 1200, Seattle, WA 98104.

0 thoughts on “Metro Transit Proposes Service Changes:!3{2}County Council to Hold Hearing

  1. The press release mentions that there are changes, but no link to the actual details. I did read the flyer that was sent out to the neighborhood, but as I recall, there were 3 options under consideration. Have they picked one?

  2. a potential dream come true. let’s hope that stop running this thing from ballard to columbia city, possibly the most inefficient route in the entire city.

  3. Larry Gossett’s office says the details of the proposed changes will be posted on line on Friday April 17. Web site address not known by them at this time.

  4. Splitting round Madison would be awful.

    The original intent of those who years ago advocated for the #48 was to establish a route to the UW from the CD so that walking all the way to Madison and John or taking a bus to Capitol Hill or downtown to transfer was no longer necessary. Having the North South route to UW, one of the largest employers in the area along with serving a large number of students is essential. There are other buses that run from Ballard to the UW, but none others from the CD or South end. The North end has great access to UW. Please don’t undo something that others finally accomplished.

    The destination of the #8 is Queen Anne via the Broadway area and while I support it, it does not serve as many students or employees as does the #48. The #8 route should run more often or the route should be refined through the CD to be really useful here. It winds from the South end through Madison Park and comes back, right? I have used buses for many years and find the #2, #3, or #4 to be much easier to use to get to Queen Ann. The rides might be longer but access to the bus stops and schedules are much clearer.

  5. I agree that it would be a shame to discontinue that service from the CD to UW. Hopefully they’ll split it in the U District. Then you’d have a North Ballard/Greenwood/U District route (basically paralleling the 44 but to the north) and a U District – Columbia City route. The latter would still be pretty long, but I’m not sure where else it would make sense to split it.

  6. I think splitting the #48 @ the UW is what will happen–its just more logical and will increase the reliability. I take the 48 every day and most of the time its good particularly at peak hours, but other than that its rare that it is not at least 5 mins. late. The #8–one of the rare crosstown routes–needs improvement as it often gets tied up on Denny both ways. Every other #8 services the south end however there is no weekend or post 7pm service past 16th headed south on this route–if there were then someone could get on a bus in LQAnne and have dinner in Columbia city on a weekend night. When the #8 is headed to LQA it is a straight shot all the way north on MLK crossing many transfer points, technically passing through the Madison Valley turning left on Madison. Madison Park is still quite a hike down Madison toward the lake–I just wanted to make that distinction before those readers got miffed…from Madrona even though it is serviced by the 2/3 i find taking the 8 to be faster and more pleasant than passing through downtown.

  7. “technically passing through the Madison Valley”? The #8 passes spang down the main NS road through the the Mad Valley community:

    It’s one of the main ways to connect to the rest of the CD, 15th, Broadway and the rest of the city. It was one of those things that was hard fought for BTW.

    Here is an interesting tidbit. I needed to calculate how I could get to work in Belltown in case of a snow emergency that would prevent buses from going over the hills. Of course assuming they actually plowed roads like MLK like they did back in the 70s, 80s and 90s :-)

    I figured out that I could take the 8 to Rainier and then catch something up Rainier. Soon I would be able to catch light rail. Back in the 70s, I would have been rather stuck with a nice long snow shoeing experience.

  8. Hi KT, I often am lazy and do not log in, also signing myself as kt. I agree with you BTW.

  9. I’m looking forward to the posting of the proposals so that we know what is being proposed. By the way when Larry Gossett held his transportation meeting at Roosevelt High School, I used the #48 to get from the CD to Roosevelt. Without it that trip would have been convoluted. CD residents were practically not invited as I found out about it at the just within a day and was the only person there speaking who was not from the North End. Now there are proposed changes that will affect us. Let me tell you the North End had an early chance to discuss the needs there and we are left reacting to a proposal.

    More and better north south routes are necessary. The #48 is a well-used route and I feel cautious regarding advocating for splitting it too much. For a regular commute a slightly longer bus ride is preferable to making transfers, even one. Once you are on a bus you can read, sit, do a crossword or other puzzle, or whatever. At least your not in the cold or soaking in the rain hoping that the two buses will coordinate well. Timeliness on the #48 route can be a problem, but at other times it is on time. The first question would be to ask why does it run late when it does and where are the snafus.

    Yes, I agree the CD needs better access to the Broadway and 15th Avenue areas. The #8 serves Madison Valley in that way but after its stop at 23rd and Jackson areas west of 23rd or South of Pike or Pine remain neglected. Actually the area served by the #11 (Madison Park and Madison Valley) has better access to the 15th Avenue and Broadway areas, than do the areas served by #2 or #3. The #11 crosses both Broadway and 15th Avenue closer to Group Health and the business areas. The Western part of Madison Valley can also pretty easily access the #43.

    I like the idea of the #8 but feel some changes are need to make it more accessible to a greater part of the CD. The few times that I have used it it has not been very full. Therefore, it is difficult to advocate for more frequent runs which are necessary to make it usable. I know some South End folks who appreciate the route. Maybe if it continued along 23rd and turned right on E.Union to MLK rather making that turn on E. Yesler it would serve a greater area and ridership. I think that would make a better route.

    Since 23rd is used by buses and is a designated truck route the pavement material should be more heavy duty to ensure a smoother ride.

  10. Joanna:

    Most folks on this side of the CD want the #8 route to change to just stay on MLK and run more often. But, the jog has to do with circling by a bunch of service providers. It also goes between the many service providers in the Jackson and 23rd area to the others near Seattle Center. I accept the jog for that reason.

    I realize it may not be useful to you. The #3 is not useful for me having ridden it maybe 10 times, but I would not call for it to change. The #8 is useful to a lot of people, obviously, as it is one of the most used routes. For example, the teen across the street takes it to school on Capital Hill. It is the only bus that can take me to work without multiple transfers. With South Lake Union building up, this will be true for more people. I can use it to go to Lowe’s and will be using it to go to the Light Rail station. Once Light Rail goes to the east side, the #8 will be a major player for a lot of peoples’ commute.

    Regarding the disconnect between the CD and Capital Hill, we are working on the streetcar line and still want more north south transit. See Scott’s article above.

  11. I probably wrote too soon and have to be honest about not knowing the ridership on the #8. I know that the #2 and #3 are often over crowded and almost always more than 50% full even at slow times. The #48 is usually full at peak hour and definitely not empty feeling at other times of the day. This discussion is, of course, a reflection of the fact that this community has had no real meetings where we could have discussions. Each person, as an isolated unit, then thinks things through and emails, writes and calls to advocate for a point of view.

    I have to ask what does the Street Car line have to do with this? Do you mean the one on 12th? Street car lines might be fine, but I am not aware of a street car nor a bus line discussed between the CD and Broadway, which I think is a problem since one of the main transit stations will be on Broadway. If it had remained of First Hill it would be much more accessible to the CD. A 12th Avenue street car will do little to better connect Broadway to the CD. The only advantage will be another transfer option from the#2, #3 and #4.

    I like the 48 going at least to the UW and to the Roosevelt area and its route to Ballard is different than the #44 (used to be the #43), but if it must be split please keep to at least UW or the Roosevelt shopping area. Remember the #11 also serves Madison Valley and Madison Park and also offers transfer points. The adverse weather conditions sends the #48 up Union rather than Madison, but I am sympathetic to having at least one bus that uses some much of MLK if others can be sympathetic to the frustrations regarding the other areas having little access to the 15th Avenue and Broadway areas. Since many of the major theater, dance and music venues are on Queen Ann it is only sensible to consider transit to that area run later and on weekends. The few resources have to be used wisely.

    I’m not sure where the South Lake Union Building is, but the SLUT from downtown was built to act as a transit transfer point to South Lake Union. Interesting that you prefer #8 to the area rather than transferring downtown, as at the meeting that I attended many in the North End were are also advocating for more direct or frequent bus service to South Lake Union, rather than transferring to the SLUT downtown. Again there was a public meeting where they were able to advocate for various actions and hear each others’ ideas.

    Nonetheless, there is a historic and continuing disconnect between the CD and Capital Hill. I usually take a 10 to 15 minute walk from 21st and E. Union area to Group Health on 15th as it is the most quick direct means of access, but sometimes when I’m actually ill, injured (once on crutches), tired or at other times had small children with me that was pretty laborious, as was any effort to use mass transit. I invite anyone to design and easy means of using a bus to get there when you don’t feel up to walking from the 21st and East Union area. My best bet was walking to catching a #48 north from 23rd and E. Union until it comes to the area overlapping the #43, leaving the #48 bus, crossing to the other side of 23rd and catching a #43 going south. There is no easy connection from the #2 at 15th Avenue. Yes, there is always the car. Maybe the #12 could come up Union to 19th and then go north rather than using Madison. This would connect the CD with Capital Hill a little more.
    Don’t forget the pavement issue along 23rd.

  12. I agree about the disconnect. It’s even pretty hard to drive from Union to Group Health, though.

    The comment about South Lake Union wasn’t about one building, it’s building boom. The whole area is up zoned to the point where it’s a mini-downtown.

    Absolutely, the 48 to the U District is really one of the ‘mainlines’. So everyone should watch carefully for any proposed changes!

    The #2 runs to and from Queen Anne until just after midnight seven days a week.

    I did some checking and I am not sure you are aware of the number 8 route. That would be your option to get over to Group Health by transferring at 23rd and John. The stupid Metro trip planner seems to be ignorant of that fact. it says to take the #2 down to MLK and pick up the #8 headed north there. Or, take the #2 toward downtown and trnasfer to the #12 headed east. Either is about 20 minutes. But, the 43 or 8 would also work transferring from the 48.

    For me going to work, the #8 involves 15 minutes versus over 30 minutes using any other option. This is compared to a 10 minute drive.

  13. Yes, the #2 is one of my favorite bus routes from one end to the other and in between.

    The trip planner is ignorant (Maybe to more correctly state the problem, I should say, not properly programmed.) and not very useful. I have called several times regarding the unnecessarily complicated instructions produced for one of my children or friends. For destinations where I am unsure of the routes I have begun using, , I click “use the web” and enter an address close to my destination, note all the bus routes and begin working backward. This always results in a plan to reach my destination according to a truly convenient route and in the case of the routes around here I am pretty confident that I know and can use them. The exception is the #8, as you say it isn’t that useful where I live and in the areas where I might use it, it overlaps with other routes. Therefore, I will have to rely on the reports of others. I usually plan a trip downtown or from the U-District when going to South Lake Union and so have not tried the #8 for that purpose and use the #2 for Queen Ann trips.

    Given that the #43 runs more often and can be accessed by just crossing the street that would probably be my choice if walking were a problem. I believe that in order to catch the #8 I would have to get off close to John, cross the street and walk a couple of blocks west on E. John where I could catch either the #8 or the #43. The #8 and the #43 use the same stops along E.John west of 23rd. Either would work and be equally complicated considering that I am attempting to reach a spot that is no more than a 15 minute walk for me. From Broadway I sometimes catch the #43 or the #8 which ever comes first to 21st Avenue and walk to Union to get home.

    Transferring from the #2 to the #12 would not be very useful.