With just 61 days until light rail begins service between Tukwila and downtown Seattle, today the county council approved changes to bus service to increase frequency on some routes and modify others to avoid duplication between bus and rail.
The good news for the Central District is that we get increased service levels on two bus routes and will now have three options to connect to light rail. So if you’re headed to the airport and want to avoid a $40 cab fare, you’ll be able to choose between any of our north/south bus routes to get a connection to the Mt. Baker light rail station. From there you’ll be 19 minutes from the Tukwila station where you can catch a shuttle to the airport (direct service to the airport is scheduled to begin in December of this year).
The impact on the Central District is largely the same as when we talked about it last month:
- Route 8 gets increased service and an extended route south on MLK to S. Henderson St.
- Route 48 gets increased nighttime and mid-day service, and will be truncated and longer serve points south of the new Mt. Baker light rail station at Rainier & McClellan. It will still serve all of the CD and points north to UW and Loyal Heights. Metro says these changes should improve schedule accuracy for the route.
- Route 14 will add a stop at the new Mt. Baker light rail station
The most controversial south-end change was the proposed elimination of Route 42 between downtown and Columbia City. The council has found a compromise that will keep service on that route between 8:00am and 6:00pm.
Is there a reason the 4 is not being extended the extra few blocks to the station?
I don’t think that was ever mentioned as being in the running. The most likely reason is the infrastructure cost, as it would require adding trolley bus lines down MLK from S. Walker St. to the Mt. Baker Station. Although it’s only half a mile, that a cost of about $4 million dollars to install the wires, poles, power, etc.
That makes sense. Its a shame since it would make trips to the station a lot more frequent.
They should start running the 8 on its extended route on weekends too; those of us on/near MLK, or in Mad Valley, could get to the airport easily on the weekends as well as weekdays (and to Seattle Center).
I catch it in the bus tunnel during the week and it’s about 20 minutes to the airport, plus the time it takes to ride the 2 into downtown.
very sad to see the 194 potentially lost, most likely..its much quicker to go to the airport and stops directly in front of the terminal..even ST’s own estimates increases the light rail travel time by 10 minutes minimum, and they are not counting the near 5 min walk with your luggage from the LR station at sea-tac to the terminal. I love light rail and have waited patiently many years, but these types of tweaks kinda sour it a bit. increasing travel time and cost and decreasing options to get in an out of this town are not what we voted on really. I sold the car and bike and carshare most of the time so I depend greatly on ST and metro to get around–with a bike and a 3 bike rack on the bus (critical) you can go almost anywhere with a bit of effort. it would be excellent if they kept the 194 or at least a version of it during peak travel periods–say a 6 month summer tourism season or something.
Kudos on the changes to the 8 schedule though–with not so many n/s routes in the CD this will be used a lot..