The official letter to Madrona businesses from Metro on the decision not to move the bus layover went out this morning. As we reported yesterday, the proposed move of the No. 3 bus layover station from in front of St. Clouds to further down the street was deemed too costly.
Today’s letter from Victor Obeso, manager of Metro’s Service Development Section, has more details on the estimated cost of over $486,000 to develop new overhead wire design and construction.
Route 3 is an electric trolley operating on power drawn from overhead wire with limited operational flexibility. The bus stop on 34th Avenue also functions as a terminal or layover. Any new layover site would require overhead wire construction in order to maintain current service levels and operations. Metro Transit estimates the cost of new overhead wire design and construction to be over $486,000. Based on the projected costs involved, relocating the layover is not possible at this time. We had hoped to be able to accommodate the neighborhood business’s request but given the County’s budget crisis, we do not have funds for this project.
In addition to the Madrona Playground, Metro assessed the area for other alternative layover sites but were not successful because of the overhead wire limitations, narrow roadways and driveways in the vicinity of the Route 3 terminal.
The letter also notes that while access to comfort stations (restrooms) for drivers was a consideration, that would not have been a deciding factor were the relocation costs feasible.
Moving forward, the letter includes plans for Metro transit planner Mary Bemowski – the main contact for Madrona businesses throughout the process – to “work with Metro staff regarding the possibility of scheduling only one coach to the terminal at a time in order to reduce the overall bus impact on the adjoining businesses.”
UPDATE: John Platt, one of the owners of St. Clouds and a main proponent of the bus move, said via email, ” I’m angry, feel helpless, feel like it was a charade…Ultimately, what a ridiculous idea to have two busses parked in front of businesses, in the middle of a business district. Ridiculous….I’m torn between wanting to pursue this more and wanting to walk away in disgust.”
What do you think of the reasoning here, and do you think scheduling only one bus at the layover at a time will help?