Map of frequent bus service in the Central District

Map by Oran Viriyincy at Seattle Transit Blog

Oran Viriyincy at Seattle Transit Blog created a map to more clearly display the frequent bus service already offered by King County Metro. The map only displays routes where buses run 15 minutes apart or less for most of the day.

In the post, Viriyincy argues that King County Metro does not clearly enough promote it’s frequent service routes.

It has been said before by many but I’ll say it again. I think Metro should promote the frequent service network. It is as significant an asset as RapidRide is and it is service that is already out there. At the very least, show it on the timetable covers and on the system map with a simple yellow highlight. In the long term, the network itself should be restructured to provide more frequent service in more places and be more comprehensible to the average user.

Most of the Central District is pretty well served by frequent bus service, especially compared to other areas in the city (like West Seattle and Ballard). With a clear frequent bus service map, navigating to unfamiliar places in the city is much easier, especially if you are new or visiting. Viriyincy said he modeled the map, which includes the February 2011 service changes, off maps used by Portland and Minneapolis.

0 thoughts on “Map of frequent bus service in the Central District

  1. Glad to see folks out there plugging this- it makes sense for the money.

    Increasing bus frequency and speeding up the slower routes could be the most efficient way to improve public transportation in the CD (

    One problem with the frequent/faster approach is that it lacks visibility. For instance, it’s a lot easier for most of us to get excited about a glitzy streetcar than a more efficient bus system. So bringing visibility to the frequent bus routes seems like an important step. Even better than “yellow highlighing” on the transit schedule would be to find the successes in the Rapid Ride system and incorporate these elements into our busy routes here in the CD (

  2. it would be great to see the 14 on a more frequent schedule. its seems busy during the day and into the early evening…

  3. Oran intentionally only included routes that have 15 minute or better headways all day long. The reasoning being that you don’t need to consult a schedule for buses at that frequency; you can just walk to the stop and no matter what, you won’t be waiting long.

    Routes that run frequently during rush-hour and then drop back to a half-hour frequency in the off-peak were omitted, as they’re not nearly as useful for impulse trips.

    Also, here’s the full city version of the map

    The 14 runs at 15 minute headways in the 6 and 7 AM hours, and 4, 5, and 6 PM hours. The city got this through a program Metro started doing a few years ago. How it worked was, the city could buy increased service by paying 1/3 of Metro’s operating cost for the extra trips. If, after a trial period of around a year or so, there was high enough ridership on the added trips, Metro would take them on fully as permanent service. The 14’s added trips have become permanent.

    As part of the same program, the city can also “buy” extra service on routes by making infrastructure changes (like adding bus lanes or in-lane stops) that improve speed on bus routes. For every 10% travel-time improvement a city makes to an existing route, Metro will add 5,000 service hours wherever the city wants.

  4. than speed. However, being on time is important. Frequency with no or few transfers will get you there comfortably, and I understand you won’t have to check schedules so closely.