Community Post


SAVE THE #2 fliers have been posted at the bus stops and there is a renewed effort to save this route.  Shoshana, a Central District resident and mass transit user has connected with others and is leading an effort  to print and distribute fliers to save this bus route and to contact other community members, elected officials, and Metro. If you want more information on her work you may contact  [email protected].  While the public meetings originally scheduled  for January  on these specific proposals for September 2012 have been postponed until February 2012, County Councilmembers have been weighing in on some of the specific proposals, and it is time for them to hear from the community of patrons of the #2.  These are the people who are responsible for passing proposed changes.

If the Metro proposal that was featured earlier on CD News were to pass there will be:

  • No direct service to the downtown retail core
  • No direct service to Seattle Center and the theater district
  • No direct service to E. Union and Broadway Market
  • No direct service to Town Hall
  • No direct  service to Virginia Mason
  • No direct access into  the tunnel for the University Street or Westlake stations for light rail and buses
  • No direct service to Belltown
  • No direct service to Horizon House
  • No stop at the Downtown Central  Library
  • No easy access to Seattle Community College
  • Direct service to Coleman Dock

From downtown there will be 

  • No direct service along E. Union to our homes and places of work
  • No direct service to the business district along E. Union from 18th to 23rd and east to Grocery Outlet.
  • No direct service to Virginia Mason
  • No direct service to Town Hall
  • No direct service to Horizon House (no direct service for them to anywhere)
  • No direct service to Madrona Park and Spectrum Dance Theater
  • No quick connection from the light rail or buses in the tunnel

The #2  currently classified as a high ridership route and it is an important cross town bus serving diverse destinations and needs. I have encountered people going to the Central Cinema in the afternoon and evening. This will cut this area off from the rest of the city and the areas that are served. The #2  has long served as an  important piece of our community. If there is a need for increased service along Madison between 12th Avenue and Coleman Dock, essentially deleting the #2 is not  a good option and would negatively affect  many areas of this community, along with  many individuals  who are strong mass transit users and supporters. Contact the people who work for you.

Metro: Ashley Deforest
Communications Section
201 S. Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104
Councilmember Larry Gossett
Council District 2  
[email protected]
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-296-1002
Toll Free: 800-325-6165
TTY/TDD: 206-296-1024
Fax: 206-296-0198 
Councilmember Larry Phillips
Council District 4
[email protected]
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-296-1004
Toll Free: 800-325-6165
TTY/TDD: 206-296-1024
Fax: 206-296-0198  
City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Chair of Transportation
PO Box 34025

Seattle, WA 98124-4025


Phone: 206-684-8808


UPDATE: Here’s the full flier:

Full Flier Save Bus Flyer 2 PDF


65 thoughts on “Live from 20th and E. Union–SAVE THE #2, SAVE OUR CONNECTION TO SEATTLE

  1. Metro must make some changes but these proposals will destroy popular routes that are used by a wide variety of people. It’s as if Metro is choosing to focus on connecting the suburbs to Seattle at the cost of us who live IN Seattle.

  2. We definately do not want to waste resources on something as silly as a direct route from the CD to Eastlake. Better to transfer in town. There are simply too many routes. Grossly inefficient. Very very few people need that specific route. They could do as well on other routes or a combo route.

  3. It’s not “as if” that at all. How do you figure this “ignores city dwellers”? These change maximize efficient connections downtown by making it more of a hub. What they’re proposing for #2 is no different than they’re proposing for a lot of other routes. You will have to transfer on 3rd avenue, but buses on 3rd ave will be so frequent you won’t be waiting. If all these changes are rolled back for the #2, why should any similar ones be applied to any other similarly affected routes?

    It’s true there will be no “direct” connection to the University St. station, but you’ll still only be 2 blocks away, and almost equidistant to the Pioneer Sq station. You also neglect to mention re-routing to Madison provides direct connection to the ferry terminal, which now is extremely cumbersome.

    All these changes are necessary because the transit initiative did not pass. We all (or the majority did) voted we didn’t want to pay for it. Metro already has a funding shortfall and has to cut costs– like it or not. It’s amazing that people always think the route planners at Metro are total imbeciles and just make up silly changes to have something to do. Try to give them a bit of credit– believe it or not, they probably know far more about this subject than you do.

    Finally– Many people who work on the South end of downtown, for example Columbia Ctr, will actually find this routing MORE convenient. It’s all a matter of perspective.

  4. Grumbo’s point is that for the number of people who utilize the “complete” route of the #2 compared to what it costs to provide it, it’s not cost-effective. Many routes will now have to transfer on 3rd. It’s a cost cutting issue. They’re trying to get the most bang for the buck for the buses they can afford to run.

  5. This fact has been repeatedly established. The #2 retains a high ridership, and is always rated among the highest in the city from around 23rd and E. Union to Seattle Center. I think that it is rated pretty high at MLK also. Like any bus that serves residential areas it will thin out at the ends. This is an issue of Metro wanting to provide more service along Madison between 12th and the ferries. This would ruin a highly used route with a diverse group of riders and destinations and covers many needs within this commuity.

    By the way the area of the #3 that is scheduled for increased service from 23rd to 34th has a low ridership as it is now at every 30 minutes.

    One or two of the other routes have this issue of cost effectiveness. However, there are some social equity and safety issues with them being addressed.

  6. Jim S.
    Well from some areas the 14,27, the 3 or 4, residents get service to both south end of downtown and to the retail core and quick transitions to several tunnel entrances. Wow, the area here just does not count. the stops at Broadway and along Seneca are also important.

  7. Since Madison has plenty of bus service between downtown and 12th Avenue, could the #2 follow its current Union/Seneca route west to 5th Avenue, turn south on 5th, and then follow the proposed route on Madison to the ferry if that is so important to somebody?

  8. How would that get many of us where we are going? Horizon House residents would not be getting to their destinations either. Still no good access to the tunnel or downtown core. Why not run the #11 down Madison to Coleman Dock. No, wait maybe those riders also want good access to downtown core and access to light rail and buses in the tunnel. Some of the #12 runs turn around somewhere in the neighborhood of 12th Avenue. Just increase those runs. By the way how do the #12 riders feel about the new plan?

    I think the case is to be made that there is no good reason to change the current very productive #2 route and that these changes also deny service to some who really need it. Equity and safety needs of all would be compromised by these proposed changes to the #2.

    Hi again Carolyn, Hi Carolyn, I think that someone wants to increase that service specifically along Madison. I don’t ride the #12 often. I agree that I have not noticed being really over loaded when I do. Currently the 66 and the 16 transfer the ferry riders up the hill to other buses or they can use the the walkway overpass that was specially designed and built for this purpose to access 3rd Avenue. I am very seldom at the ferry dock to know the exact situation at different times of the day.

  9. 5th and Seneca would be closer to the bus tunnel and other downtown locations than anywhere on Madison would be. Could even do the same thing but turn left (south) on 2nd instead of 5th, to get to the ferry terminal. That’s why I’m calling it a compromise – it wouldn’t be as good as the current #2 route, but it would be better than the current proposal in many cases.

    I haven’t tried to work out a comparable eastbound route, but I would picture something similar, allowing for different one-way streets.

    I too would miss the direct route to Pike-Pine, Seattle Center, and QA, but that would be part of the compromise if it is truly necessary to make any change at all.

  10. I think the #2 is restricted somewhat unless it is changed out to a gas/diesel coach. Some of the alternatives mentioned do not have the necessary overhead wiring to accommodate an electric coach.

    I ride the #2 to/from work every day, and while this new route would be almost perfect for me (I work at 4th and Madison) dropping me off and picking me up almost at my office door…I would miss the option of meeting friends down in Belltown after work and knowing I can easily catch the #2 on 3rd heading home, even “way out there” in the Belltown/Uptown neighborhood…or going shopping and hopping on the #2 at any point on 3rd. Transferring isn’t a HUGE deal, of course, but it really is nice to just get on the bus and settle in, opening a book, and not moving until I’m home :) The bus is usually pretty empty once it gets to MLK, but in the morning when I catch it there are generally quite a few people already on board.

  11. I agree that whether these changes are good or not is a matter of perspective. I happen to think it’s bad and JimS, you think it would be better.

    I am concerned that not enough metro riders have had the chance to analyze it for themselves. There has been very little information about these major changes and most riders that I have spoken with know nothing about it.

    Before Metro makes these huge proposals, I would like there to be more community awareness and input. Based on my conversation with unaware riders, I believe that Metro has done very little of this to date.

    So take the survey, talk with your community, tell your Council Members what you think. And after the community has weighed in, let Metro present a proposal that has considered the majority’s perspective.

  12. Good point about the electric bus lines. A lot of people think that extending the bus lines around a couple of blocks would be a quick and easy thing, but actually it costs millions to do it.

    Look, we all agree we’d love direct trips without connections, but they’re doing the best they can with the funds they have. Under this scheme, with all the buses running on 3rd avenue, you likely wouldn’t wait more than 1 minute for a connecting bus. What is that, like one traffic light change compared to if you were sitting on that same #2?

  13. There is no question the #2 has high ridership between 23rd & Seattle Ctr. But not very many people ride it from 23rd to Seattle Ctr. I rode this bus for years from MLK to downtown. The first stop on 4th Ave, at least 25% of the bus deboarded. The next stop, on 3rd, it was easily 80% or more of the remaining crowd got off. Then a totally new crowd got on. Yes, the bus was full, but it was all new people. You just can’t say “it’s profitable between 23rd and Seattle Ctr” and interpret that to necessarily mean there’s a big ridership between those two. From what I witnessed, there isn’t.

  14. What about the people trying to reach or leave all the highly traveled places on Seneca – Virginia Mason, Horizon House, Exeter House, Town Hall, east entrances to Freeway Park and Convention Center? Many of them are elderly and/or ill and have chosen to live at or visit them because they are reachable on the #2.

  15. The destination of the people referred to here, ” the people trying to reach or leave all the highly traveled places on Seneca – Virginia Mason, Horizon House, Exeter House, Town Hall, east entrances to Freeway Park and Convention Center? Many of them are elderly and/or ill and have chosen to live at or visit them because they are reachable on the #2.” is downtown, Seattle Center or the tunnel or coming from one of those destinations and transferring is not an easy option for many of them. For all transfers are inconvenient and offer access challenges, and present safety issues and opportunities for loss of objects. Direct access to the downtown core is a huge issue for all riders. Are there any other riders on routes, for instance the #11 willing t volunteer to give up direct access and continue along Madison to the ferries where they would turn around?

  16. The new route for number two provides a more efficient means of commuting to work for many of us. Much of the access to businesses and services are still available from the revised route, with a short walk or connecting buses. I understand that a short walk is difficult for many, but when Metro is cash-strapped, there’s limited options. There is also Access Vans for those that cannot rely on the revised routes. I understand that’s not much of a consolation, but that’s another problem altogether.

  17. I catch the 2 at the library, and it is so painful to stand at that stop and watch a bus take 10 minutes or more just to get across 4th Ave and up to the stop. The traffic going up Spring Street to I-5 makes that street a nightmare in the PM, and it makes the bus incredibly unreliable. Add this to the difficulty with turning left from 3rd Ave onto Spring Street, and you literally have no idea when the bus will come. And for anyone getting on the bus on 3rd Ave north of Spring Street, good luck predicting when you’ll get home. Moving the bus onto Madison/Marion downtown (same as the 12) will be a huge improvement in reliability. I will miss being able to take it directly to Seattle Center, but I’ll gladly transfer to one of the many routes on 3rd Ave that go that way in exchange for hugely increased reliability.

  18. The Mercer mess or some obstructions before it arrives at 3rd and Pine going to Madrona are greater obstacles to being on schedule. If it is on time there the ride home is usually quite timely. Glad you are not driving if you have a problem with red lights or traffic. Some bus will have to go up the hill across 4th Avenue in order to go from downtown the south end of the #2.

    Wave, it may serve you and be make you a happier person but my whole family will suffer going to Seattle Center from Madrona, gong downtown to work, shop, or to movies, getting to PNB for classes, and to the tunnel to transfer for work.

  19. The southbound 2 can certainly have reliability issues coming out of Queen Anne, but the slog across 4th on Spring is a major problem for the reliability of the 2. Yes, you have to cross 4th somewhere, but this proposal has it crossing on Marion, which is much less congested than Spring at just about any time of day. In addition, moving the 2 to Madison between downtown and 12th, when combined to the 12, creates a highly frequent transit corridor on that stretch Madison, which has been identified as an area needing better service in Seattle’s Transit Master Plan. Yes, you may lose “front door” connectivity to some places on Spring/Seneca, but I don’t think the claims that “direct service” to those places on Spring/Seneca is lost is fair. It’s only two relatively flat blocks, which is well within Metro’s guidelines for walkabilty between stops and destinations.

    I get that changes like this are never easy, but Metro is trying to do its best with limited resources. The “one seat ride” model that so many of us are used to just isn’t sustainable in the long haul. I do think this proposal has weaknesses in terms of how far into downtown the #2 will now go and proximity to downtown transit tunnel entrances, but I don’t know what better options there are (that also serve the goals Metro is trying to achieve with this restructure).

    I think the source of a lot of consternation is that transfers in Seattle have historically been an unreliable pain in the butt. Metro is trying to remedy that in part with this restructure, saying that buses on 3rd will be so frequent that the act of transferring will be painless and that getting to a range of destinations (not just Seattle Center) will be much smoother. If this restructuring goes through as planned then we have ever right to demand Metro be held accountable to that promise.

    Finally, for those close to MLK (either by walking or via another bus), keep in mind that the 8 runs to Seattle Center as well. It has its own reliability problems (mostly due to Denny Way), but it is another alternative if the idea of transferring in downtown isn’t your cup of tea.

  20. Would be losing the #2. No other ridership is being robbed of the access to a destination. Really, the only corridor that the proposed change serves is that along Madiosn between 12th Avenue and Coleman Dock and there can be other solutions. I am still wondering how #12 is reacting to this. However the portion of the #12 that currently currently turns around at 15th and Madison. This and the proposed changes to the #12 will serve the ferries. This does not serve the many current #2 ridership well. It is not the destination of most and does not arrive at any of the destinations of most #2 riders. There is the great option of continuing the #2.

    The #2 performs well with passengers/mile, passengers/hour, passengers/coach and there are solutions that will disrupt far fewer people and communities. Are these not the measures of a successful route. Since route 4 was mentioned, remember that pthe proposals for the #27 aren’t pretty either.

    The proposal for the #2 does not save money. Some poor miserable bus will have to make that hill.

  21. A little known fact regarding this proposal is that E. Union would also probably lose some frequency of service to the destination to nowhere. The proposal calls for the #2 to be staggered with the #12 to serve the ferries. The entire focus of the proposal is on how to serve Coleman Dock, not the E. Union corridor or its ridership.

  22. City dwellers are fighting over crumbs compared the miles of service necessary in the suburbs.

  23. I have to disagree with your assertion that the entire focus is on serving Coleman Dock. The focus is on reliability. Getting the 2 off of 3rd and off of the Seneca/Spring couplet will make it much more reliable. Plus, as others have pointed out, putting it on Madison will increase the frequency of service on Madison. One advantage of increasing service on Madison will be that it will improve the connection between downtown and First Hill. If you’ve ever ridden the 12 between Broadway and 3rd Ave, you’ll know that there’s a constant stream of hospital employees and patrons going up and down the hill throughout the day. Adding the 2 to this corridor will help to better serve that market (a market that lost out when the First Hill light rail station was dropped).

  24. Both of these are true. Due to the increase with the combined #12 and #2 from 12th to Coleman Dock there will be less frequent service on the #2 along E. Union. It will be staggered with the #12 along Madison. This is exactly correct.

  25. Metro’s planners are dealing with a budget reality and a County Council that is not excited about in-Seattle service. However, we were able to get a new set of service metrics focused on efficiency, which in the long run will be good for Seattle.

    Metro’s proposed June changes, for instance, are very clear about getting rid of very low-use routes, and adding hours to routes that are severely overcrowded.

    I understand and appreciate the desire to inform 2 riders about the possible impacts of the change this fall. However, without also providing the budgetary context, I think we’re all doing ourselves a disservice.

    For instance: when Metro’s $20 car tab authority expires in 2 years, if Metro can’t get the State to authorize additional revenue sources, guess what? We’ll watch service get axed. So I would ask everyone who’s a user of the system, does it make sense to try to prioritize single-seat rides over frequency? If the 2 only runs every 30 minutes nights and weekends, for instance, would that be a worthwhile tradeoff? Because that’s what will get talked about when Metro has to cut service. And the only way to sell the State on additional revenue is to convince them that the system is working as efficiently as possible. And we really can’t make that argument today.

  26. I am sorry the thread does not seem to allow me to reply to you without posting to my original statement.Here, my point is why should taking service from the #2 be the mitigation for First Hill losing out on getting a station. Actually, I thought First Hill should get a station. However that does not mean I should support the changes to the #2 which will strand a portion of Queen Anne and leave E. Union with no direct access to the tunnel. Ok, what is the Street Car that is being planned if not mitigation? I am just not sure that E. Union riders had anything to do with that planning. Really we have supported transit in every way, including by using it. Are you unhappy with the planned route for the Street Car along Broadway to serve First Hill?

  27. I would add that transferring at 3rd and Madison is generally a far more enjoyable experience than 3rd and Pike/Pine. In that sense, rerouting the 2 is a definite win.

    I’ll also add the other problem with the current routing, the zig-zag onto Madison headed outbound in the PM. Many times I’ve sat on the 2 and waited through 2 or 3 light cycles because Madison traffic fills up the block west of 12th before the 2 can get in. The routing change eliminates that problem as well.

  28. Joanna, where have you heard that the 2 would lose service frequency? I haven’t heard anything like that from Metro. If anything, a shorter route should be easier to run more frequently, particularly since it will have an easier time staying on-time with the route changes.

  29. There is no great destination at 3rd and Madison. I know all who are close to other routes and have direct access to downtown and tunnel entrances will not care about E. Union. This proposal is not good for Madrona Park area, E. Union, or the Senecs, Broadway and Union riders, nor does it serve areas on the Queen Anne.

  30. The proposed changes to the #2 do not save money. It does divert some service. I believe we worked to save metro as much as any group. Perhaps current ferry riders would support such tab fees too. Remember Island County voted for the first Eyman Initiative that prevented the state from continuing the tab fees. Here is Seattle we overwhelmingly voted against it. These fees were a major source of ferry funding. We voted to support ferries; they voted against it. The #3 could also go to Alaskan Way and turn around. The #11 could go to the ferries and turn around. Why take away the important service that the #2 offers.

  31. Because it isn’t, and hasn’t ever been, about the ferries, Joanna. You’ve convinced yourself of that because of the route change. It’s really about the same three things it was when it was proposed: simplifying the route structure to make bus throughput on 3rd’s transit spine downtown faster throughout the system by eliminating turns, making the “2S” or the portion of the 2 that runs up the hill faster and more reliable by getting rid of the congestion faced at the freeway onramp at Spring and the turn onto Madison before 12th, and improving service frequency for the high-demand corridor on Madison.

    I get and understand that this change has impacts. Of course it does. As I said above, though, pretending we can keep the status quo across the entire system is a recipe for disaster in the medium-term, and we’ll end up with less-frequent one-seat routes if this is the hill we choose to die on.

  32. John S, I am not pretending. The most easy solution would be to use the #12 that turns around at 15th to go west. I do not ride the #12 often, but when I have I have not noticed it being any more well-used than the #2. In a few cases people were disappointed to realize that as it crossed 3rd that there was no tunnel access.

    I will try to keep the accusations down if others do.
    Yes, I have been accused of not getting the bigger picture. I believe I am as capable as anyone else. All the impacts on the CD were buried in the original information and yes, I am now saying I am not in the mood to be one of the martyrs. I use the bus to go many places and appreciate all aspect of the transportation in the area.
    One of the main foci of this is the corridor along Madison, and from your comments I don’t think you disagree. And, for those of us here it is likely to result in less frequent service on E. Union. You can’t ignore the whole route and ridership that is being served by the #2, which is already wired. Why not ask the #11 to take on these concerns?

  33. Joanna,

    I understand you’re passionate about this issue, but the assertion that this change results in less frequent service on E. Union is patently false. The service frequency listed in Metro’s proposal is equal to (or better than) the what the #2 currently has along the E. Union stretch.

    Placing the #2 and #12 on the same stretch of E. Madison from 12th to downtown, combined with properly staggering their respective schedules, provides aggregate headways along that heavily traveled stretch of E. Madison ranging from 5 to 15 minutes all day, but the stretch of the #2 along E. Union will have equivalent service levels to what it has today.

  34. JohnS – exactly. The E. Union stretch of the #2 doesn’t get impacted by this proposed change (at least from a service frequency perspective).

  35. I’m not 100% sure what you’re getting at here. The First Hill Streetcar has been in the works for a number of years as mitigation/consolation prize to the densely populated 1st Hill neighborhood for not getting a light rail station. The streetcar has always been intended to run between the International District and Capitol Hill LINK Stations via First Hill…

  36. Joanna,

    The issue here is that “the concerns” you are referring to aren’t about serving the ferry terminal (or any other particular destination) better, it’s about fixing issues with our overall bus network within the limited budget Metro has available to it. Metro has decided that one was to help fix the bus network is via the proposed changes to the #2, which, in conjunction with many of the other proposed changes on the table, are intended to increase the frequency and reliability of the entire system. So, saying the the #11 can take on the “concerns” of reaching the ferry terminal isn’t really the point since that isn’t the driving force behind these proposed changes.

    From your perspective the #2 works fine for you and you perceive this proposed change as a loss, which I fully appreciate. However, from Metro’s perspective the entire network needs modification and the proposed changes to the #2 are part of the solution. If you want to advocate against the proposed changes, I think you need to use that as your starting point.

    And, as I said in another comment, there is nothing in Metro’s proposal about reducing frequency along E. Union.

  37. “Just two blocks” to University Street station – that might as well be a mile for some riders, particularly the elderly or disabled. (Or me, when I’m wearing high heels…sorry, just had to throw that in there).

    I think Shoshana’s comment about Metro making changes at the expense of city dwellers hits home. Why do we need such direct access to the ferry terminals? How often does one use the ferry terminal from the CD? If I take a ferry it’s usually for a weekend trip and I’m in a car, not riding the bus. However, I know plenty of commuters ride ferries and then work downtown, SLU, Capitol Hill, etc. Maybe Metro is catering more to those suburban/island dwellers than to us in the city core?

    The #2 already serves the medical community at Virginia Mason. Why does the #12 need to carry more of the traffic for the hospitals? I’m sure patients and professionals both appreciate having a bus that runs more to the center of VM than just to Swedish.

    I also like how the #2 seems direct to downtown. Sure, Seneca isn’t taken a lot by cars, but it makes perfect sense on the bus, (and traffic is usually easy going) and the route sidesteps the backtracking that Madison does because it runs diagonally instead of straight.

    I rode the #12 for years. I don’t miss it. It’s round-about to try to get Westlake/shopping, and going down 1st seems almost useless. 3rd Avenue is where all the buses come and go, and I get that – why we need to make people get off and catch another bus on 3rd is what I don’t understand.

  38. You may say it won’t affect frequency alone E. Union. You say that this is patently false. However, the proposal says that the #2 will be staggered with the #12. I have asked and there is no plan to guarantee that the schedule for the #2 stays the same. It will be determined by the needs of the staggering with the #12.

  39. Eliza – read some of the comments further down. This change isn’t primarily motivated by getting another bus to the ferry terminal, it’s about improving the productivity of the bus network. Given what Metro wants to do, sending the revised #2 to the ferry terminal makes sense (bus routes should have strong endpoints whenever possible), but I suspect they’d make an equivalent proposal to route the #2 via Madison and not have it go into downtown even if the Ferry Terminal weren’t there.

    Regarding the new route being “just two blocks from University St. Station” and the impact to the elderly, disabled, or heel wearers, at least those are 2 flat blocks on 3rd (plus you’re closer to the Pioneer Square Station). Currently, if you want to get to University St. Station from the westbound #2, you have a pretty steep 1 block walk down Seneca to get to University St. Station that’s no fun for the elderly, diasbled, or heel wearers.. Currently, if you want to catch the eastbound #2 from University St. Station, you have the option of a 2 block walk to Spring Street (much of it up that same hill) or walking 2 flat blocks on 3rd to Benaroya Hall and catch the #2 there.

  40. Who did you ask? Did they say the “schedule” (as you typed) or the “frequency”? Those are very two different things and I assert that the *frequency* on E. Union will not be any worse than it is now (based on the proposal that Metro has on their website).

    I can certainly imagine the *schedule* might need to be tweaked to support interlining with the #12 (so, hypothetically instead of it leaving Madrona Park every 15 minutes on the quarter hour (:00, :15, :30, :45) it now leaves 7 minutes later (:07, :22, :37, :52), which changes the *schedule* but preserves the same *frequency*.

  41. What Keith said, Joanna. The #2 keeps us a one-car household. I ride it almost every day. I’ll be impacted by the proposed changes; I may have to take an extra transfer to get to work, depending on how everything shakes out. On the other hand, I look at the network as a whole and understand why Metro’s proposing what it’s proposing. And I look at the near-term future with a lot of concern about funding options to keep service operating at current levels.

  42. Exactly – right now the 26/28 are staggered at 15-minute intervals during the day so there is always 15-minute service between downtown and Fremont.

    You can stagger the 2 and 12 without changing the frequency on the 2. Heck, since neither route will turn on to 3rd Avenue you could actually *increase* service on either route more easily because you won’t have to compete for the limited number of slots at the 3rd Avenue stops. Not saying that will happen anytime soon, but in that sense this has the potential to be a long-term win for service frequency on the 2.

  43. Again, I can’t reply directly to this post. We have every 15 minute service now on Saturday until evening. Do a one to one check when you get a chance. The emphasis is on making a sensible staggering for the Madison corridor, not the East Union area. Hi John S et al, Since some of the #12 buses turn around at 15th Avenue, do you believe that they will extend that service east to the #2. I think it is likely that some of the service will still turn around. No one at Metro has argued with me on this point and there nothing in the proposal to guarantee any specific frequency along E. Union.

  44. Currently all #2 bus riders also have easy access to the Westlake station at 3rd and Pine. Don’t despair unless the proposal passes.

  45. but why? Why should we just survive while fewer more or less entitled (depending on one’s perspective) get great convenient service that requires no thought on their part. Maybe we will win since every day we will have to use our brains and dementia will be more prevalent among the others. Maybe some of us who already take Yoga and dance classes and hike will physically profit in the long run from our extra 5 block walk each way (a total of ten). The younger generation can just have an easier bus ride and more obesity. I think that there is research showing that the baby boomers may be in better shape than the next generation. Maybe GenX is more needy. No one move here for the historic bus routes or the convenience of a 15 to 20 minute bus ride to downtown (Who would want to go downtown? That is an old song.)

    oops, What about the quality of life for those who for whom walking a block or two is victory today. What about those who are sheparding a group of children through complex transfers? What about all those lost Smar tphones that I find at transfer points? What do we say to the neighborhoods who are isolated from the rest of Seattle. What about those families who care about their children who have to make more transfers? What is the plan for safety and access? Why I wonder do you support these cuts to inner city bus service that save no dollars but restructure service? Where are the advantages for people in this restructure? Remember the changes are pretty much budget neutral. .

  46. Joanna – first of all, please don’t edit your previous posts in place if you’re replying to something written after you made your original post (as in this case). It makes it very difficult to follow the thread.

    Secondly, the proposed changes to the #2 have very little (nothing?) to do with the First Hill streetcar. Metro may make additional service changes to routes once the First Hill streetcar is operational in a few years and when University Link goes online a few years after that, but it’s not correct to say that proposed service changes to the #2 are in any way related to mitigating First Hill not getting a LINK station. The stretch of Madison between downtown and 23rd has been identified as a high traffic corridor that warrants frequent all day service and this proposed change helps service that need.

    You talk about people being “stranded” and “robbed” and the loss of “direct service” but the simple fact is you can still get to every place you currently can get to on the #2 with some combination of a short (typically level) walk and/or transfer.

    Is it less convenient than it used to be? Definitely! Will I be up in arms if Metro fails to uphold its promise of frequent, reliable transfers on 3rd to get me Seattle Center, Queen Anne, and a host of other places the #2 currently doesn’t serve? Absolutely!

    But it’s also necessary change to create a sustainable, scalable, and ultimately more reliable bus network.

  47. The webpage where Metro presents a summary of the changes ( clearly states that the #2 will have 10-15 minute frequency during weekday peak, 15 minute non-peak frequency, and 30 minute frequency at night (I’m assuming those last two are both weekday as well, but the table is formatted oddly). It also says the frequency will be 15-30 minutes on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday. I haven’t done a period-by-period comparison between the current #2 the proposed #2, but I believe those are the same frequencies as we currently have for the #2. We won’t know for sure until we can see the two schedules side-by-side (assuming this proposal goes through), but all the evidence indicates that Metro intends to keep the current frequency.

  48. Our concerns and needs deserve consideration Perhaps after all Seattle paid for the tunnel and we here in the E. Union corridor are upstanding Seattle citizens who pay taxes and work. Where is our direct access to the tunnel and to the downtown core, the very things that the rapid ride lines were designed to give to other communities. At least the tunnel gives us some access to the downtown core and the light rail. At the moment we have neither. Ballard and West Seattle, along with the suburbs have better options than the citizens in the E. Union corridor and around Madrona Park. Rather than tell us that we are afraid of change find solutions for us. Metro is paid to do that and they have resources we don’t. I have offered a few. Don’t tell us that these proposals are in our best interest. Good solid solutions would help here.

  49. Joanna – can you please define what “direct access” means to you, in as specific terms as possible?

    Also, just so you don’t think I’m some shill for Metro, I live a few blocks north of E. Union along MLK. The #2 is my primary route downtown (where I work) and I will certainly be inconvenienced by this change. Probably not on a daily basis, since my workplace is close enough to both the current and proposed routing for me to walk, but I spend my share of time in the retail core, in Belltown, in Queen Anne, etc., so the loss of being able to go from those places directly home without needing a transfer will be an added inconvenience to me. I’m personally willing to put up with that inconvenience *if* (and it’s a very big if) Metro carries through with its promises to provide frequent, easy transfers along 3rd to address the loss of the northern part of the 2 *and* the other key elements of this service change go through so we get frequent, reliable transit to a host of other key destinations throughout the city.

    Finally, my intent in all of this is not to tell you to “suck it up and deal with it.” It’s to provide a perspective as to why the changes are being made and to hopefully pull some of the emotion and FUD out of the discussion. Metro will react far more positively to concerns like how will the stops at 3rd and Madison be structured (e.g. will a stop be added at Madison or will folks have to walk N or S one block to get to their stops depending on how stop skipping is implemented), will routes to common destinations be consistently marked (i.e. there are a ton of buses on 3rd – I just want to go to the retail core or Queen Anne or … on the next bus that goes that way. How will Metro make that easy?), etc. rather than highly charged accusations about them not caring about the CD or unnecessarily sending another bus to the Ferry Terminal or …

  50. Look at all other routes.Metro planners were paid the big bucks (maybe not so much) to help guarantee other communities this access. Look at the Rapid Ride routes and where they stop on 3rd. That is direct access. Rapid Ride riders and those coming into Seattle on buses running in the tunnel have direct access. No walking a few blocks with kids, luggage or injuries to get to these destinations. Transferring from one bus to another is time consuming and offers obstacles for many.

    Why not design rapid routes so that riders transfer at and simply be aim at the light rail stations. West Seattle rapid ride could use the SODO station and not travel on third. The other one could either force transfers around Denny and 1st or stop by Macys for entrances to light rail. If your not asking us to just “suck it up” or “deal with it” why take such a paternalistic attitude? Acknowledge the actual problems. Real estate agents will mention the 20 minute rides to downtown and U District. You may make fun of the idea of “direct access”, but special new routes have bee created to guarantee other areas exactly that type of access at what appears to our expense.

    Check out the downtown stops for the #10, #11, #14, #27, #36, #49, #43, #3, #4, #1, #16, and many more and that is direct access. Any bus that runs on pike/pine, 3rd, 4th, or 5th. Those are real direct routes to the downtown core and tunnel.

  51. You seem to think I am trying to get to one place. This is not true. You must picture me as a limited thinker, since I needed perspective. More than once a week I go to Broadway, downtown core, and SODO. Weekly I go to Seattle Center, Belltown, and often to the East side. In the meantime, I often need to get between these areas and West Seattle. I use the #48 to access the University District and Roosevelt areas. However, I also go downtown from those areas and then home via the #2. I also travel to other spots.

  52. Making us transfer to just get to downtown is ridiculous. And why do you shrug at sending another bus down Madison? However, real solutions would be to consider what we are losing and how that can be restored. First I am guessing that the Entrance to the University station tunnel and light rail at Seneca and Union was in part designed to serve the #2. Get off at 4th and walk across 3rd and into the entrance or if walking downhill is difficult or you are dealing with small children or heavier luggage go to the entrance to Westlake entrance at 3rd and Pine/Pike. One compromise (a big one) would be to send the #2 across 3rd on Seneca for access to at least the University Street Station. Send it south on first to Madison and turn around.

  53. May I point out that at MLK and E. Union you have direct access to the #2 and to the #8 (great for Broadway and Seattle Center) and when the Broadway and E. John station opens you will have direct access to the light rail. You are also several blocks closer to the #3. Perhaps that makes you less concerned about some of these issues.

    By the way I know the difference between frequency and schedule. I think if you do a careful analysis you will find that we will get fewer buses. I don’t the exact comparison. Fewer #2 buses on E. Union equal less frequency. The #2 runs every 15 minutes here during the day on Saturday.

  54. See, I knew if i told you roughly where I lived you’d come back with the “well you have access to the #8” (which I rarely take) or “the you’re closer to the #3” (which I never take) retort. Don’t forget I’m close to the #11, #48, and #43/#44 as well. Does having other options somehow invalidate my arguments? I’ve already said that the changes to the #2 will inconvenience me periodically, but I understand their purpose (and I expect Metro to hold up their end). Does the fact that I’m only periodically inconvenienced invalidate my arguments?

    The only frequency information I’ve seen from Metro for the proposed changes to the #2 implies that they plan to keep the frequency levels the same as they currently are (including 15 minutes on Saturday). There’s not enough data to do the “careful analysis” you say will show that there will be fewer buses on E. Union. On the flip side, that also means I can’t prove that there will be the same number of buses, but I’d say the evidence (the frequency information from Metro, the fact that they don’t say anything about “reducing service” in their proposal for the #2 while the do say it for other routes, like the #1) is leaning in my favor. You have no proof that the frequency along E. Union will decrease yet you make claims in other posts that this is a “fact” (ironically followed by the comment that it’s “probably” true).

    Is there any outcome to this current situation that you’d be happy with other than not making any changes whatsoever to the #2 and maintaining the status quo?

  55. As I said elsewhere, there isn’t enough data to do a 1:1 comparison at this point, but all indications are that Metro intends to keep the same frequency on E. Union as they currently have.

    You’ve brought up the fact that E. Union currently has every 15 minute service on Saturday twice now and I don’t understand your point. Can you point to something Metro has said that indicates that level of service will not be maintained under the new proposal?

    As I’ve already shown, you can have a sensible staggering for the Madison corridor (in conjunction with the proposed changes to the #12) and still maintain the current service levels on E. Union. Are you arguing the service levels along E. Union are currently insufficient?

  56. Periodic inconvenience is different from every day for almost every trip with places to be at definite times. So what is wrong with my solutions? I suppose trolley wires across Seneca are missing or other issue. What is wrong with the Rapid Ride linking at SODO or Pioneer Square Stations? The #11 really could continue down Madison. Why is that the wrong answer? What compromise would you offer to the #2 riders besides the current Metro proposal? By the way people are paid at Metro to find solutions for us and they should. Using the #2 periodically and no other bus does not describe the needs of many #2 riders.

    As for less frequency. I know that the reduction is not specific. However, I believe that it is recognized that we will probably lose some in the number of total trips.

  57. Where did I make fun of the idea of direct access? You’ve brought that concept up several times and I was trying to get to the gist of what it meant to you. It sounds like in this context it’s a combination of 1) painless transfers and 2) closer stops to a LINK station and the downtown core. Is that a fair assessment?

    If I’m being paternalistic at all it’s because I believe in arguments based on logic, not emotion. I’m trying to provide a perspective to help folks understand Metro’s motivation so if you choose to engage Metro and others to convince them to change their proposal you do it from an informed position rather than running around with your hair on fire talking about how other buses could be routed to the Ferry Terminal instead or making unfounded, conspiratorial claims about frequency on E. Union being reduced.

  58. To make sure I’m clear, the solution you’re proposing is to send the #2 across 3rd on Seneca for access to at least the University Street Station and then having it go south on 1st and back east on Marion/Madison?

    I think that’s a reasonable idea to explore. I don’t know whether there’s trolley wire west of 3rd on Seneca or not. I can’t find a map of the trolley wire network online right now, but I’ll try to take a look the next time I’m downtown. I also don’t know if lack of a short distance of trolley wire is necessarily a show stopper in the long term since the new trolley buses will have limited off wire capability (certainly enough to bridge a few block gap in the wire). This proposal also avoids the left turn off 3rd and Spring Street/I-5 onramp mess, which is something I think Metro really wants to do as well. I’m not sure turning left on 1st is any better though, but I haven’t seen that analysis.

    Continuing the #11 down Madison to provide the desired frequency on that corridor might be the sticking point. You’d have to fight resistance about it continuing down Madison instead of turning right on Pike (which may be a fight worth having). The bigger potential issue is that I don’t think the frequencies for the #11 line up as well as the #2 to serve the Madison corridor the way Metro wants. In other words, the #11 coming out of Madison Park isn’t as frequent as the #2 coming out of Madrona (across the entire spectrum of peak/non-peak, night, weekends, and weekdays) so you couldn’t service the Madison corridor from 12th to downtown as frequently Metro wants without adding trips to the #11, which a) may not be warranted based on demand out of Madison Park or b) which would require service hours from elsewhere in order to be done in a budget neutral manner.

    Still, I think it’d be a worthy idea to bring up to Metro and see what they say…

  59. I have to put in my 2 cents as both a long time rider on the 2 and someone studying transportation planning. The set of route changes metro has put forward is brave and forward thinking. It is brave because there will inevitably be people who do suffer a bit when a route is changed. After10 years of riding the 2 I relished every opportunity I got to take a one seat ride somewhere and I sympathize with people who may have to walk a little further or make a transfer they used to avoid. However, if you look at the changes as a whole they will really help seattle improve transit access and performance for most people. combing the routing of the 2 and 12 from 12th onward is just plain smart. Rather than having multiple weak transit corridors in that stretch (within a few blocks of each other) we should have a robust corridor with frequent service which will in turn justify speed and reliability improvements that will benefit both routes (transit signal priority and bus lanes perhaps). Looking at 3rd, there are too many buses there and more coming when metro has to remove service from the tunnel with light rail expansion. The length of the 2 also leads to reliability issues.

  60. I can’t echo what Keith says enough. I’m an almost-daily #2 rider, and this change may well guarantee me an extra transfer going to work in the morning, depending on where the Fremont routes stop on 3rd and what changes are made up there.

    All I’m asking people to do is understand that the proposal is not made in a vacuum, it’s not as if Metro is trying to punish all of us in the CD. Metro is facing a very short window to try to avoid significant service cuts if they can’t find new revenue dollars by the end of 2013. It is very clear to me that the County Council and State Legislature (and King County voters who may well be asked for more $$) want to see the most efficient system possible.

  61. Seattle’s Transit Master Plan calls for additional service on Madison; Metro is using this proposal as one way to help answer that.

    As Keith says above, moving the route to Madison and splitting it in half helps with two of the big reliability issues on the route, the turn off 3rd and the crawl up the hill across I-5, and the turn on to Madison before 12th.

    And I appreciate you pointing out that this is part of a ‘for the greater good’ approach. That is what Metro’s folks are trying to do. And yes, clearly, it’s not going to be equally good for everyone. Welcome to the real world.

  62. After listening to others and giving some thought what is a reasonable conversation and the use of language and terms that may or may not have meaning, there are some other ways to express different points of view to be considered. Many of the current trolley system and other historic inner city routes are among the most productive routes in the Metro system and carry a huge chunk of transit users. Many prefer a ride that comes every 10 to 15 minutes and arrives at the destination they desire rather than having to transfer from a ride that come every seven minutes. Offered a choice most would chose the every 15 minute route that does not require a transfer. It is easy to plan around these current schedules.

    Also these are historic routes where for decades the infrastructure and transit dependent development have been placed and have come together in an important way that serves many transit users. Many of the destinations named in earlier posts reflect this development that will not be well-served under the current proposal and is best served by the current structure of the system. Also what some may consider the odd little ends of some of the routes actually serve a purpose and eliminating them creates a new problem that may need yet a new solution and does not really provide that many additional bus hours.

    The current proposal may offer advantages for the rapid ride and for some on a short and limited portion of the Madison corridor but offers practically no benefits for the vast majority of current users along these historic and productive routes. These rather organically developed together and it would be very difficult to in any way replace the organic relationship between the two and to develop a better system.

  63. The best move is to totally eliminate Metro local service within the City of Seattle. In fact – eliminate Metro entirely. Shift the bus service to Sound transit. Local service should be done by trolly and my propose mosquito fleet of Mexican busses. Fast little busses painted in wild scemes by owner operators. These characters would fill every conceveable route at the right price – cheep. Go visit some other contries and see how well things get done without monstrocities like metro.