Though most news surrounding King County Metro bus lines has to do with cuts to service, the City of Seattle is now planning service increases for nine routes.
The city put $750,000 towards expanding night and weekend bus rides on these routes, which include the 48 that runs in part through the Central District.
“The City of Seattle is buying more than 5,000 hours of added service per year through early 2016 on nine high ridership bus routes in Seattle,” city officials announced June 16. The route increases are being funded through the Bridging the Gap levy that has purchased “45,000 hours of transit service each year” since 2008 according to a City of Seattle release.
Funds from the voter-approved levy will go towards increasing night and weekend service on routes: 5, 10, 21, 40, 41, 48, 49, and 120. In February 2014, funds will also go toward the Aurora RapidRide.
The monetary booster shot comes during trying times for King County Metro, and will ideally reduce the wait time – and frustration – for some bus commuters.
“It’s great to be able to add this service at a time of ridership growth,” King County Metro general manager Kevin Desmond said in a statement. The City of Seattle release claims the added funds will “increase evening and weekend frequency on high-ridership routes from 30 to 15 minutes or from 60 to 30 minutes.” Serving as a relatively small fix, officials say there is still more work to be done to create long term solutions.
From the City:
Since 2008 the City of Seattle has used Bridging the Gap funds to purchase up to 45,000 hours of transit service each year. Using $750,000 in savings from Levy-funded projects, the City of Seattle is buying 5,000 additional hours of service on priority bus routes identified in the Transit Master Plan that serve SR 99, Interstate 5, and major arterial streets, including:
Route 5 (Greenwood to Downtown)
Route 10 (North Capitol Hill to Downtown)
Route 21 (West Seattle to Downtown)
Route 40 (Northgate-Crown Hill-Ballard-Fremont-South Lake Union-Downtown)
Route 41 (Lake City-Northgate-Downtown via Interstate 5)
Route 48 (University District to Mt. Baker Light Rail Station)
Route 49 (University District to Pike/Pine and Downtown)
Route 120 (West Seattle to Downtown)
Additionally, the pre-existing Metro Transit Now commitment providing 5,000 hours of 100 percent Metro-funded service would go into effect in February 2014 and fund more trips on the Aurora RapidRide E Line.