News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

It’s here! New bus routes start now

March 25th, 2016 by Mike

Update: Here’s another shot at this from The Seattle Times.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things.”

Actually, no.

The time has come to note that bus service changes as the week ends.

Trying to talk about those changes is a thankless task.

Exhibit A: Comments on our last bus post. (See: “No clue.” Also, there’s a lot of good information in those comments.)

Exhibit B: This befuddling series of videos from Metro about the changes.

Fact is, there are enough changes that folks need to scowl at their own routes. Here is Metro’s site for changes beginning March 26nd.

Bottom line: Some bus routes that until now went downtown will instead go to Sound Transit’s newly opened University of Washington light rail station.

Is that good? Here, in the above comments, is Lisa’s report from Tuesday:

I tried a “dry run” today to see what it will entail to get from downtown to the corner of 85th and 15th NE by using the link light rail to transfer to the 73. Looks as if ST has worked its usual magic of making a 25 minute or so trip now take 45-50 minutes with a 1/3 mile walk included (this would be for riders taking the 73 from downtown)….

I’ve contacted Metro and Debora Juarez’s office’s office about this – neither have responded to email. This change is definitely for the worse …. I don’t know if we can get anywhere, but this is a real nightmare scenario with four buses (66, 68, 72, and 73) in our area being eliminated entirely and others reconfigured to connect at the UW station.

More positively, the Seattle Transit Blog has a piece here: ULink Bus Restructure Begins Saturday: More Service, More Transfers, Faster Trips.

Let’s not lose the sheer magnitude of Metro’s bus restructure, the largest in decades and one that will change tens of thousands of daily trips, mostly for the better.

The basic theme of the restructure, especially in NE Seattle, is higher frequency service paid for with a reliance on ULink and increased transfers. The ease and reliability of these transfers is an open question, and their success or failure will largely determine the public’s view of this restructure over time.

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Three things about buses – an update as votes are cast

April 7th, 2014 by Mike

Absentee ballots have arrived in the mail for this month’s transit tax vote.  Our last post on it drew enough comments that it’s worth noting three new stories in our news partner The Seattle Times.

First, the Times rather surprisingly opposed the tax – which was supported by a unanimous King County Council and by many area leaders – in an editorial over the weekend, saying Metro needs to do more to cut costs before voters pass a $60 car tab fee and a sales-tax increase.

The pattern is clear. As in previous rounds of asking taxpayers for more money, Metro sees its shortfall as a revenue problem, rather than thoroughly confronting its well-documented unsustainably high operating costs.

As to Metro’s announcement that without the money it will have to slash bus service by 17 percent:

If voters turn down Proposition 1, King County threatens a round of devastating bus-service cuts, many on popular routes including those carrying students to college. County and Metro leadership should not let that happen.

The threat ignores other options, including further fare increases and ever tighter control of administrative costs and capital expenses.

It’s worth remembering that the tax is nobody’s first choice for funding buses and other needs, but is a cobbled together Plan B after the state Legislature failed to act before going home last month.

Second, the Times today has a story out of the Eastside, where the Kirkland City Council voted 6-1 in favor of Proposition 1, but Belleuve business leaders opposed it.

A thumbs-up from the Kirkland City Council and a thumbs-down from the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce speak to the important role suburban voters could play in the fate of Metro’s Proposition 1 on the April 22 ballot.

Finally, the Times today posted the results of its survey on full Metro buses passing by waiting riders.

From 266 reader reports:

If you’re traveling north or south, you’ve got a greater chance of being passed up. Readers reported a total of 205 pass-ups, or about 77 percent of the total, on routes heading north or south.

The top time to get passed up? About 35 percent of pass-ups came during the afternoon rush between 5 and 6 p.m.

Route 40 might be the most crowded bus in Seattle.

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