(Route 560 bus photo by Flickr member Atomic Taco)
The date is set for service cuts on Sound Transit Route 560 – June 11th. We found this out thanks to Nicholas, who uses Route 560 regularly between West Seattle and Sea-Tac and heard that the service was about to be reduced. ST spokesperson Kimberly Reason confirms it to WSB:
As first communicated last year in our DRAFT 2011 SIP (Service Implementation Plan) and posted in the final 2011 SIP, the 560 will continue to run during the weekday, but the route segment between West Seattle Junction and Burien Transit Center is being discontinued weeknights and weekends beginning June 11th. The West Seattle segment will operate from approximately 4:20 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on weekdays.
As background, total Route 560 ridership has declined about 23 percent between 2nd Quarter 2009 and the same period in 2010. This does not necessarily mean that these riders are lost but it is likely that many now use other public transit services.
With the increased availability of Metro alternatives between many of the points served by Route 560, the West Seattle-Burien segment will be deleted entirely except during weekday commuter hours. This will continue to provide West Seattle residents with direct access to the airport during peak demand times while achieving significant cost savings. Alternative West Seattle-Airport service is now available outside of commuter hours using Metro Route 128, which operates between West Seattle and the Tukwila International Boulevard Station with a one-station connection to the airport via light rail.
A detailed explanation (starting on page 72 of this document) notes also that midday service on the route was cut from every half hour to once an hour last year, and that too may account for ridership reduction. Meantime, another ST document notes that further restructuring of Route 560 is possible in 2013, “in conjunction with startup of Metro Rapid Ride Line F (Renton-Burien),” which is to replace Metro Route 140.