Video: RapidRide C Line service officially begins in West Seattle

September 29, 2012 at 5:24 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

For posterity’s sake, we went to Westwood Village to record the start of the first-ever RapidRide C Line trip. The online Trip Planner said 4:58 for the station on SW Barton west of 26th; driver Arthur told us his schedule said 4:57. His bus was parked in the Metro holding area a block west alongside Roxhill Park when we went over to say hi.

“Brand-new bus,” he told us. “Smells new.” Indeed, it did.

Arthur says this is his first RapidRide route; previously, he drove the articulated buses on routes including West Seattle’s 21 and 22.

P.S. No passengers at the first stop for the first run, but then again, it’s Saturday. Our coverage of the RapidRide debut and other local route changes continues later today; as noted in our final reminder story last night, Metro plans an informational event at Westwood Village – by Barnes and Noble – later today, with a RapidRide bus and even RapidRide Man (whom we photographed at countless community events in recent months), 11 am-4 pm.

30 Comments

  1. I noticed the One-Bus-Away App seems to have old data Saturday morning. Maybe it is going to take the weekend for them to get all the new data merged in.

    Comment by Robert — 8:01 am September 29, 2012 #

  2. I sat behind a dumb RapidRide Bus or should I call it a SlowRide Bus this morning. Blocking traffic as it sits in the middle of the road on California and Morgan. I had to wait for over a min as it loaded people and a bike.

    All I have to say is this was the dumbest idea Metro could have come up with.

    What happens when you have a RapidRide Bus sitting there, cars in the turn lane, cars in the strain lane, and an emergency vehicle wants to come by and turn right onto California. Cant wait for someone to sue the City because there RapidRide prevented a fast responce to help.

    Comment by S — 8:06 am September 29, 2012 #

  3. Dang!

    .

    Being the bus geek that I am, I would have gladly been the Jim Foreman of WSB, and donned my parka to brave the elements and report this story!

    .

    Of course, I’d need to have journalistic capabilities to do so.

    .

    And a parka! ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:30 am September 29, 2012 #

  4. Mike – it was almost shockingly warm at 4:45 am. I didn’t even need a sweater. Jim F, last seen in these parts sleuthing The Hum, does go plainclothes these days …

    Comment by WSB — 8:42 am September 29, 2012 #

  5. Yeah, I noticed some time ago that it seems he has moved beyond the parka for the most part, and is getting more in-studio gigs :-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:45 am September 29, 2012 #

  6. Would be nice if the citizens had some say in all of this FINE planning of bus lanes, rapid ride, etc. I agree with S above… dumb! dumb! dumb!

    It’s going to take a law suit or a number of fatal accidents to make them take a 2nd look at things. It’s a sad state of affairs.

    Oh, and now we have another stadium being built.

    Comment by Rob — 8:57 am September 29, 2012 #

  7. I agree with S. I am not sure what the city was thinking by allowing metro to build out the parking lane for the bus stop as it forces the bus to block the main lane for traffic. Last week I was turning left from Fauntleroy onto north California. A bus was in front of me and it stopped at the bus stop for over 5 minutes. It appeared the bus was taking a break there which is ridiculous and traffic got backed up from all directions blocking the intersection. After 5 minutes I finally drove in the oncoming left turn lane to pass the bus. Several blocks later I could still see the bus sitting there.

    Comment by m — 10:18 am September 29, 2012 #

  8. I agree with S. I am not sure what the city was thinking by allowing metro to build out the parking lane for the bus stop as it forces the bus to block the main lane for traffic. Last week I was turning left from Fauntleroy onto north California. A bus was in front of me and it stopped at the bus stop for over 5 minutes. It appeared the bus was taking a break there which is ridiculous and traffic got backed up from all directions blocking the intersection. After 5 minutes I finally drove in the oncoming left turn lane to pass the bus. Several blocks later I could still see the bus sitting there.

    Comment by mz — 10:21 am September 29, 2012 #

  9. Slow ride – LOL!
    Whether the bus is fast for the riders is one thing. It’s not for the rest of us. The step back its given to moving people in other ways is crazy.

    Comment by yes — 11:38 am September 29, 2012 #

  10. NICE photo of the RapidRide bus waiting in the dark! Promotional worthy shot! (from a Metro driver).

    Comment by KD — 11:51 am September 29, 2012 #

  11. Dear Metro, I am disappointed. The gaps of bus service has now made the city impassable, without walking a mile or using other transportation, for many areas that just yesterday had dependable service 7 days a week. This is a very sad turn of events, especially for the elderly. The new bus lines are very cool, but at what cost? They are of no use if the people who need the bus most realistically can’t get to them.

    Comment by Noelle — 11:53 am September 29, 2012 #

  12. Everybody who drives, if you obeyed the law and stopped to let a bus pull out of the stop like you are required to, these bulbouts would not be necessary. Unfortunately that law is broken and ignored hundreds if not thousands of times per day by motorists, so this is what is needed to move the greatest number of people as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    Comment by JN — 12:09 pm September 29, 2012 #

  13. S, if that was you in either the wagon with a roof rack or the dark sedan at the NB RR station just north of Morgan, I saw BOTH those cars advance around the loading bus illegally. I was the woman right behind the bus shaking my shame-on-you finger at both of you as you illegally passed me and the bus after the 7:47 stop.

    If you hadn’t turned west 1/2 block after the station,wagon with roof rack, I wouldn’t be writing here, because you would have had the experience of seeing (and I was surprised at this myself) how quickly the bus moved overall down to where it turned by Uptown. The impatience and entitlement of both drivers embarrasses themselves in the eyes of this neighbor. If you actually stayed on Cal NB You would see how much safer pedestrian people on California might be with this. Remember, cars have hit people multiple times on Cal.

    Yeah, this will slow auto traffic, but if you are so unreasonably stressed out that 30-60 seconds to get 1/2 block quicker is that big of a deal, I’d suggest deep-breathing and a blood pressure check. Geez.

    Comment by changeisharderforsome — 12:54 pm September 29, 2012 #

  14. My son and I rode the C today to the Junction from Westwood Village. There are still several kinks to work out, but overall, the route makes sense. I noticed that the stops are thought out well, but we have to now walk from our house to basically Roxhill to take the C. Which is a lot further than the 54 used to be. Plus, I thought it was strange that the last stop is supposed to be 26th and Barton (which is really 27th & Barton) but it just stops where the buses wait to start their route. They have closed all the bus stops within 4 blocks of my house – now I need to go closer to 8 to get to a bus…. Kinda stinky, especially with winter setting in.

    Comment by Amanda — 2:37 pm September 29, 2012 #

  15. My husband, daughter and I took the bus today riding the C Line@ Fauntelroy ferry station to downtown, every rider that approached us had questions of when the bus would arrive and what stops it would take. The digital display at this station read the time was 6:04am and the date was April 29th, when infact the time was 9:36. The schedule at the bus stop read the C line would get to this stop at 10:36 when infact it arrived @ 9:45. We noticed that there are only 2-3 stops along Fauntelroy.

    The C line driver was unsure of the schedule and pulled out his cell phone to check the Metro website, and more than once other bus drivers stopped our bus asking questions of what bus stps they stop at as well as asking for assistance from other riders confused by all the route changes.

    Comment by Lisa — 3:48 pm September 29, 2012 #

  16. I think some tweaks would be helpful to this Rapidride route, now that it’s here to stay.

    1. Make a stop at 26th and Spokane St. That way, the majority of North Admiral residents not served by Metro’s planning department (they killed the 56. No weekend service for North Admiral residents at all!!!!)

    The Park and Ride under the bridge is good place to catch the bus if the C bus would make a stop there.

    2. Get some feeder/circulator buses like the 51 running so that people North of the Junction get some service and can take advantage of this “Rapid” bus. If ridership is really as low as they claim, make the circulator bus a hybrid service, with one that goes with less frequency, and one that is on demand, ala DART.

    It’s not a viable proposition to go green and adopt transit if I have to walk over a mile to catch a bus that provides service early in the morning or late at night on the weekends. I did this today only because I was caught flat-footed with the service changes. Good thing I checked the timetables again Saturday because if I relied on Friday’s info, I’d have missed my travel connection out of town!

    Comment by John — 4:07 pm September 29, 2012 #

  17. Fantastic! So glad the rapid ride is here. I noticed some folks are having issues about the routing on California. Give Metro a call or email. They actually use that info.

    Comment by Jae — 4:51 pm September 29, 2012 #

  18. Each bus on the road keeps at least 30 single occupant cars off the road. If we did not have buses for a week those of you complaining about bus lane and stop privilages would be rioting to get the buses back on the road. The roads would be gridlocked without buses. To quote Star Trek “The good of the many out weighs the good of the few”. I am amazed each day as I cross the West Seattle bridge via bus to see all of the single occupant vehicles waiting as my bus crosses the bridge in 4 minutes. I was one of those SOV drivers for 29 years driving daily to South Lake Union and in recent years it was taking me 25 minutes to cross the bridge. I finally had my fill of driving to work after vacationing in London and Paris in 2011 where I experienced great public transportation. I have been taking the bus for 15 months now and don’t intend to ever go back to driving. Seattle is taking the right steps with Light Rail, street cars and Rapid Ride. Eventually Seattle will need to implement a congestion charge for cars entering the city in order to cut pollution and traffic ┬ájust as London has. Maybe Rapid Ride means that Seattle is starting to grow up.

    Comment by David — 6:04 pm September 29, 2012 #

  19. Mayor McSchwinn and the great idea to get people out of cars because if not a bus will block the commute. C’mon you bus riders, they could have still had “Rapid Ride” without the built out curbs!!

    Comment by Dee — 6:32 pm September 29, 2012 #

  20. One Bus Away is updated now. Rapid Ride Line C is called “673″ for some reason.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 7:32 pm September 29, 2012 #

  21. I don’t think there’s enough cheese in the State of Washington to match the amount of whine in West Seattle!

    Comment by Paul — 7:57 pm September 29, 2012 #

  22. Paul hit the nail on the head!

    Comment by Peter — 10:33 pm September 29, 2012 #

  23. David,

    Comparing Seattle to London is like Comparing Wenatchee to Seattle. Big difference in density and financial resource. The point I would make is that our city leaders so desperately want to be recognized as a major metro hub “West Coast Manhattan” that density is pushed at a rate not in line with the progress of many other sectors. Metro has limited resources and ridership is down. Gee I wonder if this is at all correlated with swings in the economy. Compared to services in other major hubs Seattle has a long track record of over promising and under delivering. America in general is a car based culture and that is not going to change overnight. Particularly in Seattle there is the opinion by our leaders that those “little people” will just need to tow the line and shut up. Problem being if life gets to hard in a region for the little people who pay taxes they move somewhere else. Hence ridership is down, less routes, my house is worth about %60 of what they told me it was a few years ago but I am still paying darn near the same amount in taxes.

    Comment by WsEd — 9:38 am September 30, 2012 #

  24. It took five minutes to get on yesterday because people are slow and will always be slow.. It isn’t faster…

    Comment by coyoteandthecat — 10:08 am September 30, 2012 #

  25. i live down by the beach and would ride the 56 to get up the hill to the market and into town. is anyone as upset as i am about the elimination of this bus and changing it to a express line? When the 56 is not running we are supposed to ride the new #50. The problem with this bus is that the last bus out of Alki is at 9:30. i don’t know about you but that is too early for me. I sometimes get home late and this will have me walking up Admiral hill a lot. Am i alone in my anxiety?

    Comment by Jon Minnick — 11:17 am October 1, 2012 #

  26. I am just curious if Metro will have a response to how this morning’s commute went. While I understand that there are kinks that need to be worked out, I wonder if anyone realized that they were merging two bus lines into one for the morning commute (54/54x). For the past two weeks my commute has gotten really difficult and today seemed to be worse. I travel with a service dog and it is getting very difficult for me to ride the bus now that it is standing room only at California/Findlay. In fact, our bus this morning had to skip the last 3 stops because there was no room. We need more frequent buses during rush hour.

    I am hoping maybe a bunch of people tried to catch the bus early like I did, since there is no schedule – just every 10 minutes to downtown. Sadly, I could have run to work downtown today faster than the metro bus got me there.

    Comment by bd — 12:02 pm October 1, 2012 #

  27. They closed the more convenient stop that was right in from of my apartment in favor of the new Rapid Ride stop a few blocks away. I was hoping that the C would at least be less crowded than the notoriously crowded 54. It was actually much worse! So, it’s less convenient for me, more crowded, and doesn’t get downtown significantly faster than the 54. Even the seats seemed less comfortable than the old metro buses. WTF!

    Comment by Adam — 5:14 pm October 1, 2012 #

  28. I began to time the trip the few weeks of catching the 54/55 from the Alaska Junction QFC to downtown. This week, I have been timing the Rapid Ride C line from the Alaska Junction to downtown and guess what? It is EXACTLY the same amount of time. What was the difference? That the bus was super crowded! I am not oppossed to the new bus routes, lines, etc., what I do want is more frequent buses. Also, maybe it would be faster if people followed DIRECTIONS!! If you have an ORCA card pay BEFORE you get on and DON’T use the front door! When you exit, get off at the back two doors. SIMPLE

    Comment by Ice — 3:13 pm October 3, 2012 #

  29. Well, if you aren’t complaining about the buses, it will be something else. I suppose everyone has to have a hobby.

    Comment by Elsa — 10:25 am October 5, 2012 #

  30. Wednesday, it took me two hours on Rapid Ride and another bus to get to UW from Safeway on Roxbury. Stopped picking up passengers after Alaskan Junction. Worse was 125 home – will never take that bus again! Those commuters should be complaining — they said it is always super-packed, standing room only. Reminded me of Chicago commutes on el and bus – ugh.
    We’ve lost our 133 limited express so it’s two buses each way – what a drag.

    Comment by Fiona Enzo — 3:29 pm October 5, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^