Followup: Metro changes by the numbers, and what’s next

October 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 58 Comments

(RapidRide C bus photographed near Seattle Center this afternoon)
As West Seattle bus riders conclude the second week of Metro’s RapidRide C Line launch and other service changes, the numbers we’ve requested have arrived – ridership and number of buses before and after – along with an update on what Metro is considering to address ongoing concerns. Here’s the full text of the reply we received:

Current Ridership Indicators

Metro along with its riders in West Seattle has seen the crowded conditions and unfortunate pass-ups of some riders on the RapidRide C Line and the Route 120 since our fall service change period began on September 29. All indications are that RapidRide C Line ridership, and ridership on the entire body of service Metro operates between West Seattle and Downtown Seattle is up substantially from last spring in the first two weeks since its launch. At this time Metro has only raw data from several in person field counts for service operating via the Alaskan Way Viaduct. In a four day peak period count of passenger loads entering downtown in the morning and exiting downtown in the afternoon/evening, buses have about 25% more people on board than routes in spring 2011 and about 18% more than in the spring 2012 (February to June) period. In real numbers, passenger counts averaged 2537 with a high of 2611 in the morning and 2830 with a high of 2919 in the afternoon.

These passenger counts were conducted between 7 and 9 a.m. at the Seneca and 2nd Ave intersection and between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Columbia and 2nd Ave bus stop on Thursday 10/4 and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10/9, 10 and 11.

Peak Commute Period Bus Trips between West Seattle and Downtown via the viaduct or SODO before and after this service change

In spring 2012 Metro operated 73 bus trips between 7 and 9 a.m. from West Seattle to downtown; currently Metro operates 72 trips plus two RapidRide cover buses in that period. In spring 2012 Metro operated 77 trips between 4 and 6 p.m. from downtown to West Seattle; currently Metro operates 70 trips plus two RapidRide cover buses in that period. The changes in number of bus trips includes the elimination of some low-ridership trips on routes that no longer come downtown (the route 22), or have fewer trips downtown (the route 37) and the redirection of trips on the former route 56 to create the new route 50 that provides cross-town and Link light rail connections in SODO, Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Seward Park and Othello. They also include the redistribution of the trips of the former routes 54 and 54Express, along with some route 55 trips, into the C Line. Metro also added two trips and initiated as local service (buses will make stops at all bus stops) to the routes 116, 118 and 119.

Ridership Data Collection
Metro typically collects ridership (boardings) data over the course of an entire service change period through its automatic passenger counters (APC) located in the doorways of some of its buses. In the regular fleet about 15% of the buses include automatic passenger counters, requiring the rotation of vehicles each day to get a sample of all routes and trips over the course of a 4 month service change period. 50% of the RapidRide fleet is equipped with automatic passenger counters, which will ultimately give us a richer source of data for the C and D lines. However, initial data continues to require review and documentation, with first reports of RapidRide ridership via our automatic passenger counters system expected in early November.

Here’s our screengrab (CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL-SIZE VIEW) of the table included in the e-mail at that point:

Continuing Evaluation and Actions
RapidRide C Line operations have smoothed out in the second week of operation and it is normal that driver familiarity with new routes increases quickly and leads to more stable running times and reliability. The addition of two new morning and afternoon trips helped with passenger overloads this week. More additions to the C Line or complementary routes like Route 55 are under consideration, with a small reserve of operating resources that Metro planners maintained for just such contingencies.

We are also happy to see but concerned with meeting the tremendous increases in passenger loads on the route 120, another corridor we have focused on bus speed and reliability improvements. Work with Seattle DOT continues to establish and fine tune transit signal priority and other traffic operations on the C and D Lines. While all but one planned traffic signal priority intersection is up and running on the C Line, just over one-third of the planned signal priority intersections are up and running on the D Line. This delay has been due to staffing limits at both SDOT and Metro, with the same staff working on multiple RapidRide and other corridor projects concurrently. For both lines, signal timing refinements, further schedule refinements and improvements in actively managing RapidRide headways (time between buses) and cover buses are expected to continue for about the next six months and will be regularly monitored for adjustment on an ongoing basis.

Want to talk to a Metro manager about this? Got another transportation issue? Yet another reminder: Sustainable West Seattle‘s big transportation forum, with higher-ups from Metro and SDOT among others, is THIS MONDAY (October 15th), 7 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California and Oregon, enter off Oregon and go upstairs).

58 Comments

  1. If I’m understanding this, they did the passenger counts at 2nd & Seneca and 2nd & Columbia. These were not stops for the 22, so of course ridership is up, since 22 users now are on RR.

    Comment by iggy — 2:50 pm October 12, 2012 #

  2. Somehow, magically, between 9/28 and 10/1, ridership increased 25%!

    Let’s give Metros’ brain-trust the benefit of the doubt and assume the Spring ridership numbers are somewhat correct (+/- 5%). Even so, the amount of overflow on 10/1 dwarfed any reasonable 6-month growth progression.

    The reality is that with reduced routes and smaller capacity buses, Metro didn’t properly account for the ridership that already existed (months) prior to the C-Line, let alone plan for any growth in WS.

    It was botched, simple math, gone wrong. Who’s job should be in jeopardy for managing such a debacle? I’m certain they were promoted instead.

    Comment by C-Line Rider — 2:54 pm October 12, 2012 #

  3. Why do counts only during peak periods? Metro has slashed service during off-peak hours, citing low ridership. Did they actually even check?

    Comment by anonyme — 2:55 pm October 12, 2012 #

  4. Get rid of the curb bulbs.If they are so important then why are they not at all stops!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Woodsman — 2:57 pm October 12, 2012 #

  5. I’ve been suspecting, based on my last 14 C Line rides and walking Third Avenue, there’s been real growth in transit popularity, and not just confusion or mistakes by Metro in the opening weeks, to explain the packed buses. Way to be quick WSB, we’ll have a version soon at seattletimes.com

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 3:02 pm October 12, 2012 #

  6. Has anyone taken into account that the new buses carry less people? Did they count the ferry bus people? I can’t imagine ridership went up since RaBid Ride started.

    Comment by Ellas — 3:17 pm October 12, 2012 #

  7. To @iggy’s point – the 56 now only unloads at 2nd & Seneca when before it had buses that offloaded along 1st and all through downtown. Also, the last 37 leaves at 7:30 AM, so I am sure that many former 37 riders (such as myself) now take the 56E. I disagree that “there’s real growth in transit popularity” and, rather real shifting of folks’ options on when they can ride.

    Comment by dq — 3:18 pm October 12, 2012 #

  8. Mike,

    It’s not real growth. It’s as if you and Metro believe that literally over a weekend, ridership grew 18-25%! What has happened is consolidation of and reduction of routes and less capacity.

    C Line buses heading to WS, arriving at 3rd and Bell are often full. That’s even before getting through the downtown core. Those riders didn’t magically decide to start going to WS. They were on other routes that are no longer in service.

    Comment by C-Line Rider — 3:20 pm October 12, 2012 #

  9. Why do they have to do manual counts at all, why can’t they pull ridership numbers from the scans of ORCA cards and fares collected in the fare box?

    Comment by oneanne — 3:24 pm October 12, 2012 #

  10. “RapidRide C Line operations have smoothed out in the second week of operation” ??

    I just don’t see it. I just got off a completely packed C Line from downtown AT 2:30PM! Everyone around was pissed off and complaining about the ongoing mess.

    They need to bring back options to the westside so EVERYONE that rode the 22 54 54x and 55 don’t aLL have to fit on “rapid ride” C

    Comment by Mike B — 3:32 pm October 12, 2012 #

  11. anonyme, Metro explains that they do check historical ridership using bus APC’s, so they did look a ridership before adjusting service in a given area.

    Ellas, the new RR buses can actually carry more people. A standing person takes up less space than one sitting; that’s the reason for fewer seats and more open space.

    Comment by AndrewN — 3:46 pm October 12, 2012 #

  12. This is anecdotal, but for the past two weeks, while I am coping with overcrowding and poor frequency on WS routes, I am noting better service on the 2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 16, 43, and 49. Fewer people seem to be riding (without Ride Free, I guess people are staying home), and even going out to the UW was better than in the past on the 43. True, I am riding mid-day, but I have been a frequent rider on these routes for years, and this is the best I’ve seen. So, I find it hard to believe the Metro pundits who say WS has had this miraculous jump in ridership, while my anecdotal (but experienced) eye says the rest of the city has had better service and less crowding.

    Comment by iggy — 3:53 pm October 12, 2012 #

  13. agree with C-Line Rider
    ~
    calling the new RR “popular” is not really accurate, when at the same time, most riders in West Seattle lost access to regular routes, so had no other viable choice; I have seen very strong initial curiosity and very strong desire for RR to be successful, to actually provide what was promised
    ~
    if I had any other reasonable option from Admiral, I would try something else besides RR to get downtown; the new 50 bus is a lovely new bus, and not crowded, but very limited schedule/ends too early; taking away our usual 55, 56, 57, and replacing with a 50 to SODO that requires transfer to downtown; this is the reason most from Admiral have been trying RR, and this is just one area that had massive loss of regular bus service, now forced to try RR
    ~
    I have taken the RR to Ballard a couple times, which is great, although takes nearly an hour, and even on a Sunday or midday/non-peak, it gets packed SRO downtown, not all that pleasant
    ~
    if instead, all the other factors (all our other routes) had remained the same, and they added RR to replace 54 and showed us these numbers, the claim of RR “popularity” might seem believable
    ~
    and the poor folks on the 120; so Metro’s own stats show nearly 50% increase in riders, but they haven’t added buses to that route?

    Comment by Diane — 3:56 pm October 12, 2012 #

  14. I laughed at the “things are getting better” comment from Metro. My C bus still passes at least 2-3 stops a day and it’s been packed.

    Comment by natinstl — 3:56 pm October 12, 2012 #

  15. At least the 120 numbers are real, because it still gets off the viaduct at the same exit and lets passengers off at the same places.
    .
    Metro’s statement appears to lack any plan to add runs to the 120, though it’s nearly as heavily traveled as the C Line and is experiencing the same problems.
    .
    How many coaches are running on long, time-consuming routes to and from timbuktu in the east county? One seriously underutilized run out in the scenic boonies for an hour could equal two sardine-packed 120 runs for half an hour each in a needy and congested area.
    .
    What’s the plan for the 120 — forget it and let it stay this way? Don’t laugh. That was always the plan with the old route 20. Whenever Metro didn’t have enough drivers to cover everything, they’d skip runs on the the 20 in the afternoon rush hour. Back then it was a 40 footer and it could have used luggage racks like they have in South America so that riders could cling to the racks on the roof. Why do this to the 20 so consistently, and not other routes? You tell me.

    Comment by Rod Clark — 4:06 pm October 12, 2012 #

  16. Hello C-Line rider — I’ve taken 14 C Line trips and yes of course, Metro should have anticipated the fast WS ridership growth. The 54 was already standing-room-only before this. Combine growth WITH all the WS routes being cut or fed into C Line, and voila, you’ve got 100 people on a bus.

    I would encourage you to visit other parts of town and watch the 8-Capitol Hill, the 70-Eastlake, the 43-Northgate, the 218-Issaquah and 358-Aurora fill to the breaking point, not to mention Sound Transit’s buses from Everett and Lynnwood. And then put in a word for the 120 on Delridge. This transit growth is for real.

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 4:37 pm October 12, 2012 #

  17. The bus bulbs I have seen effectively mean every car behind the bus also has to wait – effectively reducing the number of traffic lanes by one, reducing the carrying capacity of the road.

    I suspect a politician ordered this mess, and transit staff were like the members of the board in the cartoon where the Chairman of the Board says, “all opposed, so signify by saying, ‘I resign.’”

    Comment by observer — 4:53 pm October 12, 2012 #

  18. And don’t forget all of the new overpriced apartments coming online in the next 2 years…more people to stand or get passed up.
    And the bus bulb on northbound california in front of Washington Federal. That is the worst spot ever for the stop. That was a true moron decision.

    Comment by coffee — 5:23 pm October 12, 2012 #

  19. Just received this email from Metro:

    Dear Metro customer,

    It’s been two weeks of commutes since we made major changes to Metro Transit
    service, and while things are going more smoothly for many, we still are working on
    several problems identified by our customers.

    We’ve taken steps to address crowding on some routes, and are monitoring reports
    of missed stops on other routes. We also are working with bus drivers to make things
    go more smoothly on every trip – including directing riders to consistently exit at the
    back of the bus when able and encouraging riders to move to the back so passengers
    aren’t left at the curb.

    We’re taking these steps in part because you reported them. While we may not be able
    to address every concern, we do consider all feedback and potential solutions as we
    work to serve as many riders as we can with the best system we can. Your feedback is

    appreciated and valued.

    Thanks for riding Metro Transit and for your patience during this unusual period of
    transition for so many.

    Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit General Manager

    Well Kevin Desmond, bus service in Seattle sucks with all the changes you made. Your changes have not helped people, only hurt people.

    Comment by Lisa — 5:23 pm October 12, 2012 #

  20. The loss of the 125 stop at the Chelan Cafe sure sucks for anyone working down West Marginal

    Comment by Tom_Tugboat — 5:27 pm October 12, 2012 #

  21. Meantime, on the north end of Delridge the “rechannelization” related to Route 120 is now striped – just went over to get dashcam video, each direction. http://westseattleblog.com/2012/10/video-north-end-of-delridge-way-sw-rechannelized

    Comment by WSB — 5:31 pm October 12, 2012 #

  22. Same letter has been sent as a news release. If there’s a web link, I’ll add it.

    Comment by WSB — 5:35 pm October 12, 2012 #

  23. I wonder how many are now taking the 120 from WC because they eliminated almost all the routes that leave there? We used to have 120, 125, 113 (limited), 22, 54, 23, and 133 (limited). Now just the 120 and 4-5 113s go through and all of us have to get on the one bus, unless you can catch the 131 all the way at Olsen of the C down by Safeway.

    Since the 120 is such a heavily used route, they probably will just go with it and ignore any problems with overloaded buses.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 5:49 pm October 12, 2012 #

  24. Of course ridership is up on these RR routes. We’ve been forced to ride RR due to deletion of other routes. Duh!

    Comment by justme — 5:52 pm October 12, 2012 #

  25. And if you live out in Arbor Heights/Shorewood/Seola, it is now known as the “You Can’t Get There From Here” transit system. It took me over an hour (midmorning, not peak!) to get downtown. It used to take 35-40 minutes. And I have to transfer AND walk further to even get a bus! I no longer take the bus to work, and will only be riding on my days off if going downtown. On the other hand, It is easier to get from here to the Alaska Junction now. #22 shuttle.

    Comment by Mike — 6:19 pm October 12, 2012 #

  26. I had a nasty fall (luckily no serious injuries) yesterday at rush hour waiting for the RRC at 2nd and Columbia. Completely a result of overcrowding and dangerous conditions of steep, crowded stop w/trash can, tree grate and signs all located where we’re supposed to board. Nobody was pushing, just too many people for that space as we waited while full RRCs passed us by. Thanks to those who expressed concern and especially to the fellow who gave me a hand. Yes, I reported it to Metro.

    Comment by hohum — 6:37 pm October 12, 2012 #

  27. Yes, it is quite abit easier to get to the Alaska Street Junction via the #22 from Arbor Heights, but getting downtown sucks. Transfer, lots of walking and oh once downtown you can catch the
    # 21 to Westwood Village and be told to get off the bus and wait for another #21. Then hike up to Arbor Heights from Roxbury. Snow route for the #22 only goes to Henderson and the #21 only to Barton.

    It will be sheer joy during the rainy, snowy and dark months.

    Comment by Lisa — 6:49 pm October 12, 2012 #

  28. And with the end of the congestion reduction charge coming in the fairly near future if you think its going to get better without a stable funding source for Metro and other transit agencies you are dreaming. State legislature couldn’t agree on anything.

    Comment by Me — 7:04 pm October 12, 2012 #

  29. Don’t worry 120 riders! Metro plans to make that a RapidRide route too someday…

    Comment by Paul — 7:31 pm October 12, 2012 #

  30. I’m really having problems with getting off at the back of the bus, after having good luck the first week. The 21 local that I take to work lets people off at the front, but anything crowded you’re expected to get off at the back. Even on the new buses, even if they lower the floor the clearance is too high in some places (such as when the bus stops in front of a driveway for a business–no curb, so the ground is farther away). I have knee problems and don’t want to make them worse.

    Tonight I got on a RR-C at 3rd & Pike, and there were even a few seats, near the back. So I tried to get off the back once I got to West Seattle, and the clearance was just too high. I had to go to the front of the bus to get off–I’m sure the driver and passengers waiting to board absolutely hated me but I didn’t know what else to do. They had even lowered the floor, but it was still too high.

    I’m not really sure what to do anymore except use only less crowded buses like the 21 local or 116/119 and stay near the front. But I’m afraid if they start enforcing the “exit at the back only” I’ll really have problems.

    Comment by West Seattle Since 1979 — 7:34 pm October 12, 2012 #

  31. Great news about the ridership increases. More on the bus means less auto congestion on the bridge and elsewhere.

    October is typically the highest ridership month for Metro, and this year looks to be a record. i have a feeling that Metro is as we speak exceeding the records set in 2008.

    Comment by Chad N — 7:59 pm October 12, 2012 #

  32. So I’ve been reading all the comments that rail on the Metro for either 1) making these numbers up or 2)arguing that these numbers don’t “add up” to what you see.

    If I understand it, the number of buses hasn’t changed significantly for West Seattle since the change. According to WSB, “In spring 2012 Metro operated 73 bus trips between 7 and 9 a.m. from West Seattle to downtown; currently Metro operates 72 trips plus two RapidRide cover buses in that period. In spring 2012 Metro operated 77 trips between 4 and 6 p.m. from downtown to West Seattle; currently Metro operates 70 trips plus two RapidRide cover buses in that period.”

    So, part of the problem is that ridership is up 25% from this time last year, and while the bus lines were restructured to eliminate the less-efficient routes, the total bus numbers weren’t increased to reflect the increase in riders, which apparently Metro wasn’t aware of until this last census.

    Solution: Metro has to figure out how to add more busses to WS routes, which it may or may not have.

    Observation: Some of you are incredibly critical, and I’m really, really glad we don’t work together.

    Comment by mtnfreak — 8:18 pm October 12, 2012 #

  33. My travel time has increased with my commute between WS (Alaska Jnction) and the U District, any tricks :)

    Comment by DP — 8:19 pm October 12, 2012 #

  34. Excuse us mtnfreak, but West Seattle residents have gotten use to direct bus service to downtowwn and other areas, without walking many blocks or miles. We also got use to have the bus service for the most part be convienent.

    With the changes Metro has made Metro has forced many people to re-think taking the bus at all, and instead drive.

    Sorry all our critical comments offend you but this RR isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

    I suggest the managers at Metro ride RR and other routes as we all have to to really know all that riders have to go through, then they can fully understand how their decisions impact all our transportation needs.

    Many of my neighbors are not mobile and can not walk long distances to the bus, and they do not qualify for Access service, so please tell them just how do they do get to the market or a doctors appt. without Metro?

    Comment by Lisa — 8:45 pm October 12, 2012 #

  35. I am surprised they removed the Rite Aid stop.

    Comment by DP — 8:48 pm October 12, 2012 #

  36. @WSS1979, there never has been and never will be a rule that you must exit via the rear door. It’s encouraged to do so, but people with special needs (and bicycles) are expected to use the front door. And if the bus is too far from the curb, ask the driver to lower the wheelchair ramp.
    .
    @mtnfreak, we think Metro is overstating a ridership increase due to the way it is defining a trip between West Seattle and downtown. Specifically, they seem to only be counting passengers on express buses which take the Viaduct, and not local buses which took 1st Ave through SODO. Therefore, riders on the eliminated local routes (22, 37, and 56/57) were not included in the previous statistics, but are now suddenly appearing in the new statistics because they have been forced to migrate to the RapidRide C.

    Comment by Richard — 9:00 pm October 12, 2012 #

  37. For a commute between Admiral and Pioneer Square,
    the new system has:

    nearly doubled my transit time, from 25min to 45.
    constrained my hours, since the last morning bus
    is at 9:00am.
    increased my fare, from the off-peak rate to peak.
    given me a mile or more of walking every day. That’s either good exercise or torture, depending
    on how my knees feel on any given day.

    Yeah…reduced service and worse service, and I pay more for it than before. Twice this week I’ve waited more than 30 minutes at Columbia to catch the 56/57 home. I can take either one; people farther down the route get worse service than mine.

    Comment by JKB — 9:22 pm October 12, 2012 #

  38. JKB,

    Have you tried taking the 50 to Sodo, then transferring to the Light Rail to Pioneer Square? Not sure if it would cost more, though.

    Alternatively you could transfer from the 50 to the 21 local at 1st and Lander.

    Comment by Loretta — 5:57 am October 13, 2012 #

  39. “These passenger counts were conducted between 7 and 9 a.m. at the Seneca and 2nd Ave intersection and between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Columbia and 2nd Ave bus stop on Thursday 10/4 and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10/9, 10 and 11.”

    Um … a number of those routes (21, 22, 56, 57) CONTINUED to pick up people, as far south as Main Street. So how does counting bodies at Seneca and Columbia give comparable totals on ‘total number of riders to West Seattle’?

    Comment by observer — 6:54 am October 13, 2012 #

  40. Has anyone noticed increased water taxi traffic? I have only rode it once since RR began, and it did not seem different.

    Comment by Pman — 8:07 am October 13, 2012 #

  41. Popular?
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/popular

    Comment by dapuffin — 9:14 am October 13, 2012 #

  42. Hey, those numbers are missing all the previous downtown commuters who used the 22 and 37. Also why are the figures for 21X and not 21?

    I really hope passenger numbers are up, but let’s get the fact. Metro cannot say that ridership is up by 26% if they ignore those routes (whose riders now have to use one of the new routes).

    Who has access to Metro to ask for the corresponding numbers from 21, 22 and 37?

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:52 am October 13, 2012 #

  43. Way to be quick WSB, we’ll have a version soon at seattletimes.com

    Kudos to our own WSB!

    Comment by LivesInWS — 10:02 am October 13, 2012 #

  44. Moose, come to the SWS forum Monday night and ask Metro planners your questions in person in front of an audience – that’s even better than me continuing to go back/forth/back/forth. I’m told Metro has beefed up its representation plan for participation there, given what a hot topic this has been.
    .
    http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org/2012/09/october-forum-transportation-and-west-seattl/

    Comment by WSB — 10:04 am October 13, 2012 #

  45. Shush, Loretta! That’s what I do and I don’t want the 50 to get crowded!
    -
    Just kidding. The 50 to SODO is a good option because it skips the backups on Avalon, Spokane, and the bridge/99 ramp where the C is always stuck. And the 50 has plenty of seats. The light rail from SODO to downtown is crowded, but standing on the train is much better than standing on a bus. Metro should add runs to the 50 and promote it more. If a bunch of us start doing this, maybe they’ll add more 50s and more trains (or more cars to current Link runs).

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 10:38 am October 13, 2012 #

  46. It makes you wonder if someone at metro woke up one day an said to them self, I think I’ll scew up the bus system today.

    Comment by boy — 10:44 am October 13, 2012 #

  47. Fantastic! We have a succesful rapid transit system that the people want to use. Well, guess what, if you run the system at or near capacity, people start to turn away.
    If it isn’t obvious to the Metro leadership that we need to INCREASE the CAPACITY of the system (more buses, more drivers), then maybe they are in the wrong profession.

    Comment by dawsonct — 11:24 am October 13, 2012 #

  48. Loretta, you’re right about the 50 being a decent backup plan. Still really slow – around 50 minutes door-to-door, but at least it runs all day.

    And in the evenings there’s the C to 35&Avalon, with 1.3 miles walking to get home. In nice weather, and if the C wasn’t standing-room-only.

    Comment by JKB — 12:54 pm October 13, 2012 #

  49. Some folks in West Seattle need to learn how to STAND on transit like they do everywhere else in the world…
    .
    And move back into the bus instead of crowding near the front. (Are you afraid of the back of the bus?)
    .
    And if you need to sit because you’re carrying a heavy bag, disabled, elderly, pregnant, etc. how about you try actually talking to one of your neighbors and ASK them if you can have a seat. In the front of the bus, riders are REQUIRED BY LAW to yield marked seats to the elderly and disabled.

    Comment by Mickymse — 6:38 pm October 13, 2012 #

  50. The first thing I noticed about the numbers they published above is that they are comparing Spring 2011, Spring 2012 and right now. Now I see the validity of comparing Spring 2011 and 2012 but why aren’t we comparing Fall of 2011 and Fall of 2012 to see what the real year over year increase is?

    Comparing like to like (Spring 11/12) shows only a 7% yearly increase. It isn’t surprising at all to me that there are higher ridership numbers in Fall than in Spring. Motorcycles, scooters and bicycles just seem a lot less appealing when the weather is cold and wet. If every year there is a jump in ridership as soon as the weather gets cold then Metro should have been planning for the Fall 2011 numbers plus 7%. Leaving the Fall 2011 numbers out of their graph just seems like tricky math to me… like they are intentionally hiding something.

    Maybe I’m just being overly suspicious but it just doesn’t seem like a very accurate comparison the way it is laid out… more like a justification after the fact- they picked the numbers that showed the 25% jump they were hoping to explain what we are seeing.

    Comment by LibbyWS — 7:59 pm October 13, 2012 #

  51. Your logic looks very good to me, LibbyWS.

    Comment by Loretta — 9:21 pm October 13, 2012 #

  52. Pman, as a sometimes user of the Water Taxi, I can say it is up a little bit, but nothing drastic.

    Comment by CandrewB — 7:47 am October 14, 2012 #

  53. Dawsonct, if you run a system at or near capacity, you’re running an economically efficient system. Are you seriously suggesting that a publicly funded service would be better run at BELOW capacity? In any system, be it public sector or private, that’s called WASTE.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 8:01 am October 14, 2012 #

  54. Boy, more like a lot of people woke up and said “how can we continue to provide the same level of service for tens of millions less in revenue. Oh, that’s right – WE – CAN’T.”

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 8:04 am October 14, 2012 #

  55. Jeff Welch,

    One driver told me that everything was supposed to equal out. What was taken from some routes was put to others. Not even any drivers lost their jobs.

    One told me that not only did no drivers lose their jobs, they were actively hiring new ones.

    That doesn’t indicate a decreased level of service. Were they misled?

    Comment by Loretta — 8:25 am October 14, 2012 #

  56. The new ‘loaders’ who stand around at certain stops and are occasionally helpful are actually drivers. Metro is assigning them to the streetside job in place of pushing a bus.

    And the demand for drivers is a total – but none of us individually ride the whole system. Those of us in areas that lost service think that Metro cut our service. Which they did.

    Comment by JKB — 12:19 pm October 14, 2012 #

  57. Why is there no longer any direct service from the Admiral Junction to downtown during off-peak hours and weekends? And why does it take me 90 minutes to get from Admiral and California Ave to 9th and Pike when it used to take 40 minutes? It’s because Rapid Ride is so “convenient”, that’s why.

    Comment by V — 4:30 pm October 14, 2012 #

  58. I am disabled. I am not allowed to drive. Metro has cut out most of the lower 125 route starting at Cloverdale and cut Sunday service. I live on 16rth and Henderson. I do not qualify for ACCESS. The bus 23, and the 125 were my lifeline to downtown. It was my transportation to the grocery store, to medical appointments, and to church. Eliminating this service has stranded not only myself but many of my neighbors. That the 125 no longer stops near Henderson Street keeps many people away from the Social Service programs at the Salvation Army. Not having a bus that goes up 16th is keeping a vulnerable population away the healthier foods at Roxbury Safeway.

    It is forcing women with young children to walk long distances in inclement weather to get to social services on 16th and ECAP preschool and English classes on 8th.

    Eliminating the 23 route has already kept many elderly people and non native speakers of English from easy access to downtown Seattle, social services at the Salvation Army and St. Vincent De Paul.

    It is also discrimination against the people of this neighborhood. There were no signs warning of changes in other languages, of public meetings, etc. in languages other than English. There were very few in English either. None of the meetings asking for community feedback were held in THIS area. Delridge Community Center only had one meeting and that area has not been cut off from bus service. That meeting was not advertized on the news and I only found out about it after the fact. DRIVERS weren’t even aware of the changes to the 125.

    Transportation is the right of every person in this city no matter where we live. To deny the public safe, reliable transportation is wrong. We are paying customers out here.We pay bus fare and taxes. Just like people in more affluent areas.

    Comment by Hillary — 9:22 pm October 20, 2012 #

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