Metro bus changes, week 2, weekday 2: Checking in again

October 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 86 Comments

(Added mid-morning: RapidRide bus headed east on SW Alaska in The Junction)
While Monday was the first day of Metro‘s addition of two buses each to the peak a.m. and p.m. RapidRide C Line commutes from and to West Seattle, some suggested that it wouldn’t be a true test because of the federal holiday, so we’re welcoming rider reports again today. P.S. The Eastside also has had a problem forcing a Metro change, reports Seattle Times (WSB partner) transportation reporter Mike Lindblom.

86 Comments

  1. Bus at 8 am full but did not bypass stops. Traffic is heavy on viaduct but that is nothing new. Thank you metro for adding more buses

    Comment by Kg — 8:13 am October 9, 2012 #

  2. On 21 around 8.20. Only 3-4 people at each stop on Avalon…looks like no leave behinds. Bridge not busy.

    Comment by oh — 8:25 am October 9, 2012 #

  3. Route 120 hitting North Delridge a little before 7am had no issues.

    Comment by Dancingeek — 8:28 am October 9, 2012 #

  4. In another Times article,
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/10/starting-monday-rapidride-c-line-getting-more-buses/
    The reporter indicates that Metro is only now seeking traffic signal priority capability, something that was advertised as coming with RapidRide and implied, available from the start of the service.
    Don’t know what the story is on this facet.

    Comment by old timer — 8:31 am October 9, 2012 #

  5. RR at 8:07 at the Junction looked to have had a few empty seats. No RR came to the junction again until 8:20! It was packed like a sardine can.

    There should have been at least one or two buses in between the one at 8:07 and 8:20 according to Metro’s PATHETIC plan.

    Comment by justme — 8:33 am October 9, 2012 #

  6. That is just strictly a rewrite of the Friday news release, which you can read here to see what Metro actually said:
    .
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/NewsCenter/NewsReleases/2012/October/nr100512_RapidRideMoreTrips.aspx
    .
    They’ve been working on the signals for a long time as part of the other work (curb bulbs, stations, electrical hookups for the reader boards, etc.)

    Comment by WSB — 8:42 am October 9, 2012 #

  7. Things going great on RR C line until driver chose not to use bus lane and instead waited in long line for 99…

    Comment by Mel — 8:42 am October 9, 2012 #

  8. Caught RR at 7:15 from Alaska/Fauntleroy. There were seats still available but every stop after that was SRO. Nobody was left behind. The machine for swiping your Orca Card had a red ‘hood’ over it that reads ‘out of service’ but it didn’t seem to delay boarding. I noticed most people just got on the middle and back of the bus without paying :) I felt a bit ‘odd’ making my way to the front entrance to swipe my card. Perhaps in future situations like this I will just ‘go with the flow’.

    Comment by LS — 8:47 am October 9, 2012 #

  9. LS: The 7:20RR at the Alaska Junction did have to leave about 3 riders at the curb. Not enough room.

    Comment by justme — 9:09 am October 9, 2012 #

  10. This isn’t a Rapid Ride, but the 21X after boarding at 35th Ave SW and Avalon had standing rooom only at around 7:40am. They used to run about 5 or 6 express buses on the half hour, now there are only about 3 in the same time period, which while no stops are being passsed, we’re now seeing capacity fill ups on this line when it wasn’t the case in the past.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 9:30 am October 9, 2012 #

  11. Have been driving since last week. Passed a RR this morning on the bridge sometime around 8. Looked mighty crowded with lots of folks standing. Those in the bus did not seem very comfortable, but I wouldn’t know for sure since i haven’t gotten on. Someone please comment. Can’t wait for the rain, cold weather, big coats and lots of humidity in those fancy RR buses. Sounds like fun. Then, a snowy day will probably just make everyone stay home. Sigh.

    Comment by donofAdmiral — 9:38 am October 9, 2012 #

  12. I really love public transit and I do not want to sound like a naysayer/whiner, but the fact remains that in many ways, the additional busses are a little late in the game. I was talking with my neighbor who works in the HR department at a larger downtown employer and she said that in the last week, they have received 13 requests to change employee bus pass incentives to parking incentives (about 7 from west Seattle, 4 from Ballard, and 2 from other outlaying neighborhoods). Everyone was stating that their bus trips were longer, more crowded them before, and they truly felt they risked their job performance by taking metro because there was no assurance they would get to work on time. Sure, this is a little bit of an overreaction (you can get stuck in traffic in a car just as easy as a bus), but that’s my point. There is a short window of opportunity to get people on board with something new. Metro should of had an over abundance of busses the very first week, and then cut back as needed, if needed.

    Comment by Thistle — 9:40 am October 9, 2012 #

  13. At 9.30 waiting for a bus at 35th and Avalon up to the Junction, on the Downtown side along came 2 RR 1 21 and a 50. Not well planned when most people have already left for work. I am sure those busses would be much more appreciated by the riders earlier in the morning.

    Comment by Pam — 10:16 am October 9, 2012 #

  14. Caught a 120 at 6:20am, it was packed and standing room only by the time it hit the bridge. Frustrating that RR cut down the amount of busses on Delridge but doesn’t actually run down that street.

    Comment by pigeonpoint — 10:25 am October 9, 2012 #

  15. Articulated 116 at 7:30 was SRO, as was a smaller one right behind it. At least no delays on 4th today like yesterday.
    .
    We got an email at work yesterday saying that HR had received many complaints about how commutes are worse since the bus changes (and we’re not all in WS – in fact I think I’m only one of 2 people who take a WS bus) – and they gave out the complaint phone # and email for Metro.

    Comment by Sue — 10:37 am October 9, 2012 #

  16. Rode RR-C today. Took 34 min 14 sec from from Westwood to Seneca. Wifi was awesomely fast! Bus was well ridden – not overly full. Didn’t pass any passengers due to load. Thanks!

    Comment by Steve V — 10:40 am October 9, 2012 #

  17. Reduced service in the Admiral area is getting tiresome. Thought I’d be able to cope, but rest of my neighbors are having a second thoughts. Even hourly 57 service would be helpful.

    Comment by J — 11:12 am October 9, 2012 #

  18. I’m posting this from a RR C that left the junction just before 11am. Pretty full for a midday bus, but still some open seats, a quieter ride and great WiFi. I feel sorry for the commuters that have been inconvenienced, hopefully things will continue to improve for all of us. And either way, don’t forget about the Sustainable West Seattle transportation forum next week:

    http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org/2012/09/october-forum-transportation-and-west-seattl/

    It will be a great place for offering “constructive criticism”.

    Comment by Gene — 11:14 am October 9, 2012 #

  19. Thanks, Gene! We’ll start remembering to promote that again – looking forward to covering it – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:19 am October 9, 2012 #

  20. Steve V; what time did you leave Westwood?

    Comment by Diane — 11:47 am October 9, 2012 #

  21. that photo is classic; “Riding made EASY”; too bad we can’t see how many are standing inside the bus

    Comment by Diane — 11:48 am October 9, 2012 #

  22. As a Highland Park resident, one of the lesser-served neighborhoods, I had to quit walking 4 blocks to the closest route and now instead drive 4 miles to the P&R under the WS Bridge. Isn’t it ironic that after bussing to this job downtown since I started I now have to drive to the bus? It’s ironically more convenient to drive, THEN bus, instead of just walking to the closest stop (it’s an incredibly inconvenient timetable that would require me to be up at 5:30am for an 8am shift. That’s just insane.), and I will say that the busses (21 and 37X) have been relatively timely, and quite full, but not sardine’d. But still – I’m a car on the road, so that’s not really meeting the goals of Metro now, is it?

    I’ve always felt like WS is such an afterthought to Metro. I’ve lived here 7 years, and in my first two locations (Morgan and Admiral, both right on California Ave!) it took 45 minutes, 2 busses, and a 6-block walk over the train tracks (from bus #1 to bus #2) to get to my former job in SODO. I decided that a 15 minute drive in the comfort of my car was a much better decision, and use of my time + money. Again, poor bus service put a car ON the road.

    I don’t understand why Metro has a “supply & demand” mentality when it comes to us in WS. If they utilized a “build it, and they will come” approach I’m absolutely sure that more people would use it and they’d get a good return on their investment. I say this not only from my perspective, but from reading the comments every day for the last week (and with-holding mine to see if anything changed for me), especially from so many people who said they were back to driving because bussing from WS is so inconvenient.

    Comment by WSAsh — 12:03 pm October 9, 2012 #

  23. Diane – best I could do from the passenger side of our car. One morning soon I swear I will just ride one of these things – gotta go downtown to look up some documents anyway – but I know I will be stuck without my laptop for what, half an hour, unless I catch it at the start of the run! Hmm…

    Comment by WSB — 12:10 pm October 9, 2012 #

  24. not complaining at all; just thought it was funny
    ~
    so if you catch it at start of run, can’t you use the onboard wifi that’s being promoted?

    Comment by Diane — 12:20 pm October 9, 2012 #

  25. I’m a former 54 commuter, and my route has always been Calif Ave SW & SW Findlay/Juneau, always leaving weekdays 0640-0720, and returning early to mid afternoon, a few times each week. *** I was willing to overlook how so many runs were being skipped, especially on the way back from downtown. I was optimistic for RapidRide. However, things have gone from bad to worse. *** Crowded, hot,standing room-only buses is not something that I’ve ever experienced until just a couple months ago. I can drive myself nuts and take a very painstaking log of all the times I’ve had to wait 25 minutes instead of 15, and 15 minutes instead of “7, 8, or 9″ This whole RR Line C deal has been colossaly inconvenient and disappointing. I will not let it ruin the beginning and end of my workdays downtown, but I’ve really got to work hard at it. Thanks, Stuart S.

    Comment by Stuart S. — 12:25 pm October 9, 2012 #

  26. Buses 55, 21x and C line are packed like Tokyo subway, while bus 50 is empty both ways.

    Comment by Mike — 12:28 pm October 9, 2012 #

  27. 120 at 7:55am on Delridge packed full and it passed us by. next bus 10 minutes later, and had seats for us, but was SRO by the time we hit the bridge.

    Comment by Wedgewood — 12:28 pm October 9, 2012 #

  28. Route 120 has always been packed, but now it’s out of control.

    I have ridden this route every work day for the past couple years and, despite what Metro wants the public to believe, it is almost always at max capacity. I live in North Delridge and rarely is there a time when I don’t have to stand up for the remainder of my trip to or from downtown Seattle.

    Until recently, this only used to be the case during peak hours. Now it’s jam packed ALL the time…6 am, 8 am, 10 am, 5 pm 6:30 pm. Where there used to be 3 or 4 people that were forced to stand, there are now 20+. We’re all crammed together like a bunch of sardines. It’s pretty ridiculous.

    I’m not sure what exactly exacerbated the capacity problem but one thing is for sure: we need more buses on route 120.

    My neighborhood may not have the same net worth as those living on the west side of 35th in West Seattle (hmmmmm….how many bus lines do they have now?), but I think it’s safe to say we have an equal or greater need for buses.

    meow!

    Comment by Delridgian — 12:38 pm October 9, 2012 #

  29. another Admiral metro rider here, trying to figure out how to deal with massive loss of service and overcrowded RR
    ~
    last night I tried the 50, during least crowded time, before it shuts down (way too early, before 10pm); I caught the 7:43pm, to see first-hand where that new transfer stop is in SODO
    ~
    first, I was surprised to see that the 50 is new/looks just like RR bus inside, except small; although lots of seats; I counted 32; the bus driver was incredibly grateful she doesn’t have to deal with RR nightmares, and she was very helpful, showing me where to catch connecter buses or light rail
    ~
    also surprised it went down Genesee to Delridge; she said some bus drivers are going this route and others continue on Avalon; well that’s not good; how can riders plan where to wait? she also said it only goes down, not back up Genesee on the return; so if North Delridge residents want to get groceries, they have to hike up the hill, but can take the 50 back down the hill?
    ~
    so the SODO transfer is at Lander and Busway (14 yrs in Seattle, active metro rider 10+ yrs; never knew there was a Busway); you have to go through 2 pedestrian signals and watch for red flashing lights for Link, to get over to transfer station, which is outside, not underground like the downtown stations
    ~
    also unlike downtown tunnel, where you can wait on platform for bus or rail, whichever comes first; at the SODO station, the bus stop and rail stop are 2 different locations; I picked rail last night, because I never get to ride it, and last night was all about test run to check it out; my Orca card kept getting error/red/3 beeps on all the machines
    ~
    to my great surprise, the train was packed; I had to ask a guy to help me pull down bench seats; seems most on the train just came from airport; in fact, the only other passenger on 50 with me, was catching southbound rail to airport for a red-eye; so it’s great to know about this option if I ever get to go on a vacation someday
    ~
    I got off at the ID station, for some shopping at Uwajimaya
    ~
    since I felt hesitant about trying the reverse trip on the bus/Link to 50 transfer, I had to go north into downtown to catch the RR back home
    ~
    back into the tunnel, still couldn’t get my Orca card to work, and since our WS buses don’t go in the tunnel, I’m kinda lost down there; there were a couple uniformed fare police/security waiting for next train, so I asked for help on how to use my Orca card at the machine; turns out I was tapping it too high on the reader; so it worked with their kind help
    ~
    then we all boarded the train, and they proceeded to check passenger fares; they each started at opposite ends; I watched the guy in front of me bust one rider and take him off; talking to other riders afterward, turns out there were several without valid fares who were ‘shaking in their booties’ hoping to not get caught; they lucked out this time
    ~
    so from the Westlake tunnel stop; hike up to RR stop at 3rd/Pike (Walgreens druggy central), about 10:30, ~15 min wait; full bus, but we all got seats, even last to board at 2nd/Columbia
    ~
    so as this was leisurely trip way off-peak, not sure I would try this during peak commute; great option for airport
    ~
    curious how this may be working for others in WS using the 50 option; anyone?

    Comment by Diane — 12:43 pm October 9, 2012 #

  30. Diane – I meant more like, couldn’t find a seat to actually haul out the laptop. And I hate to take up a seat that somebody who HAS TO take the bus at that hour might be able to use. Of course I have the iPhone but not the same – I can publish to WSB with it but thumb/index finger typing takes more time. I bring my own WiFi everywhere anyway :)

    Comment by WSB — 12:52 pm October 9, 2012 #

  31. WSAsh, why is Metro employing a “supply and demand” mentality? The simple answer is money. The recession took TENS OF MILLIONS away from transit. The $20.00 car tab fee prevented (temporarily) worse cuts. While West Seattle commuters are finding standing rides a new phenomenon – other parts of the county have experienced that level of loading and overloading for a long time. Ever notice those straps hanging from the overhead bar? From reading comments from many folks here, some appear to be noticing their existence for the first time. The inconvenient reality is that a full bus is an economically efficient bus. Empty seats and empty aisle space represent a heavily taxpayer subsidized ride not being delivered. Want more service, more seats, less crowding, more frequent buses? All it takes is money. Taxes pay for things, folks.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 12:54 pm October 9, 2012 #

  32. Ride the 120 every day between 7:25 and 7:35. After school started, they started being very very delayed. And now with the new changes, they are late AND packed! I can’t remember the last time I had a seat to work … which is fine, but I would rather not be worried that every bump was going to shove me into the person DIRECTLY in front or behind me. Seriously Metro, more 120 buses please.

    Comment by MR — 1:07 pm October 9, 2012 #

  33. Jeff Welch, Seattle has voted for almost every transit measure in my 17 years voting here with the only exception being McGinn’s poorly thought out $60 fee that wouldn’t have improved anything. We vote for this things because we essentially understand that if we want service we need to support it. The problem is that we are rewarded for these votes and support with a complete devastation of service. This is no way to instill confidence in Metro. I suspect this may be the last straw in terms of trusting Metro when they say they need more taxes, only to further reduce service quality. Customer service should be imperative number one and it isn’t. With Metro, the customer’s needs are secondary to those of staff. Metro needs to be out there earning their customers, not holding them hostage.

    Comment by Tom in Admiral — 1:32 pm October 9, 2012 #

  34. What has happened (factually, mathematically) is a dramatic reduction in capacity and service to the West Seattle corridor. And yes, having to stand, wrench my scar-tissue-filled shoulder hanging onto a pole, and feeling claustrophobic and dialing down my gag reflex at the smells is a reduction in SERVICE.
    .
    I’ve never understood the school of thought that says that since it’s as bad or worse elsewhere, we all just have to suck it up. More race-to-the-bottom nonsense. There’s no service at all on the plains of Kenya, so maybe we should just be grateful we have buses?
    .
    And yes, those who vote against public transit funding–of whom I am not one–because it isn’t the exact transit YOU want and because of all the horrible government “waste” you imagine: you contribute to the problem.
    .
    If this had been sold to us as the true cuts they are, I think we 54-ers all would have howled in protest, and maybe this wouldn’t have happened. Sounds to me like we were conned.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 1:43 pm October 9, 2012 #

  35. 30 minutes to south lake union on a bike.

    Comment by Common — 1:44 pm October 9, 2012 #

  36. I think I’ll just bite the bullet and pay a parking permit at the UW. Sigh….

    Comment by Robert — 1:56 pm October 9, 2012 #

  37. Rode the C line this am from California and Findlay. The bus came around 8:15 or so and was quite full. The card reader wasn’t working, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity for a seat again, so I boarded in back and snagged the second to last spot. I figured this would be a good test for the Metro officials to check Orca passes as they’ve said they would do to ensure passengers are paying. With how crowded the busses have been, I’d really like to see someone try to walk the aisle and check our cards. The bus filled at the Junction, but it appeared that there weren’t waiting passengers at Fauntleroy or the other two stops prior to the bridge. Either another bus picked ‘em up or they gave up and drove. It is definitely not a comfortable ride, but it does seem to be improving slightly, albeit slowly.

    Comment by Kravitz — 2:04 pm October 9, 2012 #

  38. completely agree with Kayleigh and Tom in Admiral
    ~
    this disaster has caused many to distrust Metro and elected officials who played a huge part in creating this mess
    ~
    this past year, Seattle City Council added $20 car tab “to save/improve transit” and King County Council added $20 car tab “to save/improve transit”; so Seattle residents with cars are paying $40 more per year “to save/improve transit”, and this is what we got?

    Comment by Diane — 2:04 pm October 9, 2012 #

  39. Tom in Admiral

    We did vote down the Monorail a few years ago, which would have gone to West Seattle.

    A project which, in spite of its immense cost, would have paid for itself from the usage of a growing Seattle populace.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 2:44 pm October 9, 2012 #

  40. Tom, the primary source of money for transit is sales tax. Washington state, unlike 45 other states, has no state income tax. Failure to recognize that a drastic reduction in revenue will result in a drastic reduction in the services that revenue pays for is just ignorant. Claiming victim status and ranting that Metro “doesn’t care about customer service” when attempting to match services with economic,realities is equally so. There is less money for transit. Period. That means YOU GET LESS TRANSIT. Expecting Metro to continue delivering the same or increased services with millions les to pay for the demonstrates a serious inability to grasp economic reality. If you were King of Metro – what would YOU have done differently, and how? That is the tough question. Sitting back and ranting into a blog about how horrible Metro is – that’s easy.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 2:44 pm October 9, 2012 #

  41. I used to be able to wander down to Alaska Junction somewhere after 7:15am & catch the 54 or 55, never waiting more than a few minutes for a comfy, quick ride. Now I AVOID the C line at all costs, lest it take me 1 1/2 hours to get to South Lake Union as it did 3 times last week. Since I don’t own a car, I now catch the #55 at 7:08am religiously. That, and a transfer downtown, gets me to work in just under an hour. So far, the 55 has been reliable. First time it isn’t, I’m in trouble…

    Comment by Chris W. — 2:59 pm October 9, 2012 #

  42. If you were King of Metro – what would YOU have done differently, and how?

    Not lie to people and tell them it was going to be something better.

    Comment by Loretta — 2:59 pm October 9, 2012 #

  43. The 50 route from Alki to Othello Station, while it will not get you downtown as fast as 56x that now runs only during peak hours/directions, does the job with a transfer at SODO Link Station. I ride this route weekly to Beacon Hill and have taken it to Columbia City for the Farmer’s Market. While it may not be full at the Alaska, there were a lot of boardings, off and on, as it passed through the various neighborhoods. It’s not a fast trip to those areas but at least a one-seat ride. I have noticed that around 8:15 am on the West Seattle Bridge, the buses that use Hwy 99 ramp are stuck in traffic, while we zoom down the bus lane to 1st Avenue where there are 3 stops on 1st before the bus turns up Lander to the busway. So if you are at the Junction during peak morning commute and looking for a less crowded option you might consider taking the 50 and transferring, it is probably just as fast at that time of day as the routes that use the viaduct.

    Comment by Kathy — 3:10 pm October 9, 2012 #

  44. About Metro customer service, I have sent in several suggestions/complaints since the service change and they have gotten back to me on each issue with a plan of action to address the problems. Some of them have already been fixed.

    Comment by Kathy — 3:14 pm October 9, 2012 #

  45. hmmm, Jeff Welch ranting about another commenter “ranting”; these types of comments are somewhat entertaining, but not nice
    ~
    can’t you please state your point of view without name-calling/criticizing others (“ignorant”, “victim”, “Sitting back and ranting”, “serious inability to grasp economic reality”), who are simply stating their point of view?

    Comment by Diane — 3:16 pm October 9, 2012 #

  46. For the second time in a week, I left my house and walked the 3 1/2 blocks of hills to Myrtle/Fauntleroy. I just missed a C bus at 10:20 am. Had to wait 20 minutes in the cold for the next one. WHY DID METRO DO AWAY WITH A SCHEDULE FOR THE C? When I used to take the 54, I knew exactly when the 54 would leave Wildwood. I would time the walk from my house so that I got to the stop about 3 or 4 minutes before the bus arrived. In the winter and rain, this meant a not-too-difficult wait in the elements. Now, I am afraid of having to be in the rain/wind for as much as 20 minutes (as happened this morning). I know fresh air is “good for you,” but this is ridiculous. WE NEED A SCHEDULE when the buses are only running every 15 to 20 minutes. I am a senior and though in good health, this is difficult.

    Comment by Iggy — 3:16 pm October 9, 2012 #

  47. LS at 8:47 am. Just because a person gets on the RR middle or rear door, you can’t assume they didn’t pay. If they are transferring from another route and already swiped they have a two hour transfer window.

    Comment by Kathy — 3:22 pm October 9, 2012 #

  48. If I was “King of Metro” I would not have spent money (federal grant or otherwise) on creating a new “Rapid Ride” (A, B, C and D lines – with all of the new/different stop structures, road work, buses, media promotion, etc…) and instead focus on maintaining and increasing the frequency of existing services. Sure, some routes, but not entire neighborhoods, would have to have been cut regardless. But again, no one a the county level has once been able to truly answer my frequently asked question, how is this new service better then say, adding more frequency to the 54 express? Did we really need Wi Fi in our busses; absolutely not (I say this as a 20 something who uses her tablet for work and life, ie, online a good chunk of time).

    For three years, I used Metro as my sole source of transportation and went to numerous community meetings. What frustrates me and others is that for years, the answer to EVERY single community concern and input (some coming directly from retired transportation workers!) has been Rapid Ride – a cure to all of our woes, and now after all the money, time, and effort, low and behold, it did not solve anything, for West Seattle, Ballard, or the East side Bellevue/Redmond corridor.

    Comment by Thistle — 3:27 pm October 9, 2012 #

  49. There are a few elected officials living in West Seattle….would be nice to hear from them….

    Comment by coffee — 3:42 pm October 9, 2012 #

  50. Switched my route off RR C this morning. Took a 55 to get to 35th and Avalon then took a 21 that becomes a 5 to get to South Lake Union. It was a pleasant ride on the 21 which still had seats available. It takes 3 buses to get to work if I ride Rapid Ride this plan only took 2.

    Comment by David — 3:45 pm October 9, 2012 #

  51. We pinged CM Joe McDermott last week and published his response. I believe it was in the Thursday or Friday story.

    Comment by WSB — 3:45 pm October 9, 2012 #

  52. rode for the first time today (recovering from recent surgery last week). Went in late and came home early; RRC from Findlay at about 9:40 was absolutely fine. RRC from Pike&#3rd at about 3:05 was SRO packed to the brim by the last downtown stop. Lots of students coming home at that time it seems, I’ll try a later bus tomorrow. Everybody was friendly and considerate and cooperative, I appreciate fellow Seattle bus riders!
    A schedule would help so much in figuring out best times to leave and get home. I do like the new shorter seats tho.

    Comment by maryws — 3:57 pm October 9, 2012 #

  53. Bring back the busses that were running just fine two weeks ago, slap a C-Line sticker on them and get people to work! We already own those busses, use them. Seriously, every time Metro wants more operating money, we vote yes, and we get less.

    Comment by 30 years of Metro later! — 3:58 pm October 9, 2012 #

  54. Total commute time (WS to downtown): 45 minutes
    Total bus ride time: 28 minutes
    .
    Left house at 7:27am to walk to the Rapid Ride stop at California and Findlay. At the start of my walk, two C buses passed me, one immediately following the other. Two and a half minutes later another C passed me. Got to the stop at 7:30am. Bus 6046 came 6 minutes 20 secs later, at 7:37am. Standing room only by Alaska Junction, but no stops were missed. Doors opened at 2nd and Seneca at 8:05am. Got to the office at 8:12am.

    Comment by Ben — 4:46 pm October 9, 2012 #

  55. Rode the C around 8:45am. It was packed like sardines. Again, some people jump on in the rear w/o payin because the card reader isn’t working. Can’t rely on getting a ride from the junction or especially after the junction stop. Wish I could afford to drive. This is the new paradigm for west Seattle. 1hour which used to be 15 minutes before. Wait till tolling starts on the viaduct. I feel marginalized. Maybe we could start a boat-pool.

    Comment by Single mother — 5:08 pm October 9, 2012 #

  56. 5 minute wait. Standing room only boarding at Bell St.

    Comment by Kc — 5:26 pm October 9, 2012 #

  57. Paul S. used the run cards for the C line to produce an unofficial RR C schedule. He posted it on the Seattle Transit Blog (“Let’s not jump to conclusions” thread). This is not to say the real time arrival will match the schedule, but according to Paul, this is what Metro was shooting for (before the extra buses were added).

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1KcA7uQv4BgOVJhamE1MUFQenc/edit

    Comment by Kathy — 5:40 pm October 9, 2012 #

  58. I’ve been riding the 37 and 56. Today I caught the 7:23 56 at 61st and Alki. Before 9/29 the bus was a long one. Now it’s a shorter bus and SRO after a few stops. Wondering why the large bus was pulled from the route since the number of riders hasn’t decreased.

    Comment by Meg — 6:11 pm October 9, 2012 #

  59. Diane, I was on the RR-C that left Westwood at 6:16 AM. Arrived DT on Seneca at 6:50 AM.

    Comment by Steve V — 6:13 pm October 9, 2012 #

  60. Jeff was talking about new economic realities and not being able to have some things that we used to have that are now considered not really necessary in this economy (like seats on the bus). Is wifi necessary on the bus ? Why is it ok to have wifi on the RR buses but it’s not ok to have the same number of seats the old 54′s had?

    Also it’s hard to use a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone when you’re standing up and packed in on the bus. I’m speaking as someone who would use wifi if I could sit down on the bus, but wifi seems like more of a luxury than being able to sit would be.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 6:32 pm October 9, 2012 #

  61. When did my neighborhood move to Enumclaw? What’s hard to take is that my employer subsidizes everyone with the same transit cost no matter they live in Tacoma or down the street (now that its not free.) Enumclaw and areas further out don’t pay the same taxes we do in Seattle.

    Comment by ralfi — 6:42 pm October 9, 2012 #

  62. RR C packed at 6:55 from 2nd & Seneca. Left about 10 peope behind

    Comment by mm — 6:59 pm October 9, 2012 #

  63. Tried to catch the RRC from 2nd and columbia today. Around 5:30 the C showed up and wouldn’t let anyone on board. thankfully another came within 5 or 10 minutes. I have never seen a bus pass up so many passangers.

    Comment by was — 7:09 pm October 9, 2012 #

  64. West Seattle, WIFI is actually a fringe benefit to riders. The buses are equipped with WIFI not as a luxury, but as a necessity associated with the GPS tracking, real time info and other data processing (ORCA, etc.) there for the operation of the bus. Riders are simply being allowed to piggyback on a system that would be there anyway.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 7:40 pm October 9, 2012 #

  65. Oh, okay. Thanks Jeff.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 8:33 pm October 9, 2012 #

  66. I’m a driver for Metro, most of my routes serving West Seattle. I want to emphasize to our customers a few things:

    - As others have duly noted, the origin of theses changes and resulting growing pains are the direct result of financial pain. We could be facing cuts that would cripple the City, as has happened in Pierce County.

    - Rapid Ride is here to stay. It will improve over time, and I really mean that.

    - RR is not designed with a schedule because it would make things more difficult to add busses (that are waiting in strategic locations to fill in when necessary). The system that informs drivers of their “headway” (time distance to other buses) will improve over time.

    - Finally, I hope you all realize how much the vast majority of drivers care very deeply that things work for you, that we are knowledgable with practical info, drive as fast and practical as reasonable. To end, I will also say that “corporate KC Metro,” those that don’t frequently visit bases or speak to drivers, also understand very deeply that YOU are our customers. We exist because you, our customers, have voluntarily chosen to allow us.

    - FINAL POINT: I have the utmost faith in our drivers and supervisors that the system will become more predictable and dependable over time.

    I love my job. Metro treats drivers like gold, because we have very positive safety numbers and passenger satisfaction.

    Stick with us guys! We’re working on it. And we dearly care that you are comfortable and happy with our service. (Far more than I can imagine a private company would be.)

    Comment by Dustyhawk — 8:53 pm October 9, 2012 #

  67. We are in hard economic times and they spend a bunch of money on new buses. Who is getting the kickback at the County? Meanwhile the city and state have unleashed an all out transportation assault on west seattle. We are the b@st@rd step children of Seattle. Is there a way we can start a political action committee to support our community. I would be willing to devote effort to this. From transportation to schools we are getting hosed and it is not just because the economy is down. This community has been under assault since Nichols left office. Back to the old ways where the Mayor thinks his constituents all live on Magnolia and Broadmore. I know several people who have left WS recently because of this and I may not be far behind.

    Comment by WsEd — 9:07 pm October 9, 2012 #

  68. +1 For dustyhawk. We do love our passengers, whom we realize are also our friends, family and neighbors.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 9:09 pm October 9, 2012 #

  69. There were some guys with clipboards at 2nd/Columbia this afternoon tracking bus arrivals. Hope they work for Metro!

    Comment by Paul — 9:32 pm October 9, 2012 #

  70. I use to be so happy with Metro. My son rides the C to get to Center School at the Seattle Center. It’s the only bus that takes him all the way there without having to transfer. Use to be the 22 route.

    If he was having to transfer I wouldn’t have him ride, I’d be driving him instead.
    I just have a problem sending him every day in a jam packed bus with his back against the exit doors. JUST DOESN’T SEEM SAFE AT ALL.

    Seriously, every morning since the RR’s started I have watched my son’s bus pull away with his backpack UP AGAINST THE DOOR. ;(

    Comment by justme — 9:39 pm October 9, 2012 #

  71. How about some additional seating for the demographically challenged? The new buses seem designed for younger cows who can stand in the barn.

    Comment by sardine — 9:50 pm October 9, 2012 #

  72. FWIW – I was downtown this afternoon – 4:35p.m., and while waiting for a 21, I saw a 118EX. and a 119EX which do stop @ Morgan Junction, stop and leave almost empty. You former 54 and 54EX riders might check these out. You could transfer to RRC @ Morgan with a better chance of a seat, or at worst, standing for a shorter time.
    Oh, there were 3 RRC’s that arrived, loaded and departed as I waited, about 15 minutes overall. The RRC’s were packed, and looked as inviting as a NYC subway.

    Comment by old timer — 10:03 pm October 9, 2012 #

  73. The C bus I catch at 8 is always packed and skipping last three stops after junction ever since the new C line started. I don’t understand why they don’t send more buses, especially in the morning.

    Comment by Stella — 10:07 pm October 9, 2012 #

  74. Sounds like a West Seatle Secession threat is a brewin’. We need one of those every decade or so…..

    Comment by curtis — 11:19 pm October 9, 2012 #

  75. I don’t ride on peak times, but there have already been a few occasions where I have had to skip some of the bus lines to wait for less full ones. I am glad Metro is adding more lines for the peak times, but when I can’t get on a bus at 7:30 P.M., I certainly hope something is being done to lighten the load at those times. I caught an 8:15 P.M. bus tonight from 2nd and Columbia, bus filled almost to sardine can levels; well beyond peak times. And being an Admiral resident, I had the pleasure of walking from Alaskan due to the 128 being very late. It finally passed me almost right at the stop that I would have gotten off anyway, so whether I had waited for it or not, I’d have arrived home at roughly the same time either way.

    Comment by Merfz — 11:19 pm October 9, 2012 #

  76. My 120s yesterday were as full as the “new normal”. The only issues we keep having are people cutting across the BUS ONLY lane, causing the driver to have to slam on their breaks and throw the passengers around. PLEASE DON’T CUT ACROSS THAT LANE WITH A BUS IS COMING. We can’t stop on a dime, and with so many people standing on most morning buses now, people are going to get seriously hurt. Get in the lane you need early and stay there, or you may have a bus completely full of of people coming after you.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 5:21 am October 10, 2012 #

  77. Decided to take a 10 min stroll to catch the 7:06am 56x at 61st Ave SW & Alki Ave SW into downtown which never showed. Caught the 37x instead. Week two & they still cannot seem to get it together. Thanks Metro!

    Comment by Dee — 7:13 am October 10, 2012 #

  78. The 5:05 RR departure from downtown last night was packed. Standing Room Only doesn’t tell the story. We left people at both 3rd and Seneca and 2nd and Columbia. It’s getting really old. I don’t understand how Metro can’t accurately understand their ridership numbers on replaced lines.

    Comment by 47% — 7:56 am October 10, 2012 #

  79. What concerns me is that with so many card readers not working and so many people getting on without paying, someone at a high level who only sees the recorded stats for ridership will refuse to acknowledge there is a problem: “I do not see the numbers these people are complaining about, ridership has declined in fact based on revenue.” and then implement more service cuts.

    I am retired and do not have a “dog in this fight” as such but it does seem that transit here in WS has definitely taken a large step backwards. To me, there are larger issues, for example: There are numerous buses starting at Westwood Village and headed downtown but they all depart from different spots.

    This makes it impossible to just take the next available. If you are headed down to 3rd street, the C, the 120 and the 125 will all do just fine but there’s no possible way to take advantage of that.

    To me, this is just poor planning. Also, cutting the White center transit junction out of most of the routes was also foolish. The 22 now stops a few blocks short of it for example, int he middle of nowhere in particular.

    Comment by Jim P. — 11:47 am October 10, 2012 #

  80. Are there elected officals responsible for this debacle? They would certainly lose my vote.

    Comment by Mike — 12:56 pm October 10, 2012 #

  81. Wait until it snows…..

    Comment by buddsmom — 2:02 pm October 10, 2012 #

  82. Outstanding work by government bureaucrats! By attempting to improve something, it becomes much, much worse. Commute has increased by 25%! I know, we should have the government run healthcare, that should improve effeciencies… right?

    Comment by Jackie — 6:40 am October 11, 2012 #

  83. Jackie, are you suggest that Metro be privatized? If you want to replace a system that is directly accountable to the people with a profit driven corporate solution with no public accountability, go for it. Let us smart people know how that works out for you.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 8:19 am October 14, 2012 #

  84. Let’s hear about Metro management riding the bus daily for even 1 week in all aprts of Seattle,but particularly the neighborhoods of Alki, North Admiral, White Center and Arbor Heights. All areas that Metro decided no longer needed direct bus service. Accept the challenge? It is so easy for you people in management to advise bus riders on how to deal with the changes, you made that so inconvience us all. I would like to hear about Metro management dealing with walking many blocks or miles to catch a bus. To deal with missing a bus because it is packed.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:53 pm October 15, 2012 #

  85. Let’s hear about Metro management riding the bus daily for even 1 week in all aprts of Seattle,but partuclary the neighborhoods of Alki, North Admiral, White Center and Arbor Heights. All areas that Metro decided no longer needed direct bus service. Accept the channenge? It is so easy for you people in management toive us bus riders advice on how to deal with the changes you made that so inconvience us all. I would like to hear about Metro management dealing with walking many blocks or miles to catch a bus. To deal with missing a bus because it is packed.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:56 pm October 15, 2012 #

  86. I want to know WHO (Metro is useless) we need to complain to get service to and from Alki late at nite. If you need a bus to Alki after 11pm you are out of luck. Take C line from downtown. But, making your transfer is sketchy. Two minutes off and you are out of luck. Connecting buses dont wait. Wait another hour at the Junction. Extremely short sighted planning.

    Comment by heidi — 9:40 pm October 19, 2012 #

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