Metro changes: First commute since start of RapidRide, restructuring

October 1, 2012 at 2:14 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 139 Comments

(RapidRide bus photographed in The Triangle on Saturday afternoon)
It’s the first weekday since Metro‘s West Seattle RapidRide launch and route restructuring, and we’re looking forward to hearing commute reports from West Seattle bus riders, while also planning to head out ourselves to check on a few popular outbound bus stops. In the meantime, here’s an early reminder, in case you’re a bus rider but somehow forgot that things are different (for most) today:

*Here’s a news release Metro sent Sunday night with info-links and key points such as the end of the Ride Free Area and the start of pay-when-you-board, no matter which way you’re going

*Here’s the direct link to the Metro page with all the changes

*Our coverage over the weekend included comments from WSB’ers who’ve taken buses since the Saturday morning change – read from here, and/or from here

*Remember the new Route 50 is starting with a change in plan

*West Seattle isn’t the only area going through changes – here’s a regional overview by Seattle Times (WSB partner) transportation reporter Mike Lindblom

More as the day goes on!

7:42 AM: Mike (who’s a West Seattleite) is among those tracking the RR C Line’s debut commute (via Twitter, right now, from on board one). He has quoted a rider as noting same thing a couple WSB commenters have so far – it’s crowded. Also from comments here: Real-time schedule display at 35th/Avalon isn’t working on the northbound side.

7:56 AM: Commenter Casey says Fauntleroy/Alaska display also says “refer to schedule” rather than times for next buses.

9:20 AM: We’re just back from a tour along much of the RapidRide route. We checked several stops/stations and they all had REFER TO SCHEDULE, so it just might not have been working at all. In The Junction, three Metro workers were there to answer questions (two in our photo) when we stopped around 8:30 – two on the outbound side, one on the inbound side.

12:35 PM: We’re expecting some responses from Metro this afternoon around some of the major issues (in particular, we asked about the multiple reports of very crowded buses). Also, there’s a live chat right now on SeattleTimes.com with Mike Lindblom and a Metro rep – if you miss it, you can still go back and review the Q/A in the chat window.

3:38 PM: Just in from Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer – responses to some of the most commonly voiced concerns:

CROWDED BUSES
It can be difficult to predict how riders might change their habits during these first few days depending on how busy or full a particular trip might be, so we will be monitoring. We have the ability to send an additional RapidRide coach that can be added when needed during times of high ridership and are exploring that for Tuesday morning.

DOWNTOWN
To keep buses and trains moving in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel during the afternoon commute, Metro personnel will have portable ORCA card readers to help riders board buses at Westlake, University Street and International District stations. Portable ORCA card readers also will be used to help riders board during the evening commute at Third Avenue and Pike Street, Third Avenue and Union Street and Second Avenue and Columbia Street.

ROUTE 54
Route 54 Express has been replaced by frequent all-day service on RapidRide C Line and an increased number of trips on Route 116 Express. The C Line provides a frequent connection for Route 54 Express riders to the north part of downtown Seattle, while the Route 116 Express, in combination with routes 118 and 119, provide a direct connection to SODO and the south part of downtown Seattle. Metro eliminated Route 54 Express because it would be duplicative of RapidRide service.

Metro is currently working out the kinks with some of its passenger facilities, such as real time information signs and ORCA card readers. We are aware of the problem and hope to have them up and running soon. We ask for your patience over the next few days as we work to resolve any further issues with the service change.

SIGN BOARDS
We are working to make sure the electronic arrival signs are working as expected. Working to confirm that they are fixed at this point.

139 Comments

  1. First commute today– not optimistic about less service, less reliable arrival times, longer commutes with the Express gone, and more distance to walk for passengers, touted as across the board improvements.

    Waited about ten minutes at Morgan Junction, then a pair of RR buses came.

    Comment by John LeCompte — 6:23 am October 1, 2012 #

  2. Grrrrrr…standing room only on the C leaving the junction at 6:59. I want my 54x back!!!

    Comment by Ugh — 7:05 am October 1, 2012 #

  3. The new curbs taking a lane in the road makes no sense.

    Comment by Gary — 7:10 am October 1, 2012 #

  4. Ugh is soo right, it’s awfull cramed togather.

    Comment by timh2o — 7:28 am October 1, 2012 #

  5. I am not understanding the total elimination of the 54. Why is the C not an “Express” and the 54 “local”? I hope they left some room to change things if it’s not working…

    Comment by Amanda — 7:36 am October 1, 2012 #

  6. The real-time bus info thing at 35th and Avalon northbound isn’t working yet. It just says “Refer to schedule”.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 7:38 am October 1, 2012 #

  7. I totally agree with Gary on the bus stops that eliminate the curb lane. Morgan junction’s stoplight frequently gets blocked while the bus loads and unloads. Tried writing to SDOT and Sound Transit in the logic of this and was given the blow-off. Not that much would be done “after the fact”.

    Comment by Db — 7:38 am October 1, 2012 #

  8. I was previously taking the 54 (or 54X if it came first) or 55 to Second and Seneca to use the transit tunnel.

    The Alaska and Fauntleroy board also shows “REFER TO SCHEDULE” rather than any kind of real-time updates.

    More frequent buses are a good thing, but the fact that several routes were consolidated basically means there are actually people standing now. I generally don’t think this is an improvement, but I’m not making my mind up for the moment.

    Comment by Casey — 7:51 am October 1, 2012 #

  9. Just watched 22 cars pass the “C” line bus in the left turn lane. Social engineering at it’s best.Or worst.

    Comment by Rick — 7:52 am October 1, 2012 #

  10. So from reading one of Mike Lindblom’s tweets a bit ago they C line skipped the Avalon stop since the 55 was already there and “going to the same place” except it really isn’t. Given the few stops these rapid ride lines really have, skipping stops doesn’t seem ideal, especially if you arn’t telling people that.

    Comment by Colleen — 7:57 am October 1, 2012 #

  11. Lovely ride this morning, The C was so crammed it was unsafe.

    Why did they think taking a full 22 route and combining it with a full 54 route made sense?

    Comment by questioner — 7:59 am October 1, 2012 #

  12. Waited for nearly 20 minutes at Alaska and Fauntleroy, then crammed onto a C line at 7:11am. The signs weren’t working to let us know when the next bus was coming. We left probably 10 people behind, and passed nearly every stop on Avalon because the bus was simply too full.

    Not Rapid at all. Way too full. And definitely did not come every 5-10 minutes.

    I’ll give them some time to get the kinks worked out, but man oh man was this mornings commute miserable.

    Comment by Marlena — 8:00 am October 1, 2012 #

  13. Metro doesn’t give a crap about how you get around..

    Comment by coyoteandthecat — 8:02 am October 1, 2012 #

  14. Arrived at my C Line stop without knowing the schedule in any explicit sense, and was happy to see my bus show up very quickly. I sure like having a steady stream of buses all through the morning. It’s been a nice smooth ride so far.

    Comment by Mtnpeak — 8:11 am October 1, 2012 #

  15. Taking away the 54X is not an “improvement.” In fact, it is a marked downgrade. I drove in today with the expectation Metro would be a basketcase. Unfortunately, I predict I will be trading my Orca Pass benefit for a slightly more expensive parking pass benefit.

    Comment by CandrewB — 8:13 am October 1, 2012 #

  16. The 7:13 56 heading downtown from California/Admiral, didn’t show until 7:26. Wish I could still catch a bus that would take me up 4th or 1st.

    Comment by O — 8:15 am October 1, 2012 #

  17. At least I got free wifi while standing all the way to downtown in an overcrowded & slower bus which doesn’t come as often down California as the 54 did in the morning, and which I had to walk an extra 5 minutes to get to. So yeah, it was great!

    Comment by SeattleDad — 8:17 am October 1, 2012 #

  18. On 57 now, crawling onto 99. Would normally have already been at work by now in Pioneer Square. This way, it’s arriving downtown 10 minutes later and then I have an extra half mile walk. Sigh.

    Comment by normanbell37 — 8:18 am October 1, 2012 #

  19. C line standing room only from Alaska Junction at 725am. Total commute time to South Lake Union was 57 minutes… only 3 minutes more RAPID than last week (54 bus to Aurora). Felt unsafe for standing people. And no promised wifi or control over stop lights. Also, there are more tv crews out today than Metro staff (also promised, to help folks with new transfers downtown)

    Comment by Chris W — 8:26 am October 1, 2012 #

  20. The RR runs every 10 minutes. If your bus is full get the next one people. 10 minutes people. 10 minutes. GARY, the reason for extending bus zones into the roadway is because cars DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT let buses back into traffic after stopping at bus zones. Just watch sometime a bus trying to pull back out with their blinker on. Normally 4 to 5 cars pass before the bus can ease back out into traffic.

    Comment by k — 8:29 am October 1, 2012 #

  21. I had a less than perfect commute this morning too, but it was partly my fault too. Missed the 21 express and had to work around that to transfer to the 12 to Cap Hill. I wouldn’t call it “miserable” though. I just need to adapt to the changes as you all need to do too.

    Comment by steve — 8:30 am October 1, 2012 #

  22. I hate that there is no longer a schedule. I used to check what time the 54 would leave Wildwood and then know what time to leave the house to walk up to Myrtle. On Sunday I waited 17 minutes at Myrtle and had no idea when a bus would come. Sunday was sunny and warm, but I don’t want to do this during the winter rain. The “schedule” says every 15 minutes, but even then, if you miss a bus, you have a long wait in the cold. The regular metro buses that have 15 minute schedules (old 54, 12, 10, 43, 49, etc.) had SCHEDULED TIMES on the schedule.
    Coming home from downtown on Sunday, it was almost standing room. Seems there are fewer seats per bus (with more open areas to cram in standees).
    Also noticing that older people are struggling. yes, they can take the 22 to the Junction, but then it’s still a hike from the Bay 6 over to the 54.
    The new buses were supposed to have lower clearance to the ground for older people, but that doesn’t appear to be the case either. We’re still having to fight our way to the front where the clearance to the ground is better.
    And the traffic in Morgan Junction is awful, as so many point out. Coming home from the Junction at 5:00 on Sunday, traffic was backed up clear past Graham because buses were blocking the intersection.
    REPORT CARD: D-

    Comment by iggy — 8:30 am October 1, 2012 #

  23. My commute on the new C line wasn’t any more rapid than any other day. I got on at Avalon & Yancy and despite the 8 minute trip quoted by Metro, it took me the usual 15-20.

    I may have missed an announcement, but I’m wondering why the Rapid Ride buses still have Orca card readers onboard if riders are supposed to tap their card at the stop before boarding? I thought one of the perks of Rapid Ride was supposed to be that riders didn’t have to wait for others to dig out their change or card to pay their fare, but every person that boarded with me paid with cash or Orca as usual.

    Comment by KJ — 8:37 am October 1, 2012 #

  24. Alki 56E (peak only) runs are over for the day, but riders should be aware the online map for this route does not match what Metro advertised in the service change that the 56E “will no longer operate on SW Spokane St between SW Avalon Way and Chelan Ave SW”. If you are trying to get off at north Delridge, this may no longer be an option for you even though the schedule map says it is. Also, yesterday I took the new 50 route eastbound and it did not turn right from Avalon Way to Genesee (the driver said the turn was too sharp). It also did not stop on Spokane at 26th or Chelan. This could be a big problem for riders from north and central West Seattle trying to get to north Delridge. I reported these problems to Metro.

    Comment by Kathy — 8:40 am October 1, 2012 #

  25. Wow,

    This is how they are going to motivate people to avoid driving. I will stick with the car for now. At least I am not waiting and walking in the rain in winter.

    AWSOME PLANNING SEATTLE.

    Oh if you don’t like the bus you can always ride your bike. Sure that works for all of us on this island.

    Comment by WsEd — 8:42 am October 1, 2012 #

  26. Waited 20 minutes (what happened to “every 10 minutes”?) at least @ the alaska junction. Most crowded bus I have ever been on except for the time I was in Cairo, Egypt. Horrible experience. Will be riding my bike from now on

    Comment by Marcus M — 8:43 am October 1, 2012 #

  27. KJ
    Only stations have the Orca card readers outside, stops do not and one still has to enter at the front and swipe the Orca card.

    K
    Well after hearing that several of the RR were standing room only, waiting 10-15 minutes for the next one is not really a viable option.

    Comment by questioner — 8:47 am October 1, 2012 #

  28. The 22 is now defunct so my only option to 4th and Jackson are the 116, 118 or 119 at Oregon and Fauntleroy. I waited two minutes, caught the 116 and there was only one other person aboard. Sure it’s a few more blocks to walk, but I can’t complain. I will try the “C” home tonight but might change to the 116 if it’s too crowded.

    Comment by DTK — 8:48 am October 1, 2012 #

  29. I wonder if they have any “extra” rapid ride coaches in storage. With all the new construction of apartments and condos in West Seattle, ridership will only increase. Since they’ve crammed the riders from 54X, 22, and the already at every 15 minute 54s onto the new Rapid Ride, which is already standing-room only——will there be a quick way to add more frequencies to handle all these people.
    I often would take the 54X home in the evening. Are all these people now expected to cram onto the already over-crowded 116,117,118?
    Sigh.

    Comment by iggy — 8:58 am October 1, 2012 #

  30. I agree that they should have kept the 54x. It was as close to a Park and Ride as you can get. You could park your car at Faunt and Oregon hop on and head DT and then that
    was the first stop back into WS. It takes
    forever to get into the junction! The 116/118/119 doesn’t go one the viaduct like the express did. Hopefully someone from Metro is reading all of these comments. Change is hard and will take some time to adjust but it’s seems as though everyone is more upset than they are pleased with the new RR.

    Comment by Sunny — 9:00 am October 1, 2012 #

  31. Plenty of room on the new 50 if you’re going to SODO. Of course, that could be due to the driver NOT stopping at many of the regular stops for the 7:15 route from Alki. Fortunately, the driver of the 57 (seeing this) gave me a ride to get ahead of the 50. When asked the reason for passing the stops, the 50 driver stated was that no one was stepping forward. I don’t think he slowed down enough to give anyone that opportunity – or had the patience to wait behind another bus when there was one at the stop in front of him.

    Comment by Block Watcher — 9:02 am October 1, 2012 #

  32. I am thinking Metro should start hiring “pushers” at some stops in order to cram in more passengers like in the Tokyo subways.

    Comment by CandrewB — 9:09 am October 1, 2012 #

  33. Still waiting at alaska and fauntleroy. One c bus would not stop waiting for next one and i have been waiting for 30 minutes now!!

    Comment by Kg — 9:11 am October 1, 2012 #

  34. At bus stop at 35Th and Avalon @ 8:20. Electronic signs not working, “Refer to Schedule”. 15 of us waiting while RR passed by w/out stopping. Took 21 local through SODO, 15 minutes longer to my office. Not impressed with cost savings marketed as “Big Improvements”. I’m sure the unfortunate souls downtown w/out the Ride Free Zone will feel the same once the rain starts.

    Comment by M.E. — 9:17 am October 1, 2012 #

  35. “I hate that there is no longer a schedule”

    Unless you’re one of the unlucky ones WITHOUT a cellphone with a dataplan, use onebusaway. It is much better than a schedule. It ACTUALLY tells you how long the bus is away from your stop. The schedule is so past century. We have one of the BEST real time system benefitting consumers in this town. If you don’t have a smartphone, kindly ask someone who does to check for you.

    Case solved, detective!

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 9:20 am October 1, 2012 #

  36. I had to drive in today so I didn’t get to try it out yet, but I was passing some very packed bus stops on my way out of town. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. Combining all these routes together and giving people less options is just going to result in more crowded buses and more people having to stand, which I do think is dangerous. I had the option to take at least 4 buses in and out of W. Seattle before and now I only have one. I may just start taking the water taxi now.

    Does anyone know how many of the C line buses are in service? In order for them to come every 10-15 minutes there would have to be an awful lot.

    Comment by natinstl — 9:23 am October 1, 2012 #

  37. Looking at the pictures of the Rapid Ride buses, they look just like the 41 at the Northgate Transit Center. Had I known how empty the buses were in West Seattle where people expect to sit I would have moved over here years ago. Welcome to the standard level of peak Metro service, cattle class.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 9:26 am October 1, 2012 #

  38. Every sign we drove past said REFER TO SCHEDULE, for what it’s worth, so I’m going to inquire whether it was a systemwide outage … or at least West Seattle-wide …

    Comment by WSB — 9:26 am October 1, 2012 #

  39. I have noticed some close calls with people passing buses blocking the lane because of the built out curb. The cars get into the turn lane to pass & another car from the other direction is getting in the turn lane to turn left. Very close calls for head ons each time I saw this happening. Yikes. Traffic is badly backing up. I was in several BIG backups due to this just this morning. I’m still not understanding why they prefer to back up and mess up the traffic. Don’t most people let the buses pull back out with just a few that don’t? This is particularly bad down at the Morgan Junction where there is ferry traffic coming and going turning off or onto California Ave. Just a mess this morning. Hope things get worked out.

    Comment by Faith4 — 9:28 am October 1, 2012 #

  40. I’m pretty releived that I bought a bike this summer, this sounds like a nightmare.

    Comment by Common — 9:38 am October 1, 2012 #

  41. I got hung up at the Morgan Junction the other day waiting for the bus to load. I couldn’t turn right onto California from WB Fauntleroy, the NB cars on Calif. couldn’t get out of the intersection and then when the light changed, cars trying to turn NB from the west side of Fauntleroy couldn’t move either. What brilliant Metro engineer couldn’t see this coming, especially with density growing daily in W. Seattle?

    Comment by CanDo — 9:43 am October 1, 2012 #

  42. my husband rode the c – line on sunday. he commented that there were not as many seats and that they were “hard” when you sat on them.

    Comment by sc — 9:45 am October 1, 2012 #

  43. We waited for the 8:30 56 at SW Admiral and SW Stevens. It was 8:45 and it still hadn’t come so we got in our car and rounded the bend, just in time to see the 56 arrive at 8:56, 26 minutes late:( I hope this isn’t going to be standard.

    Comment by jadenirvana — 9:48 am October 1, 2012 #

  44. I see lots of complaining about the poorly conceived and executed “Rapid”Ride service, but isn’t the bright red color cheerful? OK, I’m really trying hard to come up with something good to say about Metro’s latest botch-job.

    Comment by gatewooder — 9:49 am October 1, 2012 #

  45. I don’t get how Seattle Traffic Engineers okayed a plan to allow buses to block the driving lane. I know it is a problem when buses have to pull out into traffic but it’s a bigger problem when traffic doesn’t move because someone has her foot on the open bus platform and is asking how can she get to the Pike Market. Our roads were already stressed with traffic that moves. To create a giant lane plug, call it Rapid, is nuts. Metro is going to lose support.

    Comment by dhg — 9:51 am October 1, 2012 #

  46. Sooo, it sounds like Rapid Ride aint so rapid, or safe, or comfortable, or ..
    .
    Also, I noticed a Rapid station on Fauntleroy at California .. One of the most congested intersections will have a lane blocked now while people load/unload.
    .
    Regarding safety/head on collisions people have mentioned. All it will take is a serious accident or fatality and the city will get sued big time.. the rub is, it’s you and I who will be paying (through taxes) the settlement.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 10:05 am October 1, 2012 #

  47. This weekend my husband said he was on a Rapid Ride that broke down at 35th/Avalon (coming from downtown) and they told them they had to get off as they couldn’t get up the hill. Fortunately he had his bike on the bus and just continued on his way.
    .
    I was a 54X rider. This morning I left 5 min. earlier to get one of the 116/118/119 buses at the same stop. About 8 people waiting there (more than usual at that hour), and when the bus came (one of the short ones), it was full and was clear it would be standing room only. I passed it up and waited for the next one (since 3 were supposed to be riding right behind each other). I got on that second bus which came a minute later (only about 10 empty seats on it, also a short bus), and then one was immediately behind us which had maybe 2 people on it. My husband said another bus came 15 min. later (as scheduled) and that it was one of the articulated buses. The commute wasn’t bad (since I passed up the packed bus) and ultimately added 10 min. to my commute.

    Comment by Sue — 10:10 am October 1, 2012 #

  48. So disheartening to read all these negative “reviews” of the new system. While we might hope these “bugs” get worked out in short order, alas, it sounds to me as though huge, integral flaws are at fault.
    So this is what “they” came up with to encourage people to use mass transit???
    Seems people who have used/want to use the bus system are quite unhappy.

    Comment by thegodshavegonecrazy — 10:16 am October 1, 2012 #

  49. Caught a C-line bus at 7:40a at Fauntleroy & Alaska, and it was already standing room only, but about 8 of us wedged in. At the next stop at Avalon and 35th a few more got on, a few decided to wait for the next one. Same at the next stop down Avalon.

    I’m really hoping this is symptomatic of a first week shake-out of a new system, and that more buses will come online. If it’s going to be this packed no matter when you leave in the morning, it’s going to suck for a lot of people.

    Comment by RichWSeattle — 10:19 am October 1, 2012 #

  50. Took the 21 Express today, as usual, got to work in just 30 minutes. When we stopped at 35th and Avalon the Rapid Ride stop said the next bus was in 11 minutes (not Refer to Schedule). Might have been a temporary glitch?

    I’m not thrilled that the 21 Express now coincides with a local (why not stagger?), but it’s pretty sweet that the local runs every 15 minutes! That gives me a LOT more options. I can take the local to 35th and Avalon to transfer to the next express bus downtown pretty seamlessly.

    Comment by Kelly — 10:21 am October 1, 2012 #

  51. Nothing rapid about the bus ride this morning. I biked to work from the Junction to Harbor Island and passed a couple bus stops full of people waiting for a bus. I saw two rapid ride buses go by completely full; they didn’t stop. Lots of angry commuters out there this morning.

    Comment by Sonic — 10:23 am October 1, 2012 #

  52. My girlfriend passed two Rapid Ride busses today.. on her bike.

    Epic fail on the part of KCM. What i saw was a ton of potential converts that will never ride the bus again. Who wants to be packed into an old converted bus to take longer to get to work than it does to take a regular bus? Huge opportunity lost.

    Comment by MF — 10:23 am October 1, 2012 #

  53. My girlfriend passed two Rapid Ride busses today.. on her bike.

    What i saw was a ton of potential converts that will never ride the bus again. Who wants to be packed into an old converted bus to take longer to get to work than it does to take a regular bus? Huge opportunity lost.

    Comment by MF — 10:23 am October 1, 2012 #

  54. Not all of the rapid ride stops have built-out stops that stop all other traffic. Can metro please describe the criteria that were used to decide when and where to do the built-out stops? It appears that the same rules apply that were used in the original design of I5 – that is: “Don’t let experience stand in your way!!!”

    Comment by flynlo — 10:29 am October 1, 2012 #

  55. Report from friend who commutes from West Seattle to UW:

    My commute, thanks to the new and improved Metro, was 90 minutes long, and the buses are jam-packed. The “rapid ride” C-Line thing was so full when it got to the 35th SW and Avalon stop that the driver didn’t let anyone on and so I waited for a 55. The 50, the new route? Both coaches that came to the stop while I was waiting were empty. Maybe I should ride it to the Othello station and then take the train to downtown to transfer. But oh, downtown. The tunnels have been full of diesel smoke the last couple of morning commutes of mine, which is nice. And the 70-series buses have also been reduced, so the first one that came along today, after I waited 25 minutes, was packed to the gills and the driver only let a handful of people (me not included) on board. I waited another 10 or 15 minutes for the next northbound bus and it was standing-room-only.”

    So–pretty awful well beyond West Seattle. The buses I used to take occasionally have been either eliminated entirely or re-routed so I’ll just be walking/biking 3-4 miles every day.

    Comment by MARY — 10:37 am October 1, 2012 #

  56. For those of you who work in Pioneer Square and are still bussing in, you should take the water taxi. Free shuttle bus to the dock and a stress free boat ride. It only takes me 8 minutes to my office. OH and Maranation will be open for breakfast. Can’t beat the commute. :)

    Comment by MLD — 10:38 am October 1, 2012 #

  57. #1 – the BIG IMPROVEMENTS are for the Bus company and CITY… they don’t care about you, they care about money… the improvements were for THEM…
    #2 – The curb going into the street is a huge problem.. I used to stop for busses and yield to traffic and let them back in .. but all that is going to do is make people go into the Turning lane…
    #3 – Apparently to go to sodo from Alaska junction, i have to go via the airport (almost)… who thought of all of this… it is a MESS ….
    #4 – the reason the busses don’t stop is clearly they are full…
    #5 – I’ll say it again… it’s positive for the city, not the users…..

    Comment by Jtk — 10:39 am October 1, 2012 #

  58. Check out Seattle Transit Blog initial reporting on Rapid Ride and why it’s designed to block the lane of traffic. In order to be “rapid” it has to block traffic to stop and get back going without waiting for traffic to clear. The unfortunate draw back is that in roads where there’s room to pass that’s what the cars do… just wait I bet there will be annoying cement medians so people can’t pass.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 10:39 am October 1, 2012 #

  59. The c bus was filled before 7!! With less seats it is quite ridiculous ! Revision is needed ! I will be taking the passenger ferry to avoid the bus from the ferry terminal even though I like the free wifi on the bus ( only convenient if sitting down)!

    Comment by Anonymous — 10:46 am October 1, 2012 #

  60. The metro website says that the Rapid Ride comes every 10 minutes during peak times so there’s no need to have a schedule. I waited two minutes, and voila, it was there. It was great – look, I know it’s not the monorail but I’m happy with it and there’s wifi, which is nice!

    Comment by Fiwa Jcbbb — 10:46 am October 1, 2012 #

  61. About “Refer to Schedule” — my printed schedule for the C Line doesn’t list actual arrival times, but just that buses are 10 minutes apart or 15 minutes apart depending on time of day. That’s sort of the point…no schedule needed…assuming the service is well operated.

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 10:47 am October 1, 2012 #

  62. Sure was crowded… My C line bus actually stopped picking people up after leaving the Junction, as there was no room, standing or otherwise. On the other hand, if we’d been in Hong Kong we would have squeezed another two dozen on. It’s possible we just expect too much personal space.

    The commute to Factoria overall is a bit slower, and now takes three buses instead of the two it used to require, but this is not life-altering.

    Love that new-bus smell…

    Comment by Marc — 10:48 am October 1, 2012 #

  63. Not surprised in the least. Exact same problems that occurred and continue to occur with the Rapid Line B (Bellevue to Redmond). I really want to give Metro the benefit of doubt, but seriously, I attended the community meetings, consistently asked what steps they were taking to mitigate the issues that arose on the east side with B and the only response that I got was that West Seattle was completely different and this new service will be amazing (exact words). So here we are today facing the confusing schedules, non-functioning reader boards, crowding, lack of busses coming every 10 to 15 as promised, etc…. I normally try to take Metro to my Bellevue job as often as possible but between the cluster mess of C line and the lack of bus service in North Admiral now, I am calling it quits. Even before all of these changes, I would get home 30 minutes later then if I drove (and that is even accounting for bad I-90 traffic). I tried to counter this by reminding myself that I was doing my part to keep congestion at bay, but this just really tires a persons patience. I have lived in other major metro areas the size of the Puget Sound with their own mix of urban and rural/geography issues, and they all seem to be able to run their county wide bus system far more efficiently then the Puget Sound. There really is no excuse.

    Comment by Thistle — 10:49 am October 1, 2012 #

  64. My husband has free parking by the international district bus station. I drove in with him this morning as my regular 55 was cancelled. As we were driving across the WS bridge, couldn’t help but notice how packed the line c next to me was. I started thinking about the afternoon commute. The 55 now runs at 5:05 and 5:35 only from 3rd and Pike. There used to be one at 5, 5:15 and 5:25. In that same time there were 2 54x, 2 56x and at least one 57. Do the math, that doesn’t equal the same number of rapid ride buses, it is probably 3 or 4 less going to the same place. Metro has perpetrated a ruse on us. There are actually less buses with less capacity.

    Of course, when I was in the tunnel, I took a 255 to convention place and there were under 10 people on it. I bet Kirkland didn’t get their bus service decimated.

    I will be driving in the morning (left 20 minutes later and arrived at my job in South Lake Union at the same time)..getting home, that might be a challenge. When I did the trip planner, it will take me 20 minutes at least, longer to get home.

    Comment by Magpie — 10:51 am October 1, 2012 #

  65. @Sunny & everyone, rather than “hope” that Metro is reading these comments, it might gain more attention to send comments and experiences directly to Metro. http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cs/feedback_choose.html
    .
    I’m as cynical as the next person when it comes to Metro and their head-embedded “services” and the possibility of feedback doing any good at all, but going directly to the source is about the only hope of getting attention.
    .
    I’m watching all this with keen attention because I’m planning a move (within WSeattle) in a couple of months and I’ll definitely be looking at bus options and service quality when I’m deciding where to land.

    Comment by Valerie — 10:55 am October 1, 2012 #

  66. Anyone else fight the crowd from the EAST side of West Seattle? I heard the 131/former 23 was a ghost town. The 120 was completely full at 7 and skipped several stops on the way down Delridge.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 11:00 am October 1, 2012 #

  67. Went to the bus stop at Alasak and Fautleroy at my normally 7 am time, and the C line was completed packed and standing room only. By the time we got past 35th and Avalon with bus was passed capacity. Never had an issue riding the bus before, but this causes a major concern for a daily bus commuter. We need more service to the area for all the commuters in West Seattle.

    Comment by Courtney — 11:04 am October 1, 2012 #

  68. love how my intersection at fuantlaroy and california gets SHUT DOWN for five mins everytime theres people to pick up. backs all the way up to mcdonalds and east past the maid spot.
    hard to imagine cuase they seem and sound smart but yet they come up with such a poor answer to our trasportation needs.
    it will really be funny when the stupid tunnel opens
    i already have my plate cover kit
    i will never pay that toll!

    Comment by marcus ativalu — 11:05 am October 1, 2012 #

  69. Seattle trying to pretend it has rapid transit. It’s a trick to get people on their bikes.

    Comment by visitor — 11:08 am October 1, 2012 #

  70. It took 3 buses to get to work in South Lake Union area this morning. Took a 50 to Alaska/California then Rapid Ride C to 3rd & Bell then a 5 to my destination. This took the same amount of time that I was previously taking with 2 buses. The Rapid Ride bus was nice and smooth but very crowded. The wifi worked. As others have reported the sign that should tell me how many minutes to the next bus was not working. All in all not a bad first day of a new system.

    Comment by David — 11:16 am October 1, 2012 #

  71. As Valerie said – please be sure to let Metro know what you think, too. I am going to ask them about some of the most commonly reported observations, particularly the crowding and whether there’s any plan to add more buses (if they weren’t already ALL on the road), but even if they are reading (public agencies often do), the only “official” way they are recorded is to get them into the “official” mailbox/es, comment forms, etc. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:18 am October 1, 2012 #

  72. I’m going to commute like normal every day this week, keep notes, and definitely pass them along to Metro. Hopefully others follow suit.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 11:24 am October 1, 2012 #

  73. Hey everyone,

    “The overall picture is that things went pretty smoothly,” Metro’s Jeff Switzer said at mid-morning.

    It seems like he’s not hearing those of you that shared your stories on here. If that is the case, his phone number is (206) 684-1151. I don’t have a bus commute but of course, I wanted this service to be better and not worse.

    Comment by amnesiak — 11:26 am October 1, 2012 #

  74. jedifarfy, I’m doing the same – hoping it’s just growing pains, but will keep track of what happens and will definitely tell Metro. Right now I’m just grateful that my commute wasn’t as bad as many that I’m hearing. Ask me again at 5pm. :)

    Comment by Sue — 11:37 am October 1, 2012 #

  75. One positive for the route change with the 22. Smaller bus is much quieter when passing through the neigherboods. Dont’ think I’ll quit driving to work anytime soon.

    Comment by gatewood — 11:52 am October 1, 2012 #

  76. I took the Rapid Ride downtown on Saturday. It was ok, though crowded going into town. But then my elderly mother, my three year old and I had to wait a loooong time for the returning bus. It was well over 25 minutes.

    This mornings commute was very similar to the time it use to take the 54X, but it was much more crowded. Did they remove some seats? It sure seems a little smaller than the old bus.

    That said, I like having two doors to enter. And I sure hope they work the kinks out (maybe add some buses) and get this working better. It could be good.

    Comment by Eden — 11:55 am October 1, 2012 #

  77. Not a fan of these Rapid Ride buses at all. They are uncomfortable, and seating is cumbersome and limited. Having taken them many times from Fed Way to the airport in the past, unfortunately, I knew what we were in store for.

    Comment by G — 12:01 pm October 1, 2012 #

  78. Hey “K”, using caps really helps your point. And I really liked the “refer to schedule” on the digital readerboard sign. And we paid how much for this? What a cluster. I’m giving up my walk/bike/bus life and buying a car again. Stoooopid city!

    Comment by Rick — 12:04 pm October 1, 2012 #

  79. One point of clarification for everyone who has mentioned “city.” Metro is a COUNTY-provided service. Just so you know where the dollars are coming from, who’s accountable, who to contact, etc. Two separate governments, separate sets of elected officials.
    .
    Also, for the commenter who pulled a quote from somewhere about spokesperson Jeff Switzer (with whom we worked on last week’s Q/A) saying things went “smoothly,” that does NOT mean they are not acknowledging challenges and concerns. I just contacted him and he acknowledges there are plenty of both, and we’ll get some responses later today. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:10 pm October 1, 2012 #

  80. Seattle Times has a “live chat” now at noon about the new Metro changes and Rapid Ride. Just FYI.

    Comment by Stacy — 12:19 pm October 1, 2012 #

  81. I was just going to add that – thanks. Direct link, a special chat window in their story:
    .
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/09/coming-monday-share-how-bus-changes-are-affecting-you/

    Comment by WSB — 12:25 pm October 1, 2012 #

  82. Took the C line into downtown today at about 10:30. The bus was surprisingly crowded for a trip at that time of the morning. The C was a little late, but once going it only took about 15 minutes to get to 2nd and Seneca. No complaints. The new buses are sweet too.

    Comment by Mr. Bradley — 12:30 pm October 1, 2012 #

  83. Can’t take the 55 anymore. There are only 5 trips now in the AM and I need to be to work before the first one. Now my commute is DOUBLE what it was because of the transfer to get downtown. #EPICFAIL

    Comment by Michelle — 12:30 pm October 1, 2012 #

  84. Live chat going on now
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/09/coming-monday-share-how-bus-changes-are-affecting-you/

    Comment by RachaelB — 12:32 pm October 1, 2012 #

  85. David, no need for your commute to involve RR C. Take the 50 to 35th and Avalon and transfer to the 21 local. That route becomes the 5 as it leaves downtown.

    Comment by M — 12:32 pm October 1, 2012 #

  86. To all of the 54 riders complaining about having to stand now – the 120 has been running like that for years. I used to get so angry when I saw countless half empty 54′s lumber past the downtown southbound bus stops only to wait and wait for the 120 to show and then half the people at the bus stop would board it. So you lost your comfy ride, life just ain’t fair.

    Comment by Xavier — 12:33 pm October 1, 2012 #

  87. A lot of the bus problems today are a regular occurence three times a year, as drivers start new routes, and some start driving new models they haven’t driven before. A lot of the problems not related to changing the routes will dissipate in a day or two, as they always have.
    .
    I totally agree that more RapidRide buses are needed. Clearly, the C Line is what riders are choosing over other much emptier routes. Don’t give up. Keep riding it. Metro will have to move buses from elsewhere, and you’ve seen some routes where the buses could be moved from.
    .
    Bus bulbs: Keep them, please. Those of us riding the bus are tired of watching several jerks in SOVs pass by while the bus sits and waits to get back into traffic. There are more of us on the bus than there are of you who will not yield. Yielding to transit isn’t just good karma, it’s the law. Riders have camera phones, and free hands to use them. I encourage riders to get the jerks fined.
    .
    Of course, a bigger hindrance to traffic flow is parking … in a bus lane … that is also an arterial car lane. Who’s awful idea was that? I hope the people storing their cars in the bus lane are paying enough to cover the cost to everyone who has to ride or drive around them. $1000 a day should be a sufficent parking fee for each of those spots. For you businesses who think you own the public ROW in front of your store, understand that the public is not obligated to do business with you. We know which businesses are ruining our commute, since we’re stopped in front and can read the signs.

    Comment by Brent — 12:50 pm October 1, 2012 #

  88. the 125 was pretty typical this morning at 7:45 am. Full with people standing but not packed. It will be interesting to see how the pay as you enter works system-wide during the pm ride home.

    Comment by Hoff-animal — 12:57 pm October 1, 2012 #

  89. I believe the 131 will fill up more over time. Riders along that corridor just have to recover from the shellshock of it always doing the Arrowhead Gardens knot, the South Park Figure Eight, the Georgetown loop back to 4th, and passing by the meth clinic.

    Many who used to ride the 131 have given up on the bus system, and need to be told that they now have a reasonably direct route downtown that is faster than the 120, and no longer crosses over itself four times.

    Perhaps it should have been given a new number, and “131″ should have been ignominiously retired. Call it the “135″, reprint the 131/132 schedules that are full of serious typos, and implement it without waiting for the next pick. Please.

    Comment by Brent — 1:08 pm October 1, 2012 #

  90. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here are the amount of students late to WSHS this morning – all came in complaining of the #50 bus ride.

    Comment by Mrs. T — 1:15 pm October 1, 2012 #

  91. it is interesting to read the live chat on seattle times:

    “question : Hi I rode a full C Line bus too, but it stopped at 35/Avalon. I’m wondering if Metro is feeding lots more people into the route because of reductions or changes in other routes on 35th SW that go north…

    Metro’s response:
    Hi – we are not feeding a lot more people to the C Line during the peak period, but during the midday and evening hours, we are.”

    but based on all the comments here, it seems like the RR WAS full due to cuts all over the place. send David Hull your comments so he is clued in.

    Comment by sam-c — 1:18 pm October 1, 2012 #

  92. Metro and King County WANTS to cause headaches for riders, even though they would never admit it. If they kept all bus service with no irritating glitches, then how could they go to the voters and ask for more money in order to “improve” bus service. It’s how government operates and unfortunately many voters fall for it every time!

    Comment by fauntleroy fairy — 1:28 pm October 1, 2012 #

  93. “Unless you’re one of the unlucky ones WITHOUT a cellphone with a dataplan ….. If you don’t have a smartphone, kindly ask someone who does to check for you.”

    Riiiight. Like everyone can pony up the bucks for a dataplan. And everyone has someone waiting with them at the bus stop. Somehow that doesn’t match my “unlucky” reality.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 1:29 pm October 1, 2012 #

  94. I waited 10 minutes for the 8:30 56 at SW Admiral and SW 51st. Since I hadn’t seen the bus pass me on the way to Alki, I checked my smartphone and saw the route was suffering “no data”, which usually means the bus won’t show up. I’m glad that the 8:58 run was on time (from another commenter).

    I then jumped in my car and paid for parking downtown. Saw a lot of people waiting for a bus that wasn’t going to show up, too. I’m already angry about the 50 bus and the downgrade in commute service it provides; I hope the degredation in quality of the 56 doesn’t suffer as well as my bike and car are my other options.

    Comment by Greg — 1:30 pm October 1, 2012 #

  95. I went from taking the 57 from Admiral and California to SODO (a 10-12 minute commute) to now having to take the new 50 which drove us basically to White Center to get to SODO (25 minutes in good weather, I can’t wait until we get rain/snow). It’s not that I don’t like Alaska Junction, it’s just that I don’t have a need to see it 2 times a day when I am use to a straight shot from Admiral to Starbucks Headquarters. This new “improved” schedule is a joke. When I sent an email to the county last month about this change, all I got was an auto-response; don’t expect anything to change. If the purpose is to keep people out of their cars, this new schedule isn’t the way to make that happen.

    Comment by Jeff Spencer — 1:44 pm October 1, 2012 #

  96. I am so so glad I don’t have to commute to work anymore. I think I would have gone postal over all this.

    For those of you who keep harping on riding our bikes instead of complaining about the buses: VERY FEW people have the option or ability to ride a bike to work in this city. Maybe it’s fine for you, but stop being so ignorant of the different abilities and disabilities people have that disallow bikes as an option.

    Comment by freelancer — 1:47 pm October 1, 2012 #

  97. FYI – somebody just asked this in e-mail – we will be starting a separate story for the pm commute, around 4 pm, to get feedback on how that goes. Thanks! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:55 pm October 1, 2012 #

  98. Bikes can’t get around the RR buses stopped at the curb bulbs, either. Basically, the RR system is designed to slow down all traffic down to the speed it dictates. That way Metro can claim that it has a service as fast as the the rest of the traffic. A kind of dumbing-down effect, which Metro seems very good at.

    Comment by gatewooder — 2:05 pm October 1, 2012 #

  99. The combination of the 54 and 55 had a lot more capacity going downtown in the morning than the new Rapid Ride.

    Comment by sna — 2:07 pm October 1, 2012 #

  100. The cost of that monorail that would have been completed in 2009 seems cheaper all the time…

    Comment by quiz — 2:24 pm October 1, 2012 #

  101. Rapid failiure.rapid decline, rapid slowdowns,rapid headaches, rapid chaos, not rapid enough,

    Comment by coyoteandthecat — 2:27 pm October 1, 2012 #

  102. @Jeff Spencer – I hardly think going all the way south to Alaska Street is “basically to White Center.” Unless the 50 map is completely incorrect (instead of being slightly incorrect as reported), it goes south to the Junction, east to 35th, jogs over to Avalon to the WSB, goes north on 1st Ave. It doesn’t go south of Spokane Street until after it’s past Starbucks HQ. That will be my commute (but I would exit after 1st and Lander).

    Comment by mightymo — 2:27 pm October 1, 2012 #

  103. The Morgan junction is the worst! When you have the small access bus drivers that have to go into the SHA housing to pick up passengers. They tie up the whole lane forever. Poor placement of the bulb curbs in the Morgan junction!

    Comment by Woodsman — 2:35 pm October 1, 2012 #

  104. Why does the RR not stop now at 3rd and University. To now get the 3 or 4 route to Harborview,it is a walk of 3 blocks, when all you had to do at 3rd an University was cross to road outside benaroya. Not far for the ablebodied but a trek if you are disabled. I do not see the sense of cutting out a stop in the main part of downtown.

    Comment by PAM — 2:35 pm October 1, 2012 #

  105. Our mayor wants to leave a legacy of changing the city to bike riding haven – he is not interested in todays problems just how he will be remembered later.

    These changes should not be used until all links are completed – when lander station has the capability to run continuous service to uw and north seattle, burien and federal way. Half a** does not work for anyone. Wa dc and nyc transit is a long way off for us im sad to say.

    Comment by pam — 2:41 pm October 1, 2012 #

  106. I watched all the new RR’s at 35th & Avalon, and really looked forward to using it this morning. Well!!!!! After letting 2 too-crowded pass by, then a THIRD not even stop because it was so packed (people looked like they were having difficulty breathing), I grabbed my usual 55 – which then arrived downtown 15 minutes later than usual. Huh? Not so rapid as far as I can see.

    Comment by Tanej — 2:48 pm October 1, 2012 #

  107. The #131 which replaced the #23 was totally regular and fine and arrived on time. The route was exactly the same as usual with the same amount of people as usual. The driver -who must be new- missed a turn in belltown and had to go around the block to get back on track but other that – no delay due to more people or paying at the front. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Comment by highland rider — 2:51 pm October 1, 2012 #

  108. Everyone making great comments here (about how horrible the new RR C-Line commute was) REALLY need to make these comments directly to Metro, or even to the Seattle Times blog which has direct Metro representation as the majority of comments there imply that the new changes aren’t having much of an impact on commutes.

    If Metro’s goal was to force more people into their cars and reduce ridership and continue the downward spiral of public transportation in this area then success. If their goal was anything else, as others have noted here, EPIC FAIL.

    Comment by olivist — 3:05 pm October 1, 2012 #

  109. I live in the admiral dist. I took the 55 this morning which ended up being standing room only. Many riders on 35 and Avalon who were waiting for the rapid ride got on the 55 bus because the RR passed them. We were at standing room only before we got to 35th and avalon. The 55 has been regulated to 5 rides in the morning and 5 at peak in the afternoon. Metro should consider increasing the number of rides for the 55 to and fro and reconsider bringing the 54x back. I had to take the RR this afternoon at about 12:45. It was packed to the gills. People were upset and this was not PEAK TIME. Right now it seems a mess with alot of unhappy stressed people and uncomfortable seats on the RR. It has got to get better.

    Comment by GF — 3:31 pm October 1, 2012 #

  110. Just got answers re: frequent comments/concerns today. Adding to the story above. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:38 pm October 1, 2012 #

  111. I HATE IT! Not riding it, but trying to get to WS Junction stinks coming from Alaska Ave. SW!!! Then if you want to make a right hand turn it’s impossible because “cars” aren’t allowed in the bus lane until you cross 42nd! and their is NO room to do this! So you have to turn left and go around the block!

    It is stupid blocking a whole lane on main drags so cars get piled up behind a bus that stops at every corner! Rapid for who!???

    Comment by rmp — 3:52 pm October 1, 2012 #

  112. WSB, thanks, as always, for everything you do. So nice to check in here throughout the day & find so much community engagement. I’ll be watching for that 4pm post as I make my way back to paradise this evening.

    Comment by Chris W. — 4:02 pm October 1, 2012 #

  113. What in heaven’s name was the rational behind cutting all 56/57 routes down Admiral outside of peak runs? I live in the Admiral district and that route was used throughout the day. In particular, many Lafayette parents would catch the 9:30-ish 56 into town after dropping their kids off at school. Now the last run is at 9:00 am. I can understand cutting some of the mid-day runs… but ALL of them? No bus service down the most direct route (for north West Seattle) to the bridge is ridiculous. And, since those riders now have to catch a bus into the Junction, it only exacerbates an already crowded problem. I drove in today, but my fiance caught the 50 at around 9:45 am and transferred to the C line. He said it was packed even then, and the woman standing next to him was complaining about all the extra Admiral people taking up space. :)

    Comment by Admiral Resident — 4:11 pm October 1, 2012 #

  114. Just wait, another 5 years. West Seattle will have about 2500 more people living in the junction area . Might have to add a few more buses. Cars will be stuck behind these buses forever as there is no way around them. Future not good if you need to leave area for work.

    Comment by Wetone — 4:14 pm October 1, 2012 #

  115. Yes, 120 was full at 7, and it usually is. What threw folks off was it was standing room even earlier in the route than normal. I believe it is because of re-routing down to Westwood Village, it runs about 5 min. later than it used to. Meaning those who think they are catching their normal bus, really were catching an earlier bus. When I got off the standing room only 120 downtown, there was one right behind it 1/2 full. It was normal, in my opinion, as everyone who rides 120 regularly knows, there is another one usually 10 min behind the other….hmmmmm like Rapid Ride.

    For those that had issues today, let Metro know. They can’t fix a problem if they don’t know about it. Don’t assume someone else will complain for you or had the same experience as you. You may not be use to a full bus, but if I had been on the Rapid Ride, it would have been normal to me because that is the way 120 is daily.

    Comment by Train — 4:14 pm October 1, 2012 #

  116. The bottom line is West Seattle has a lot less service. The 56 Express used to have more frequent service and the 37 used to run until 8:55 and now terminates at 7:15am. Those buses used to be full so one of two things happened. 1)all those riders got to the RR C line by pulling a hide and ride causing bus overflows or 2) they bought a parking pass. My guess is “it will work itself out” by people leaving the metro transit system.

    Comment by Manamana — 4:21 pm October 1, 2012 #

  117. I really hope evryone here is also sending their complaints to metro as well. I waited for the very first run of the 50 on Saturday morning to the Admiral district. It was 10 minutes late and the 128 never even showed.

    Comment by breezygirl — 4:21 pm October 1, 2012 #

  118. we need real mass transit not fake rapid bus service that gets stuck in traffic. I knew this dumb idea would fail it doesn’t take a genius

    Comment by Nick — 4:23 pm October 1, 2012 #

  119. So, basically, this is how it’s going to be from now on. I boarded at Faunt. and AK after 9am and the bus was STILL standing room only.

    When Jeff says, “It can be difficult to predict how riders might change their habits during these first few days” I think he means, “When enough people get fed up and start driving instead it will get better.” Otherwise, the only cure I see is more buses and it sounds like there aren’t really any more to be added.

    I will switch to riding my bike – I should have been doing it anyway. Thanks, metro for giving me the motivation!

    ETA, OR, another cure – a “real” train…

    Comment by Jenava — 4:30 pm October 1, 2012 #

  120. Was great in the am going from WS to downtown then to lower Queen Anne but trying to get out of the city now is taking much, much longer…seems like alot of the riders have not educated themselves. The seats on these buses are not that great either.

    Comment by RJB — 4:33 pm October 1, 2012 #

  121. Do the math:

    fewer buses = crowded buses
    longer route = longer commute time
    less bus stops = more time lost in commute
    lousy bus service = drive to work

    Comment by joannbylincolnpark — 4:41 pm October 1, 2012 #

  122. @ Nick…completely AGREE!

    Comment by Train — 4:43 pm October 1, 2012 #

  123. I will say a lot of this was ways to deal with budget cuts… I don’t understand the comments like this helps the city… can someone explain how? A. the system is run by the county, not the city, and B. I don’t think making the citizens angry is in the county or city’s best interest. If you want a real mass transit system, let’s vote for one. Seattle Subway is working hard on this…

    Comment by Mark — 5:11 pm October 1, 2012 #

  124. Themightyrabbit and LivesinWS: One Bus Away service isn’t just for smart phones. You can get real time bus arrival info with a regular cell phone. Dial (206)456-0609 and follow the prompts. You need to type in the bus stop number on the bus stop sign.

    Comment by Kathy — 5:32 pm October 1, 2012 #

  125. Any word on how the high school students managed? Especially with the mess of the 22?

    Comment by happy — 5:45 pm October 1, 2012 #

  126. For the most part, I am all for the built out bus stops because people do NOT yield to buses. But the stops that totally block intersections, like the ones at Morgan Junction, are a major exception, and show total lack of competent traffic planning. They need to be ripped out – NOW.

    Comment by MC — 6:07 pm October 1, 2012 #

  127. Waiting at 3rd and Pike for 21Express, now the ONLY bus that serves my neighborhood – it never arrived. OneBusAway kept showing 3 21Es delayed. In the meantime, two local 21s and three CLines had passed by. Eventually, I just jumped on a 21 local, which will put me as close to home as possible but not without a long wait, much confusion, a nonexpress bus, and now a longer walk home. I really wanted to like this “improvement” but clearly this is not working,

    Comment by btracey — 6:38 pm October 1, 2012 #

  128. Seriously folks – complain much? It was the first “real” day. They knew there would be some kinks – it’s going to take time to work it out. Give it a chance before you say just how much it sucks, and if you must complain, maybe try constructive criticism rather than all out whining. It’s rather pathetic.

    Comment by HA — 6:42 pm October 1, 2012 #

  129. I don’t get why they couldn’t just make the 54 run more often. Metro would have saved a whole lot of money and there would be plenty of space on each bus. The only good thing about the Rapid Ride is that the bus stops are nicer and there is WIFI on the bus.

    Comment by David — 6:56 pm October 1, 2012 #

  130. HA

    This might be the first “real” day, but the plan was flawed from the start and many of us voiced our concerns when the plan first came out. RapidRide simply provides less capacity. the combo of the 54/55 that served the junction to/from downtown ran more often at peak times.

    Comment by sna — 7:59 pm October 1, 2012 #

  131. Does anyone know why Onebusaway has no real-time info for C line? Throughout today it always showed a C bus as arriving in 8 minutes… all the time!

    Since there is no published schedule, real-time info is the only way to find out when to leave to get to the stop. Just putting a fake ’8 minutes’ into the data feed is a very poor user experience (I am assuming that Metro is doing this as part of their ‘no need for a schedule’ RR policy). Rubbish. We need realtime info if people are to use the service.

    Comment by Moose2 — 8:07 pm October 1, 2012 #

  132. Btracey, how long overall did you wait for the 21x? What time of day was it? I got a ride home today, but tomorrow will need to take the 21x from downtown, so want an idea of what I might be up against.

    Comment by dapuffin — 8:14 pm October 1, 2012 #

  133. We could have been sailing above the streets in a monorail…

    Comment by AJP — 8:52 pm October 1, 2012 #

  134. i was at the Alaska Junction at 8:45am and waited until 9am for a bus which was standing room only. It left about 20 people at the junction. The bus then didn’t pick up anymore passengers but took the Delridge on-ramp?! It was so cramped I grabbed the overhead loop but the bus driver slammed on the brakes so hard I strained my shoulder trying to hold on and not crash into anyone.

    Comment by Single Mother — 9:29 pm October 1, 2012 #

  135. On the way home around 630 I waited 20 mins for a late bus that was already full when I got on at 3rd and Seneca- the second stop downtown!
    Definitely not a good system at all.’might just have to take a different bus to try to get to west Seattle and then walk.

    Comment by Anonymous — 10:44 pm October 1, 2012 #

  136. Patience my fellow west Seattlites. I’ve been on many 54x that were standing room only, same for the 54 and 22. And I’ve not been picked up before just like some of you. Sometimes change sucks. I’ve endured over two years of crazy commutes to sodo on the 22. Learn, plan, try some flexibility. We have great public transit. Pay for two months of driving alone, paying for parking and gas and having to drive (while missing your book/music/sodoku) and lets talk again. Metro is our ally, not the enemy. :-)

    Comment by Kyle — 11:22 pm October 1, 2012 #

  137. Metro is the enemy. I cant wait for it to SNOW, SNOW, and SNOW and see how these buses do.

    Comment by S — 9:52 am October 2, 2012 #

  138. I’ve been riding the bus for quite a while, and would love to support public transportation, but the whole system seems flawed.

    With the number of people loading and unloading at each stop, it’s not much faster, and with the crowd it’s no longer possible to break out a laptop and get work done while you are commuting.

    Monday, I’m back in my single driver vehicle to drop my commute by 1/3.

    Thanks blog for keeping the story, I hope to find out that they get things working again in the future.

    Comment by Shane — 5:54 pm October 3, 2012 #

  139. Eastbound California and Fauntleroy stop orca card scanner is faulty and has been all week. Buses are completely crowded and don’t come when they are supposed to and the seats on the bus are completely uncomfortable (when you can get one). They should call it RABID RIDE

    Comment by OR — 4:05 am October 6, 2012 #

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