(Wednesday afternoon photo, looking east on SW Alaska while northeast-bound on Fauntleroy Way)
All week, West Seattle bus riders have been reporting what they’re experiencing, in the first week of RapidRide C Line service and other Metro changes. It’s now weekday #4, and we’re again inviting you to share your experiences. One note: On Tuesday night, Metro shared some responses to the ongoing concerns, including an overview of which routes are available for getting into and out of West Seattle. They’ve sent an updated PDF with working links, so if you weren’t able to use the previous (docx) version, try this.
9:37 AM UPDATE: Just a note for later-in-the-commute riders – there were delays around 8:45-9 am that you can’t blame on the bus system:
That’s our photo looking at the northbound lanes on 35th while the north-south signal at 35th/Avalon was stuck on “red.” We started getting messages about the problem after 8:30 and headed over to check it out; around 9 am, a police officer arrived and started directing traffic, but several buses were stuck for a while.
2:44 PM UPDATE: Even before we could check in with Metro for an update, we’ve received one from spokesperson Jeff Switzer:
Thursday morning we had two full RapidRide C Line buses that had to pass stops in West Seattle, but we had two standby RapidRide buses added at key times to help serve that peak commute time demand. Things continue to work into a more reliable rhythm for riders and bus operators.
We have two standby buses available Thursday afternoon also, and coordinators are actively monitoring demand with plans to add the buses when needed. This could occur when they see delays in the system from congestion, or when buses fill up more than expected. We continue to analyze demand, knowing that delays and ridership can be dynamic day to day.
On Friday, we again will have two standby buses and a transit coordinator tracking when best to add them to serve transit demand and keep the service operating.
5:29 PM UPDATE: And we’ve heard from County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who we’d contacted earlier today to ask for his take on how things have been playing out – he represents West Seattle (and surrounding areas) on the County Council, and is a member of its Transportation Committee:
Like many West Seattle residents, I am closely watching the implementation of the recent service changes, particularly the RapidRide C line. I rode the line into work and back home again on Monday and saw the overcrowding firsthand. It does appear that are some unanticipated loads during these early days of implementation.
I have been in contact with Kevin Desmond and Metro on a daily basis. He has shared with me the same plan of action that I believe he has shared with you. Metro has added two additional fleet buses plus two cover buses for peak times, tapped into the service hour reserve pot and continues to count passengers at peak times to better inform our next steps.
I recognize this was a somewhat rough start to the beginning of this service, but I hope the additional coaches and service hours will help relieve the congestion. I will continue to keep an eye on this.