RapidRide C Line, 7 weeks in: Metro’s questionnaire for you

November 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

Every weekday (and some weekend days) since Metro debuted RapidRide C Line, riders have had discussions here on WSB about how it’s going. Metro’s made some tweaks. And now they want to know how it’s working for you. They’ve answered some frequently-asked questions, and launched a questionnaire to ask YOU some questions, with this online update (it includes the questionnaire link). Meantime, we’re continuing the daily discussions here too – every day, we launch a TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TRACKER story in the morning, and it’s the place to bring up any issues (as well as traffic reports); you’ll find it linked atop the WSB sidebar by 6:45 or so in the morning. (Today’s format was a little different because of the crazy weather.)

25 Comments

  1. I encourage everyone to respond and be thorough. It’s our only hope, I guess.

    Comment by Chris W — 7:09 pm November 19, 2012 #

  2. The bottom line on this whole changeover for me has been, there is no longer a schedule. I used to be able to use One Bus Away and Metro’s own schedule to determine when to leave my apartment and head off to the bus stop. No Longer. The C/D line has no schedule. It shows up whenever it wants to. Sometimes this is 15 minutes apart, but most times it is 2 minutes apart and then no bus for half a hour. They don’t use time checks any longer.

    One Bus Away does not show the schedule for the C/D line and they tell me it’s because Metro refuses to provide the info. Why is that?

    The result for me, Instead of 3 to 5 minute wait for bus 54 or 55, now you never know how long you will will be waiting. When the C/D line finally shows up, the idea of being able to sit down is remote at best. This used to only happen at the very peak times before the changeover. Now it’s almost every bus ride on the C/D line as far as my experience shows.

    Do two things… 1, make a schedule for the C/D line JUST LIKE ALL OTHER BUSES. 2, put more C/D buses into service. There are not enough seats.

    Comment by Dan — 7:29 pm November 19, 2012 #

  3. …a little bird told me that red line RapidRide should be up & running on OBA “soon” (that’s my biggest issue/complain right now).

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 7:35 pm November 19, 2012 #

  4. I agree with the scheduling confusion with the C/D routes. One never knows exactly when the bus will come, and sometimes they’re 15-20 minutes apart. Oddly sometimes there’s another bus 1 minute behind the last one. Unpredictable and too few seats.

    Comment by justme — 8:42 pm November 19, 2012 #

  5. I still cannot believe metro won’t supply schedules and real-time info for C line. Every other bus schedule is on OBA, they must be doing something to deliberately break OBA (Sound Transit do the same thing with Central Link, by the way, since they also don’t want to publish schedules or provide real-time info). I hate having to take the C line because I never know how long I’ll have to wait in the cold (and today – rain) and without a schedule it is impossible to co-ordinate the transfer to a 50 at the junction.
    .
    It is really sad that Metro cannot do that one simple thing to improve customer satisfaction with C line. There still has been no answer to why they don’t provide schedules or real-time info (the page above says they are working on it – but the first RR started in 2010, 2 years to get real-time info is terrible).
    .
    Anyway I filled in the form. I am glad to see they appear to be listening, but I wish they could just provide schedules and real-time info as requested many, many times without any success.

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:32 pm November 19, 2012 #

  6. Dan and Moose2 summed it up perfectly. An answer as to why they don’t want to provide real-time info is the key to unlocking the mystery.

    Comment by Tuesday — 10:11 pm November 19, 2012 #

  7. For one bus away, C line buses ETA are given for buses very early in the morning (before the every 10 minute schedule starts).

    This is proof that Metro is actively not supplying ETA for C line buses for most of the day and night.

    Comment by yo — 10:57 pm November 19, 2012 #

  8. There is an app called Transit Times+ that has the schedules for every stop listed, including the Rapid Ride. They are not real-time tracking, However they are the published schedules from Metro. I have found the inbound times to be quite accurate. The outbound however is likely accurate, but the buses staying on schedule is a toss up at best. It is not quite as user friendly as OBA, however OBA is useless for the time being regarding RR. Just thought I would offer up an alternative that may help in the meantime. I have been going nuts without OBA.

    Comment by Kevin — 11:02 pm November 19, 2012 #

  9. I starting riding the B line in Bellevue when it started. All the same problems continue over there. Either two buses together at once or none for up to 1/2 hour in my experience.

    Saw this mess coming for us in W.Seattle. Switched over to driving for the first month. Just gave them a (fair) piece of my mind on the questionnaire.

    The only thing better about the B line in Bellevue compared to the C line here, is the onebusaway is marginally more accurate. And I say marginally since there seem to be many hit and misses. But a smartphone is the only way to track these rapid rides.

    The only saving grace is the 550 express by sound transit. Makes dealing with unrapid rides more tolerable. And that one is more crowded than ever too!

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 11:21 pm November 19, 2012 #

  10. btw those expecting schedules won’t ever get it. that’s not how it operates. all that you can hope for is getting the real time info working better. the definition of the rapidride is enough buses not to need a schedule. we need to keep metro on notice on this point alone unless the SLA truly is every 10 mins during peak, in…real time…

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 11:24 pm November 19, 2012 #

  11. From what I understand Metro has provided the data needed to OBA for real time tracking, but OBA is still working on integrating it into the system so that it’s reliable. I’m going to email this thread to OBA and request a comment :)

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 3:55 am November 20, 2012 #

  12. I sent a letter (via their email comment page) to Metro two weeks ago with detailed information about my experiences since 9/29, I also included a few suggestions about what could be improved. I have also filled out this questionnaire. I keep soldiering on – and pray for a mild winter so as not to be standing around in the cold waiting for the RR that never seems to come……

    Comment by gatewoodsue — 10:11 am November 20, 2012 #

  13. If you’re upset that more people are standing on the new buses, you should probably be aware that this was Metro’s intent… The newer buses have fewer seats, but are supposed to be able to accommodate more people standing — and thus more people on each run.
    .
    In hard budget times like this, it’s a simple way to move more people with the same cost for vehicle and driver.

    Comment by Mickymse — 12:57 pm November 20, 2012 #

  14. Dan, I sent that exact same sentiment to Metro last week on their online form. I’m so glad to see similar posts here! Will fill out the survey as well. I also wondered whether it was an issue of the OBA app, but added that if it is, or if there’s an alternative, I’d love to simply see an explanation of that on their site.

    Comment by Jill — 1:50 pm November 20, 2012 #

  15. I would like to know why they are using one bus for a continuous schedule. From C line to D line then D line to C line. This route is too long and doesn’t properly account for mid-town traffic. Why doesn’t C line start and end in downtown and travel to White Center and D line start and end downtown to Ballard? Rapid line is not living up to its expectations. at 2:40 pm I was in an over crowded bus, standing room only from Downtown to West Seattle on Monday, November 19, 2012. Now I am hearing that the 560 bus to the Airport wants to stop coming to West Seattle and end at White Center. I will now have to take three buses to get to work. And what’s worse is I will have to take and UNSCHEDULED C line bus from the Junction to White Center, take a scheduled bus from White Center to the Airport, then catch and UNSCHEDULED A line to 200th Ave and International Blvd. What do you think my chances of getting that done in under two hours (14 Miles By the Way)? Not real good. Time to invest in a car.

    Comment by Stevan Martinez — 3:35 pm November 20, 2012 #

  16. It doesn’t really matter if OBA is available or not, as long as the buses run irregularly. I’ve waited 30 minutes downtown for a C line twice now. I guess it’s nice to know how long your wait is going to be; it would be even nicer to have buses every 10-15 minutes as promised. As Stevan pointed out, it doesn’t make much sense to have to catch an unscheduled bus while trying to connect with multiple other scheduled routes.

    Comment by anonyme — 5:53 pm November 20, 2012 #

  17. For more info on lack of schedules for RR and no OBA info, see this post at Seattle Transit Blog. http://seattletransitblog.com/2012/11/20/rapidride-c-d-no-schedule-no-onebusaway/
    .
    In summary, Metro don’t care (or at least, whoever makes these sorts of decisions doesn’t care). No schedules, they blame OBA for lack of info (even though every other route but RR is on OBA). Truly appalling.
    .
    It is so frustrating that they don’t and won’t listen. I am totally sadly by the attitude that customers/riders aren’t important.

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:12 pm November 20, 2012 #

  18. Just got back from the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting with extensive transit discussion that was, to say the least, all over the map. Every issue imaginable including that one. Going to do my best to get the report up sooner rather than later.

    Comment by WSB — 9:14 pm November 20, 2012 #

  19. Speaking on West Seattle Crime Prevention – There’s nothing like waiting outside for 1/2 an hour for a bus that says “rob me!” or, at the very least “come up and harass me!”

    Comment by New Bus Rider — 10:52 pm November 20, 2012 #

  20. Who cares if one bus away works? I don’t use one bus away. How hard would it be to print a schedule? Answer: must be pretty easy, if Metro already does it for ALL OTHER ROUTES BUT RAPIDRIDE! Why are they not listening?

    Comment by West Seattle Wilker — 12:12 am November 22, 2012 #

  21. The printed schedules are confusing, and the buses don’t run on schedule anyway. The schedules for the #21 and #22 are abysmal, at least in terms of service to Arbor Heights. There’s no way to glean directional info from the schedule, and numerous side notes and codes must be referenced to get even the vaguest estimate of time and place. They don’t include route specific info related to reduced weekday/holiday/ service either, just a generic announcement.

    Comment by anonyme — 9:24 am November 22, 2012 #

  22. Ooh ! My route 54 is gone ? The new coaches have way fewer seats, overloads and standing is a regular and guaranteed occurence during off-peak times, those bull**** displays show when the bus is “Due”, but will never how OVERdue the bus is ? … Oh, pinch me, I’m dreaming. *** RR C Line is a COLOSSAL disappointment, and is almost enough to make me get in a car and drive like an SOV. Thanks, SS

    Comment by Stuart S. — 10:41 am November 22, 2012 #

  23. Monday Nov.26 – at 8:12 a.m. TWO rapid rides showed up at the SAME time at the Junction, but the reader board indicated the RR wouldn’t show up for another 6 minutes, rendering those things undependable. At the exact same time, the 55 showed up (on schedule). This is really causing delays in getting to work, anyone who barely missed one of those 3 busses would have had to wait too long for the next one. Last week at the Junction ZERO RR’s showed up for over ten minutes, but the trusty 55 did, which immediately filled to standing room, picking up all the RR would-be riders.

    Comment by anne — 9:17 am November 26, 2012 #

  24. Light rail.

    Comment by WorldCitizen — 10:17 am November 27, 2012 #

  25. Amen to light rail. I have experienced the C Line bus going past the 2nd and Columbia stop several times because it was too full to stop. Never had that problem with the 54. Anyone at metro interested in explaining how this is an improvement?

    Comment by Mike — 5:26 pm November 30, 2012 #

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