As-it-happened coverage: Metro briefing on potential cuts – including routes facing ‘deletion’ – if $ doesn’t come through

November 7, 2013 at 11:01 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 129 Comments


(What the bus network in our area would look like AFTER the cuts, IF they have to be made – click for full-size view)
11:01 AM: We’re at Metro Transit‘s SODO base awaiting a briefing on the cuts that are expected in service if there’s not what at this point would amount to a last-minute funding miracle – even as the Legislature starts its special session. Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond is here, and County Executive Dow Constantine is expected at any moment. We’ll update with details as they are announced. We have a stack of printed-out documents already, listing among other things (following list was updated post-meeting, with links to route-specific proposal info):

West Seattle routes among the routes countywide that would be deleted:
21 (click on the number on this page for info)
22 (click on the number on this page for info)
37 (click on the number on this page for info)
57 (click on the number on this page for info)
113 (click on the number on this page for info)

West Seattle routes among the routes countywide that would be “reduced/revised”:
Rapid Ride C Line – details
50 – details
55 – details
56EX – details
116EX – details
120 – details
125 – details
128 – details
131 – details

11:05 AM: Constantine begins by saying “Thank you for being here today, but we should not have to be here today.” He says the Legislature “has a unique opportunity to do what it wasn’t willing to do last year … let us prevent cuts to bus service … The size of these cuts is without precedent in the 40-year history of Metro Transit.” Transit service “is congestion reduction,” he said, adding that he is headed to Olympia in minutes “to present the case to lawmakers (who) need to act now – it will be dramatically more difficult to do so during next year’s regular session … I want our Legislature to be different from Congress; I want our Legislature to *work*.”

(11:08) Constantine says that this is a time for MORE bus service, not less, before he gives the mike to County Council Transportation Committee chair Larry Phillips, who points to the non-moving buses in the parking lot out the window (photo added)

“That is the future (you) will see … buses idle, parked, not serving the public, drivers laid off … riders left stranded, passed by, buses very full, overcrowded, that is our pending reality … one we have held off for five years by a significant number of actions by (county leaders).” Service already is overcrowded and riders ‘are fed up with traffic and congestion’ so cutting service is ‘exactly the wrong direction for us,” Phillips warns. “Yet the council has no choice – we have to balance our budget …” He says the county already has found $800 million in efficiencies, fare hikes, one-time monies, etc., to “fill the (funding) gap,” but they have “no more way in which to stave off 17 percent cuts in service … now all that’s left is cutting service unless we have new revenue. The council would like to give the voters of King County that choice.” He adds, “If the Legislature does not act, we will have to explore other options. … People across King County are about to find out what not having a bus will mean to them.” Next, Metro GM Desmond will speak.

11:13 AM: Desmond begins. He goes into the sales-tax-funding mechanism that’s been in crisis for years. He reiterates that “we’ve been working for five years to keep service on the road” but a $75 million “challenge” remains. “Absent new revenue, we will have to proceed with an unprecedented downsizing of the system. … Instead of (doing that) we really should be growing the system.” He says there is documentation (we’ll add a link to that) showing why. He points to a chart showing that transit should grow by “almost 90 percent” by 2040 but “we’re falling behind, not getting ahead.”

**If you want to skip ahead, the Metro docs about cuts and more are now online here**

Desmond mentions a 42 percent increase in growth along the Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor, “most of that coming from West Seattle, Burien area.” He mentions that Rapid Ride is already “very very crowded” along the four lines launched so far. “As jobs continue to come to this very vital part of the United States, it will be a tremendous setback to the economy of this region if Metro Transit” has to make cuts like these. He mentions that employers offer transit passes a benefit “because they know the value of transit to their employees … in an incredibly competitive environment as they try to get the best and brightest to come (here).” Desmond mentions systems to the north and south that have “already cut a third of their systems.” He again mentions the $800 million that Metro has already ‘generated to help keep service on the road.’ (Added: Here’s the breakdown.)

11:20 AM: Desmond continues with a reminder that the Congestion Reduction Charge, which staved off earlier cuts, expires next year. “There is good news (though) – the economy is improving and our sales-tax collections have been growing somewhat faster than expected … but make no mistake, that increase doesn’t come anywhere near close to resolving our problem, especially in the context of the need to continue growing our system.”

Now, he gets to the proposed cuts. “The program calls for 600,000 hours or 17 percent of the system potentially to be reduced.” See them here. He says productivity, social-equity, and geographic considerations were involved in making the decisions. “All of the routes you’ll see … are ranked in tiers, high, medium, and low …” Most of the cuts, though, are “cutting deeply to the bone” in services ranked “medium.” Metro has 240 routes; 74 routes will “be deleted altogether, 35 percent of the system – the routes, gone. Another 107 routes, 50 percent of the routes, will have some kind of service reduction,” he says, either schedule changes or ‘pieces of a route’ might be cut off. (The walls here are swimming in pie charts, posters with route numbers and big X’s on them, by the way [photo added].)

He says, “The vast majority of our customers will almost certainly feel negative effects.” (Various maps are up around the room, too.) “42 percent of the reductions will be taken for peak-only service,” Desmond adds. “In many cases … many of the routes you’ll see deleted are well-used routes, but they’re very expensive to operate … if we don’t eliminate those services, we’d have to cut some place else.”

The cuts, he said, would add up to about 50,000 fewer transit trips per day – 14 million per year – and those are trips currently taking cars off the road; “with these cuts, we would estimate something like 20,000 or 30,000 more car trips on the road in King County … loss of these trips will slow highway travel …” (There’s another chart up on an easel detailing that – see it here. Lots and lots of numbers here.) Either the state would have to build more lanes “at a tremendous cost” or else the roads “won’t work any more,” and he warns that would affect industry tremendously. The cuts would “bring our service back to 1997 levels,” but since that time, King County has grown 22 percent in population, according to Desmond.

11:29 AM: Desmond goes on to mention the other funding/service loss – Alaskan Way Viaduct mitigation service added because of construction. “In order to keep Seattle moving … (the state) understood they had to (pay for more bus service).” That led to 7,500 seats, 150 daily trips, being added to the system. “That service contract expires prematurely in June of next year,” Desmond said, as has been noted before. They want the state to extend that “at least until the tunnel is open in 2016 … For West Seattle transit riders, we’ll have an instantaneous reduction of 11 percent of service in June, on top of the cuts that area of the county would experience through the systemwide reductions.” So, he says, they are kicking off an extensive public-outreach process. “We want our customers to understand how we made these decisions – they are objective and transparent and anyone can see the homework (behind them).” He says nine “large public meetings” will be held throughout the county plus “more than 30 additional outreach events” and they’ll be “open to other invitations.”They will have a van going around “on the fly.” And they want people to check out the website we linked earlier – kingcounty.gov/metro/future – to find out more about this, route by route, among other ways. They want to hear from you, Desmond emphasizes.

“When is all this going to happen?” he says you’re likely wondering. First, he says, they are hopeful the special session will result in action. If not – April 1st is when they’ll deliver the 600,000-service-hours-cut proposal to the County Council, depending on how their March economic forecast comes out, “based on our finances at that time.” By end of May/early June the reductions would be approved, and then after that, starting in September 2014, February 2015, June 2015, September 2015, is when the cuts would kick in, “by installment.” But “the timing can remain fluid,” Desmond said.

“In closing … we should be growing by half a million hours, 15 percent, to keep the county moving … I want to assure the public we’ll continue to take steps to be as efficient as possible .. but .. at some point the only way to balance the budget, is to affect the bus service. … We also urge the state to work with us to stave off the Viaduct-related cuts (too).”

11:37 AM: Desmond takes questions. First one – what EXACTLY are they looking for in a funding package? He says, what was recommended to the Legislature almost a year ago by a coalition of organizations. And he reminds, it’s not just about holding off cuts – it’s about allowing the service to grow. It was in HB 1959, which was passed last session (but died in the Senate). Councilmember Phillips elaborates on the voter approval that would be needed – this mostly is about the Legislature authorizing the county to ask voters to approve funding. He doesn’t have a specific sum; “right now we just need the authority to move forward and fill this gap.” What was asked about before equaled something like $150 per $10,000 of vehicle value. Desmond steps in to remind that the tax would NOT be just for Metro – voters would be asked for taxing authority that also would pay for local roads (the County Roads department, for example, is so low on funding, some roads are going into non-maintained status – those are county roads, outside the Seattle city limits, by the way, including White Center just south of West Seattle).

TAKE NOTE – Meeting schedule includes:
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, 6 pm December 3rd

Elaborating on the traffic effects of bus cuts, Phillips says 90 percent of Metro riders are believed to have access to cars. Drivers are making a decision about their “congestion future” if they even get a chance to vote on potential.

P.S. We asked Desmond if the numbers on the documents include the potential expiration of the Viaduct-related service (which heavily affects West Seattle) as well as the other money – he says yes. A staffer says that overall, West Seattle would lose 27 percent of its current bus service combining the 17 percent potential funding loss systemwide and the Viaduct-mitigation money loss.

11:52 AM: Briefing’s over. We will add more links, more maps and other graphics directly to this to cut down on the amount of wading through the website that you would have to do otherwise. For starters – here is a direct link to the map showing potential service reductions in our area.

2:50 PM: We’ve added numerous links as well as photos/graphics above, with more information route-by-route. In case you missed the links in the comments, we also have some backstory – earlier this year, the stage for this was set by another announcement we covered as-it-happened – that link is here; six weeks later, we had a one-on-one interview with Metro GM Desmond answering some of the questions readers asked then (and are asking again now) – see it here.

129 Comments

  1. So what they are saying is they are going to “delete” or “reduce” most of the services to West Seattle?

    Comment by Service Dog Academy — 11:12 am November 7, 2013 #

  2. The cuts should start at the top! Salaries are way too high for Metro brass and there are too many of them! And stop spending thousands on “surveys” and studies. And quit spending $$$$ on things like “bus bulbs” and fancy signs. Two of the routes listed as up for deletion are the only two anywhere near my neighborhood. As a retiree, I will find it hard to get around without driving.

    Comment by Mike — 11:12 am November 7, 2013 #

  3. This is totally devastating. What in the hell do they expect us to do?

    Comment by AmandaKH — 11:12 am November 7, 2013 #

  4. HORRIBLE! Thank God someone at metro revamped and got shiny buses for rapid ride. Wonder how much that ran metro? I am grateful that the city has millions to spend on a stupid bike lane! Want revenue…make cyclists get licensed & pay for tabs!! This is asinine and someone’s getting paid to make these decisions. God bless America.

    Comment by craig — 11:18 am November 7, 2013 #

  5. Are you kidding me? The 21 is a pretty important route as it goes right through the central West Seattle corridor. Just don’t get how other neighborhoods (Ballard, Greenwood, Fremont, Capitol Hill) in Seattle have so many more options for getting from point A to point B and here in West Seattle we keep getting the short end of the stick!

    Comment by Concerned Commuter — 11:21 am November 7, 2013 #

  6. Join the Coalition! Meeting on:
    *
    November 12th (this Tuesday!)
    Highpoint Neighborhood House
    6:30 – 9:00pm
    *
    http://www.westseattletc.org

    Comment by AmandaKH — 11:23 am November 7, 2013 #

  7. Over-priced signage, street degradation projects and overpaid management are all elements. But has anyone considered “raise fares to break-even” as a possible option?

    Comment by GC — 11:27 am November 7, 2013 #

  8. So they’re essentially looking to get rid of all routes to/from West Seattle? I take the 55/56/57 everyday. I will no longer have a way to get to and from work…

    Comment by Rachel — 11:30 am November 7, 2013 #

  9. WOW! Combining less bus service with all the new projects and development without parking really makes no sense. Less bus service ensures more cars and less confidence in public transit. Yes, change and growth are inevitable but there are ways to grow and change that are looking at the larger ‘system’ and implications- planning and designing projects in a balanced, conscious, creative, and care-full way. Healthy cities move people from place to place efficiently. There seems to be very little coordination and this plan is so short-sighted and not very smart.

    Comment by JO — 11:33 am November 7, 2013 #

  10. It sure as heck looks like it, Service Dog Academy! I live between Fauntleroy and 35th and will now have to either walk half a mile to either the 21x stop or a Rapid Ride stop or take two buses to get to my job downtown. Not sure how they consider the 21 and 116x duplicate or underutilized. These cuts will leave wide swaths of West Seattle underserved by transit.

    Comment by JLS — 11:34 am November 7, 2013 #

  11. Amanda – what they expect you to do is put pressure on the Legislature to solve the funding crisis, in a nutshell. House passed it last year; Senate was the sticking point.

    Comment by WSB — 11:39 am November 7, 2013 #

  12. Tracy – We are TOTALLY working on it. And even more so now than ever.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 11:47 am November 7, 2013 #

  13. So basically you cannot get downtown anymore from West Seattle. My daughter rides the 21 every day to get to school on 3rd & Columbia……….The C Line routes and stops are so far away from each other and the buses will now become overcrowded. Metro needs to figure this out – cuz this sucks.

    Comment by Linda — 11:49 am November 7, 2013 #

  14. The bus bulbs and signage for Rapid Ride came from a grant (from the feds?), not from the Metro budget. I agree that they misspent that money — massive PR, shelters that don’t really shelter, and we’re still missing card readers in the downtown core (what’s going on with that?) — but it wasn’t necessarily diverted from other places. And they do spend money on the studies and doing up maps to show where cuts will be; that’s a public benefit that I wouldn’t want cut. In the pre-Web days you’d get a pamphlet tucked in the schedule boxes on your bus, at least if any were left, to find out about schedule/route changes.

    I knew the 50 route, which lets me bypass downtown to get from my house north of the Junction to Georgetown with one bus transfer, wouldn’t last forever in its current state with more cuts. It’s too handy!

    Comment by MightyMoh — 11:50 am November 7, 2013 #

  15. Other states have income tax that helps pay for transit. Relying on sales tax in this day and age is futile with so many people making purchases through online retailers which often don’t collect local (WA) taxes if they are based out of state. How can we effectively fund our transportation services like this? Not to mention that this trend of shopping online is also negatively affecting our local economy with small brick and mortar businesses no longer able to compete and shutting down. All we will be left with are generic national store chains taking over our neighborhoods.

    Comment by Concerned Commuter — 11:57 am November 7, 2013 #

  16. @Mike, none of that would close a 75 million dollar gap. At some point we’ll have to pay for increased service or they will have to reduce it. Driving a bus all the way out to West Seattle to then turn around and go downtown isn’t worth the cost (ridership fare just doesn’t cover it), vs driving around the downtown core or further north where you have a constant stream of customers on and off each block.

    Comment by EdSane — 11:57 am November 7, 2013 #

  17. while the bus service cuts are significant for many, incl. seniors and riders with disabilities, be aware that if bus service is cut, Access Transportation paratransit service for people whose disabilities prevent use of bus service may also be cut. Per Metro’s FAQs:
    .
    ‘If the proposed 17-percent service reductions are imposed on the fixed-route system, Access service may also face reductions.
    There may also be an increased demand on Access service. The proposed bus service cuts eliminate bus routes, increase spacing between bus stops, and reduce service frequency and span, resulting in more crowding on buses. For some bus riders with disabilities, any one of these factors may make using the bus impossible, resulting in eligible riders shifting to Access.’
    .
    I think Metro should be more specific about the nature of these potential Access cuts and should be saying ‘bus and paratransit cuts’ rather than just ‘bus cuts’. For details on the relationship between bus service and paratransit, see http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/accessible/programs/paratransit.html

    Comment by metrognome — 11:59 am November 7, 2013 #

  18. What they are proposing to do to West Seattle bus service is maddening, and at a time when they seem to want to encourage everybody to switch to transit (and are creating many new homes without parking because of our “great” transit). I recently moved, and no longer have a car. I purposely moved near the Alaska Junction so I could get around easily by bus and not have to replace my car. But these changes are going to significantly affect me (and many others). I have a handicapped placard and could park downtown on the street all day long for free while I work, but I rarely do that because I feel it’s not the responsible thing to do when the bus is right near my house and easy for a commute. But they very well may push me into buying a car and then doing just that. Good job getting us out of our cars and onto transit – not!

    Comment by Sue — 12:08 pm November 7, 2013 #

  19. MightyMoh, they’ve been doing some construction at some of the Rapid Ride stops downtown, and when they were done a week or so ago they left large orange cones over something that looks like it might end up being a card reader – I haven’t read anything about that, but that’s been my assumption (and hope).

    Comment by Sue — 12:12 pm November 7, 2013 #

  20. MightyMo – They are in the process of installing ORCA Readers in the downtown area, and you are right, most of the Rapid Ride $ came from the Feds. I would like to know why the WS foot ferry survives the chopping block. I’m sure many people love it, but it can’t pay for itself any better than a bus.

    Comment by Brian — 12:15 pm November 7, 2013 #

  21. Ed Sane, I disagree, driving from WS to Downtown and back is worth the cost since it is packed all the time. Notice there are no cuts to the A or B Lines, why not? I kinda have a beef with large number of Cap Hill buses since those routes are also walkable for most people. Here is how those turn out: 10-no cuts, 11-loses two late night hours, 12-Cap Hill portion deleted (amazing), 43-loses one late night hour, 47 and 49-not even mentioned (strange). These buses are rarely full in the first place but all are relatively untouched. WS? Fire-sale. BS, call their bluff. And doesn’t Desmond live in Pierce County? How does he get to work?

    Comment by CandrewB — 12:20 pm November 7, 2013 #

  22. It’s time to organize on MULTIPLE levels. West Seattle in particular is no longer going to be everyone’s whipping boy.
    .
    Join the West Seattle Transportation Coalition: http://www.westseattletc.org/
    .
    Find the WSTC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westseattletc
    .
    We’re now District 1 in the city. Join other District 1 leaders to discuss issues here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/seattledistrict1/
    .
    Find YOUE neighborhood group and council. We have WWRHAH. Almost every neighborhood has one. If yours doesn’t, organize one. If your neighborhood is too small to make one, join with others to make one. It’s time to remind everyone from City Hall to the County offices to Olympia that they’re not in charge–they’re executors of our wishes.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 12:29 pm November 7, 2013 #

  23. I can not see the 50 in the Alki Neighborhood on this Map. Are they going to take away from us the only connection during the day as well?
    I ride the 37 quite often, and I am wondering everyday, why the 37 arrives around 3 min after the water taxi is scheduled to leave. If the 37 started 5 to 10 min earlier at the junction, it could also serve as connection bus to the Water taxi for people living on that route.
    So many buses are driving empty to or from West Seattle from or to West Seattle because of all the Xpress buses. I can’t imagine this is more cost and gas efficient than run these f.e. 56 buses both ways with passengers.

    Comment by mela — 12:29 pm November 7, 2013 #

  24. Metro labor unions must have some $ to spare…

    Comment by Seattlite — 12:32 pm November 7, 2013 #

  25. DO NOT Feel guilty voters!! They had more than enough money.

    I want Dow and Larry to personally answer these questions:

    How much did they spend on the bloated road destroying monster busses?
    How much did they spend on the brilliant WiFi system?
    How much did they spend tearing up our roads to install congestion islands?
    How much did they spend on the failed traffic signal control system?

    There are numerous lighter busses that are easier on roads and carry just as many people while burning less fuel and yet they spent millions on these new oil-dripping boat anchors.

    Spending money on the failed wifi system was an obvious miss-use of public monies

    Destroying and congesting intersections like Fauntleroy at California (Morgan Junction) was VERY expensive. I was actually hoping Murray would undo some of that nonsense.

    There has never been good function for the so-called driver controlled traffic signal system.

    Fire them all and salvage what’s left. If we approve any more public money for Metro it should be only after we fire all the clowns who wasted millions up to now.

    Oh well, at least our monorail money bought us a lovely park for a taco truck.

    Comment by MotoMike — 12:33 pm November 7, 2013 #

  26. So the city approved building 1900 new apartments in WS with reduced parking in those buildings so people would use transit, then they cut transit. Good Plan

    Comment by Dave — 12:34 pm November 7, 2013 #

  27. You’ll really scratch your head when you see the techy new orca card readers/one bus away kiosks through the downtown corridor.

    Comment by McFail — 12:39 pm November 7, 2013 #

  28. Part of the reason I bought the house I did was close proximity to the 57. A lot of people near me will be SOL when it comes to commuting via transit as well. That route is well-used by a number of my neighbors.

    I already have to walk a mile from where the 57 drops me off downtown to my office. If it goes away, it’ll be another mile from my house to the (horrifically overcrowded and possibly even moreso after cuts) RapidRide. If that happens I will drive again, and we’ll have yet another car on the bridge, and even worse backups. I’m not going to spend over an hour walking and bussing each way.

    Figure it out, legislators. This is absurd.

    Comment by sven — 12:43 pm November 7, 2013 #

  29. For the Route 50 question:

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/PDFs/changes/route-050.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 12:46 pm November 7, 2013 #

  30. @craig… I’m a cyclist and I would support fee if it would help but I doubt it would put a dent into the 75 Million since my bike weighs next nothing. How would school children pay? just curious?

    I dont think you thought your comment through.

    Comment by WSEA — 12:46 pm November 7, 2013 #

  31. This is the part where your Dad says that if you don’t do your homework, you’re grounded. This is not a positive proposal, this is a doomsday scenario designed to get people off their butts and fund transit. It’s supposed to be ridiculous.

    Comment by Curtis — 1:00 pm November 7, 2013 #

  32. Perhaps a private operator or the Chamber can launch a break-even or for-profit private shuttle service…replace the costly behemoths with affordable right-size transit…

    Comment by GC — 1:01 pm November 7, 2013 #

  33. That the 21 is on the chopping block is very upsetting to me. I live in Sunrise Heights and it is the only route I use to go downtown (for occasional shopping, medical visits, etc). I don’t understand how Metro can go from fairly recently expanding service midday from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes and now they’re talking about deleting it altogether. If this proposal goes through, it looks like taking the 50 and transferring to the C-line (or Link rail?) will be my only option for going downtown. I have a car, but I prefer to take the bus so I don’t have to deal with traffic and parking. If the reduced frequency and need to transfer significantly adds to the time it takes me to get downtown, I will go back to driving. So much for reducing congestion!

    Comment by Amy — 1:09 pm November 7, 2013 #

  34. Not sure what is dumber. Cutting these routes or the proposal for requiring 3 people for the carpool lane on I-405

    Comment by Wes C. Addle — 1:20 pm November 7, 2013 #

  35. Anyone else find the timing of this announcement incredibly hilarious? Election tuesday, proposed bus cuts on thursday. Hmmm… Whew! I kept my job. Now the bad news. You have to buy a car and drive to work.

    Comment by Tuesday — 1:22 pm November 7, 2013 #

  36. Seattle needs to either stop pretending to be a bona fide city or to act like one. Real cities don’t run on SOVs (single-occupancy vehicles) – they have transit. Of course, all the Seattlites who won’t give up their SOVs would have to change their ways IF Seattle ever got its act together and got some real, functional transit. Why can’t Seattle figure out that it can’t grow under this everyone-owns-a-house-and-drives-alone strategy?

    Seattle seems hellbent on perpetuating its own demise (or at least its arrested development).

    Comment by AE — 1:22 pm November 7, 2013 #

  37. Tuesday – This announcement didn’t come out of nowhere. This is what Metro/KC announced April 1st would happen if the Legislature didn’t act. So, the Legislature didn’t act. Here’s our April 1st coverage of what set the stage for today:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/04/potential-metro-transit-cuts-65-bus-routes-face-elimination/
    .
    In terms of timing, of course this is meant to get the Legislature’s attention as it reconvenes. But it’s been seven months in the making.
    .
    Also, six weeks after that, we had a one-on-one interview with Metro’s GM answering many of the questions that emerged:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/05/metro-money-mess-transit-systems-leader-makes-his-case/
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:26 pm November 7, 2013 #

  38. @curtis I agree 100% The absurdity of deleting the 21 is akin to closing things that impact the most people during the federal gov. shutdown (which I didn’t notice at all despite their best efforts). This whole situation is laughable.

    Comment by Tuesday — 1:28 pm November 7, 2013 #

  39. @WSB I don’t doubt that it was a long time in the making, but regardless, they sure as heck didn’t announce it on Monday before the election. They wanted the legislators attention on Thursday, not the voters attention on Tuesday.

    Comment by Tuesday — 1:35 pm November 7, 2013 #

  40. 33% of the $75M “challenge” is currently being used to provide DUPLICATE service to West Seattle in the form of the King County Water Taxi District! I say duplicate service because what does the water taxi do that a bus doesn’t? In 2013 water taxi budget, they forecast $1.4M revenue in the form of fares, $8.5M in “operating expenses” & “total expenses” of $25.134M. So the fares generate ~16% of the operating expenses and ~5.5% of the total expenses. The figures are similar for the proposed 2014 budget.
    How much would $25M do to reduce the service cuts to West Seattle? We should INSIST that that duplication of service be eliminated.
    I realize that some of the Water Taxi budget goes to the Vashon Island service but again that is
    duplicated by the Washington State Ferry system.

    Comment by flynlo — 1:36 pm November 7, 2013 #

  41. This isn’t a worst-case scenario, but a very real one. If anyone was watching what happened last year to Tacoma’s bus system, which was decimated, it’s more than a little worrying. Our taxes go to support things just like this…good for the general public usually helps everyone (my being an a subsidized bus trip helps even those who drive every day to work buy removing another car from in front of another car and reducing the wear and tear on the roadways – which btw – which are the most subsidized items around).
    -
    Those of you who want bus riders and cyclists to “pay their fair share,” sure! Only as long as drivers get to pay their fair share too. I may get a rebate since I don’t own a car and the % of my sales tax still funds the roads at the same % as one who does own a personal car.
    -
    This is more than just “don’t pay for buses any longer, let ‘em stop running” it’s about preventing a massive transportation problem.

    Comment by Al — 1:39 pm November 7, 2013 #

  42. If the C Line gets any more crowded, I’m just going to start openly drinking. At least then the ride will be somewhat bearable.

    In all seriousness, the thought of peak service being cut even further is enough to make me wonder if I’m going to have to work a de facto 12-hour day, just to avoid standing around at a bus stop, waiting for a bus that isn’t overfilled.

    Comment by paulbalcerak — 1:43 pm November 7, 2013 #

  43. Will Seattle Public Schools reinstate school bus service for some high school students? It is an hour and a half walk from WSHS to where Metro plans on cancelling the 37. Or you can walk an hour to California Ave, and then wait for a bus.
    .
    Or will Seattle Public Schools just continue to purchase useless ORCA cards for students, and have parents drive their kids?
    .
    If Metro won’t cover the whole city, then SPS should pull their money from Metro and use their transportation dollars to go back to yellow bus service.
    .
    There are lots of pros and cons to how Metro is funded, but education dollars should get kids to school, not subsidize developers on Avalon.

    Comment by Community Member — 1:54 pm November 7, 2013 #

  44. paulbalcerak = “like”

    Comment by Al — 1:55 pm November 7, 2013 #

  45. Of course, we should keep blindly approving microhousing and rowhouse projects because all the people who moves into them will be very special: they will not need cars, will not take up street parking and won’t mind that there is no bus service. I suppose they will teleport to get to work, attend school and do their shopping.

    The development plan the city is following relies on more public transportation, not less!

    We should not increase urban density and increase development while cutting public transportation. There is no urban planning model that works like that! Something has to give.

    Lisa

    Comment by Lisa — 1:57 pm November 7, 2013 #

  46. cut the King County employee salaries, including the damn overpaid bus drivers. check these public information King County salaries…keep in mind they are from 2 years ago! http://lbloom.net/xking11.html

    Comment by Dan — 2:11 pm November 7, 2013 #

  47. I’m stunned. This is utterly irresponsible and thoroughly outrageous.

    Comment by Petert — 2:20 pm November 7, 2013 #

  48. I was upset when I saw the 21 on the delete list considering that it is always pretty full and seems to be a popular route all day. (Sometimes I work from home in the morning and commute after 10 am when it’s still full compared to other buses.)

    Anyway, it looks like the proposal would be to get rid of the 21 bus and replace it with the 50 so according to the PDF, the 50 would go along 35th from Westwood Village and cross the WS bridge, continuing along 1st Avenue (though I’m not sure how far). It looks like the 21x would still exist as well.

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/PDFs/changes/route-050.pdf

    Comment by Sukie_Sea — 2:23 pm November 7, 2013 #

  49. Tracy – Add the 113 to that list of deleted lines. It runs from Shorewood, through West Seattle on Roxbury and over the 1st S Bridge. It’s the ONLY line that is commuter to downtown through South West Seattle.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 2:25 pm November 7, 2013 #

  50. Still working on the list. Will get that in momentarily. Have added a couple supplementary photos too.

    Comment by WSB — 2:29 pm November 7, 2013 #

  51. WSB (Tracy),
    Yes the transportation issue was introduced in the last Legislative session.
    The Bill made it through the House but was satlled inthe Senate, as you stated. But you failed to state WHY it stalled.
    It stalled because of the $.10 per gallon Gas Tax that was the backbone for the funding.
    In the past 8 years the Gas TAx has been increased OVER $.15 per gallon. Where is THAT money going???
    The SAME reasons they gave for THOSE increases are THE SAME they are using NOW!!!
    When the cost of a LLR ride from the Airport to Downtown is $27.00 per passenger, but the rider only pays $2.75 per trip just MIGHT be part of the problem of where the funds are going.
    We have seen traffic lanes taken from cars and given to bicycles; we have seen roads PURPOSELY modified so that traffic is blocked at bus stops when a bus is there; we have seen the price of gas increase through taxes; we have seen salaries of MetroKC execs increase…
    And now they are DEMANDING MORE money or they will cut services?!?!?!?
    And for those that rail against SOV’s…some of us work where there is NO bus service, or taking the bus would add 20x the travel time (as in my case).
    If I were to take the bus, I would have to walk one mile, take three busses and leave the house at 4:30 AM (to get to my job by 6 AM), which is 8.5 miles from home. The afternoon would be worse because of the traffic at 4 PM (I work 4 – 10 hour days).
    So although I support “Mass Transit” it ISN’T for all and those that use it should be requires to at least 50% of the ACTUAL cost of the ride.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 2:30 pm November 7, 2013 #

  52. This guarantees that every rush hour bus will be jam-packed, and forcing the 21 riders to xfer to get downtown is nonsensical. It’s bad enough those of us who live along 35th have to xfer just to get to the junction. An income tax may solve funding inconsistencies from year to year but it won’t solve the moronic decisions about the nonsensical bus routes.

    Comment by george — 2:33 pm November 7, 2013 #

  53. Change the economies of the Metro:
    1) Spend 90% of the budget on Driver, Mechanics and Vehicles
    2) Automate most of the bureaucratic admin positions until they only cost the remaining 10%…

    Comment by Stanly — 2:36 pm November 7, 2013 #

  54. Think I’ll open a car lot with specials for West Seattle ex-bus riders. Might have to re-think selling the car.

    Comment by Rick — 2:39 pm November 7, 2013 #

  55. EWR – there were many opinions on why senators did not pass the bill. Including the slugfest over the new bridge between Portland and Vancouver (WA). Don’t have a link handy. The only fact, which is the realm in which I prefer to deal – the comments are for the opinions! – is that the state House approved it, the state Senate did not. I believe this area’s senator, Sharon Nelson, did vote for it. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:39 pm November 7, 2013 #

  56. What a bunch of crap, keep cutting services, with no cuts to overhead (most likely increases)WTF And during a period of massive growth, What is wrong with this picture. Dow is a joke.

    Comment by rico — 2:40 pm November 7, 2013 #

  57. Interesting that they would expand the route of the 50 and expect it to take up traffic from a cancelled 21, yet I see that the frequency of the 50 would stay the same at every 20 minutes. Hopefully they would at least switch from the cute little bus size now to a large articulated bus.
    I also note as others have that the rational for allowing new apartment buildings with no parking required is that they are on public transportation. Yet some of these are served by the 21 and 22, which are slated to go away.

    Comment by iggy — 2:45 pm November 7, 2013 #

  58. It’s called Black Mailing, it is the way Seattle and Metro has and does normal business. They over spend and can not do business in a normal manor. Same MO every time. In this case Seattle lets areas get over built using the excuse it’s on a bus line. Seattle and Metro know ahead of time the areas being built up can’t handle the transportation issues and don’t have the proper infrastructure to handle the build up. After they let traffic get real bad they go after more taxes and promise to fix the problems. Won’t be long before they start tolling in and out of W/S with the promise of a new bridge to handle the problems they have caused us. I will never give a yes vote to Metro with their bad spending habits, if they need money let the Investment company’s of the new buildings pay for the mass transit improvements as having good transit was part of their business model.

    Comment by wetone — 2:52 pm November 7, 2013 #

  59. forgot to add: And what does all this do for low income and seniors who need to get to doctor appointments and hospitals downtown? The “clinics” here in West Seattle are not hospitals, and often tell you to go downtown. I already know people who are not getting medical care because it is so difficult to get out of West Seattle if you are sick and don’t have a car. Metro is obviously turning into a commuter service for those working traditional 9 to 5 jobs and not a public transportation service. Sadly, the proposed mode of funding – a $100 car tax – will undoubtedly be defeated at the polls.

    Comment by iggy — 2:53 pm November 7, 2013 #

  60. “Drive, baby, drive!” The rallying cry of our Republican controlled state senate. Good luck convincing them not to cut funding for buses.

    Comment by CW — 2:53 pm November 7, 2013 #

  61. good ol’ metro. always shaking down the ridership with these threats and route reductions.

    they need a system that actually comes close to paying for itself.

    they need to stop with the cute projects (crapid ride, bus bulbs, etc).

    they need to work within their budget while still actually providing service.

    what a mess of a transportation system.

    Comment by flimflm — 2:58 pm November 7, 2013 #

  62. Dow lives in the Admiral Area – so what’s up with cuts to WSea??

    Comment by BMC — 2:59 pm November 7, 2013 #

  63. Dan – overpaid bus drivers? How much you would have to be paid to drive them?

    Comment by BMC — 3:00 pm November 7, 2013 #

  64. How is the water taxi duplicate? The 55 is more duplicate than the water taxi. The water taxi provides service on the weekends–there’s not another reasonable way to reach downtown on the weekends for most of admiral district. The water taxi also gets to town much faster than bus in the morning. It also draws in tourists/revenue to WS from downtown during the summer. It also services several areas of WS: Alki, Admiral Junction, Alaska Junction, etc. There is some duplication, just like any other bus route, but it does provide opportunity that isn’t replaced with any current bus route.

    You can argue it needs to be chopped, but I’d have a hard time calling it ‘duplicate’ service.

    Comment by junctioneer — 3:01 pm November 7, 2013 #

  65. This smells a bit like a ploy to get public support for extended funding, because they know those cuts would be dramatic and get people stirred up.

    Traffic out of WS seems to be worse than ever, but I’d guess those sort of cuts would make the current clusterflock seem a picnic.

    Comment by Randall — 3:03 pm November 7, 2013 #

  66. @paulbalcerak I don’t think you’ll stand out among all the others openly drinking on the C line.

    Comment by Gary — 3:05 pm November 7, 2013 #

  67. Hey MotoMike, I’m interested in these lightweight high-capacity buses.
    .
    “There are numerous lighter busses that are easier on roads and carry just as many people while burning less fuel and yet they spent millions on these new oil-dripping boat anchors.”
    .
    Do you have a link to a place where I can read more about them?

    Comment by RickB — 3:24 pm November 7, 2013 #

  68. So, the 21 local is killed and becomes the revised 50 local, but 21 Express is kept, strictly to serve Arbor Heights. And the 50 won’t run past 9:00pm? So, the 35th Ave corridor basically gets screwed.

    Comment by Tucker — 3:26 pm November 7, 2013 #

  69. junctioneer- water taxi on weekend- only during ‘summer hours’ schedule. found out the hard way last year.

    Comment by sam-c — 3:28 pm November 7, 2013 #

  70. I’d like to see the city issue a moratorium on all building projects in West Seattle, including those already in progress, until the transit situation is sorted out. Most of these new projects were designed with the assumption that there would be adequate transit available. But even without cuts, there isn’t enough transit to serve the residents of the new developments springing up all around us. If there’s no new transit, there should be no new development. The two have to go hand in hand.

    Comment by Marie M — 3:39 pm November 7, 2013 #

  71. OK, so there’s something like a dozen or two folks on here who’s comments constitute various forms of outrage regarding the situation. Well, I’ve seen the enemy and he is us.

    Wonder how many of us will show up on Nov. 12 to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition mentioned above with an open mind toward finding functional solutions.

    Then again, maybe venting will solve it…

    Comment by Tom — 3:56 pm November 7, 2013 #

  72. Tucker,the 21 express only runs M-F short peak hour runs….no runs after 8:30AM or after 6-ish in the late afternoon. If the 22 is cut that leaves Arbor Heights without ANY bus service if you aren’t a 9-5er.

    Comment by buddsmom — 4:03 pm November 7, 2013 #

  73. No buses but plenty of bike lanes……,this city is crazy

    Comment by Gatewood gurl — 4:11 pm November 7, 2013 #

  74. I hope everyone realizes how transit and land use policies are interrelated. A year or so ago (maybe 2), City Council approved legislation under the “Neighborhood Business District Strategy” that would allow no parking to be required in Urban Villages if within 1,350 feet of a bus service that qualified as frequent service.
    See table B, line M (from SMC 23.54.015)
    “All residential uses in commercial and multifamily zones within urban villages that are not within urban center or the Station Area Overlay District, if the residential use is located within 1,320 feet of a street with frequent transit service, measured as the walking distance from the nearest transit stop to the lot line of the lot containing the residential use.”

    So permanent land use changes have taken place, even if Metro can yank service at any time. It’s totally crazy.

    Comment by CeeBee — 4:17 pm November 7, 2013 #

  75. I agree with Marie M regarding the moratorium. West Seattle is getting dumped on with podments/flop houses, apartments and other developments without parking since they are close to a metro stop. This is just crazy; who makes these crazy decisions? If these cuts go through it is going to be a huge mess in West Seattle, but again the City of Seattle government does not care.

    Comment by buckwheat — 4:27 pm November 7, 2013 #

  76. This just pisses me off. We have money for a new tunnel but no bus transportation. Why don’t we postpone the tunnel and reroute some of the funds?
    Additionally- we need the bike lanes. I ride in the summer to reduce congestion on the roads and cut pollution but its always crazy out there for riders so the bike lanes help protect riders.

    Comment by Faceless — 4:43 pm November 7, 2013 #

  77. This is blackmail, pure and simple. Metro has neither the interest in nor capacity for responsible management. FIRE THE WHOLE DAMN BUNCH OF THEM — INCLUDING DOW!! Those are the cuts we really need.

    Comment by anonyme — 4:48 pm November 7, 2013 #

  78. sam-c…yes, no weekend service until next spring on the water taxi…

    Comment by JanS — 4:54 pm November 7, 2013 #

  79. Our leaders have failed us. And why keep sending it back to the voters? Bite the bullet (leaders) and propose, and pass, a state income tax, and use it to fund mass transit. After experiencing traffic this week, commuting from Seattle to the east side, where I parked, and turned off the car on the east high rise of I-90-for 15 minutes, making the time from Issaquah to West Seattle 105 minutes, along with traveling from Issaquah to Shoreline to deliver library services, taking 85 minutes- what is wrong that we can not get it together and already have in place, light rail north-south, east-west, as most every U.S. city, and developed country already have? With all the money and brains in the Puget Sound region, it is staggering to think that this is an issue we are still trying to figure out! Find a city that has well-functioning rail and bus service that is geographically similar to this area, hire the consultants they used to implement their system, and DO IT! Stop talking and putting it to a vote! Combine all the transit agencies, and appoint the person who will make a FINAL decision, we’ll pay the tax, and get it built. We can’t wait to 2023 to have light rail to the eastside. Traffic will grind to a halt-every day- and continue to have negative economic consequences for us all.

    Comment by Susan — 5:07 pm November 7, 2013 #

  80. Anyway we can get Metro to quit using the tagline: “We’ll Get You There” on their website? Or at least change to “We’ll Get You There–even if it takes three transfers and 2 hours”

    Comment by Mike — 5:10 pm November 7, 2013 #

  81. Metro has proven, without a doubt, it cannot be trusted with additional funding. No additional revenue should be carved out for King Count Metro without a leadership change.

    Comment by No way — 5:41 pm November 7, 2013 #

  82. Just checked out the 50. It will take over the 21 route in West Seattle. You’ll need to transfer to get downtown. The good news, 100 more trees on Fauntleroy!

    Comment by Dunno — 5:57 pm November 7, 2013 #

  83. competition might be a solution – refurbish some old Greyhound buses and start a second transit system that services the neighborhoods and people that Metro ignores..

    I agree that any funding that goes to Metro should be offset by cuts to executive salaries.

    Comment by Zack — 6:00 pm November 7, 2013 #

  84. If you don’t want these cuts (and who does?), contact your legislator and ask them to extend the Alaska Way Viaduct mitigation funding through the opening of the tunnel … and to authorize the county to take tax proposals directly to the voters. Ask them to pass the comprehensive transportation package that’s currently being developed and to do it without a public vote. Make sure they (and your congressional reps as well) know that you are willing to pay more in taxes — sales, gas, excise, property, income, whatever your preference — to maintain/improve mass transit. (Sorry people who think the primary problem is inefficiency, mismanagement, or government greed … it’s not.)

    Comment by seaopgal — 6:05 pm November 7, 2013 #

  85. Amazing, in the most-negative connotation.
    I agree with earlier comments regarding the absurdity of all the new construction without parking, trying to encourage us to use public transit.
    If these proposed service cuts go through, WHAT public transit???
    Absolutely outrageous.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 6:24 pm November 7, 2013 #

  86. to be serious, Seattle has never really wanted to be a big city. Most of our large infrastructure decisions have been based on the idea that, if we don’t build it, they won’t come. Read the comment threads on this blog – “it’s turning into Ballard!” “There’s too many apartments” Seattle is a very insular place – most folks who moved here in the last century, moved AWAY from something – most often a big city – rather than to Seattle. The irony is that they moved here and joined the anti-growth movement! We native “Lesser Seattle” types just buried our heads in the sand. Turns out – there’s an Ocean just west of us and a whole other country just to the north. Eventually, we’re gonna fill up with folks. Instead of accepting it and preparing, we whine and complain and hope they’ll all go away.

    Comment by Curtis — 6:29 pm November 7, 2013 #

  87. In Mexico small 4 cylinder trucks are outfitted with benches on either side of the bed and a cover over the top they are called Aurigas maybe its time for a gorilla transit system in the form of protest too.

    Comment by NW — 7:13 pm November 7, 2013 #

  88. Susan — You ask “…what is wrong that we can’t get it together…?” Piss poor leadership. Mediocre politicians have led Seattle into a hole maybe even an abyss. If only Seattle could be fortunate enough to have leadership with a vision to solve the same old problems that continue to be a monkey on our backs.

    Comment by Seattlite — 7:22 pm November 7, 2013 #

  89. Maybe they could just start up another lottery to pay for it? Oh,wait that won’t work. They just fritter it all away…what has happened to all the money from the lotteries we already have, the ones that were supposed to pay for schools so we would not need levies anymore and roads etc? Bah..
    We already pay the highest gas taxes in the country, we pay high property taxes, high sales tax and STILL no money for anything? Where does it all go?

    Comment by oddreality — 7:28 pm November 7, 2013 #

  90. …each ride is subsidized…if ridership increases, metro is left with a larger financial mess. Cutting/reducing services so that buses primarily support the 9-5 workers is what would make them financially solvent. We (as a people) don’t want that. Yet we don’t want higher taxes either…Either run Metro like a business or pay the higher toll of treating it like a service.

    Comment by EdSane — 7:42 pm November 7, 2013 #

  91. (To: Comment by iggy )
    The 50′s are “cute and small” because the bigger and articulated buses can’t do the turns and hill on the route;) They hold about 25 sitting people maybe 15 more standing and are usually full in drive time.
    Might be the only bus that will drive through Sodo to the tunnel.
    I just hope that it isn’t full by the time it gets to Lander heading to WS

    Comment by patt on the 50 — 7:46 pm November 7, 2013 #

  92. So, I will perhaps be joined by Last37BusRider – or I could grab that one too. Um. Seriously, this is just a bit calamitous. I’m a willing walker, but have always said that the bus service would have to get really bad for me to entertain the idea of getting a bike. Well – in the spring, I might just be in the market for a bike.

    Comment by Last53BusRider — 8:02 pm November 7, 2013 #

  93. Metro can still use the tagline “We’ll get you there” if it’s accompanied by an exposed derriere.

    Apologies in advance if that offends anyone.

    Comment by petert — 8:04 pm November 7, 2013 #

  94. I heard drivers work a lot of overtime their last few years before retiring so their average salary is inflated and they get more retirement money. So if that is true, why don’t we ask Metro to use base salaries (no OT) to determine retirement wages?

    Comment by Chris W — 8:06 pm November 7, 2013 #

  95. How does the level of cuts in West Seattle compare to other neighborhoods in King County?

    Comment by DW — 8:31 pm November 7, 2013 #

  96. I have been wondering for while now if Metro has some plan in mind. I think busing is important enough so that the city or county needs to make it a higher priority. Also the honor system of rider pay is just silly, its almost like they want to be shorted.

    Comment by cj — 8:42 pm November 7, 2013 #

  97. Seeking a slightly used mule for sale. Must be surefooted on bridges and calm during inclement weather. No Government Mule’s, please.

    Comment by DTK — 9:01 pm November 7, 2013 #

  98. I don’t use the bus and never plan too. But I see plenty of buses jammed packed with people riding them in WS everyday, standing room only. All of you need to boycott Metro and Rapid and drive your cars to work or wherever you’re heading, starting tomorrow and let them feel the pain of no money coming in.
    West Seattle has become a joke to us who’ve been here way too long. Too much construction, no parking, too many people. There’s not one family restaurant here to speak of. We used to have Charleston Cafe, Dennys, Royal Fork,Sambos, to name a few. I cannot wait to get out of this area once my kid graduates high school.
    I met someone today who moved here from MN and is looking for housing in West Seattle and she asked me about this place. All I could do was laugh and shake my head.
    Jokes on Us.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 10:19 pm November 7, 2013 #

  99. It’s not listed above with the other ‘revised’ routes, but the 131 (serving highland park) is also getting gutted. If you live in Highland Park and need to use the bus after 7pm you are going to be out of luck.

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/PDFs/changes/route-131.pdf

    Comment by Mike — 12:57 am November 8, 2013 #

  100. What about the people who can’t drive like myself?! I rely on the 21 local and express to get me downtown and back every day. Now I suppose I will be taking a cab, biking, or walking the 13 miles to work? What the hell is wrong with Metro!

    Comment by T — 2:49 am November 8, 2013 #

  101. Time to vote these cronies out of office!

    Comment by J — 2:56 am November 8, 2013 #

  102. Tell me this isnt one of the most idiotic things you’ve heard in a long time:

    Desmond adds. “In many cases … many of the routes you’ll see deleted are well-used routes, but they’re very expensive to operate … if we don’t eliminate those services, we’d have to cut some place else.”

    Comment by Metro — 5:37 am November 8, 2013 #

  103. It costs more for this state to keep trying to pass bills to collect more taxes to funds things like transportation. Stop the craziness and institute an income tax!!!!! Every week I hear an idea about what new tax should solve the problem. Car tabs, soda, gas, liquor etc. I’m for smart taxation.

    Comment by Wendi — 6:45 am November 8, 2013 #

  104. Mike – thank you, I will add 131. I was afraid I was missing something.

    Comment by WSB — 7:02 am November 8, 2013 #

  105. Anyone see the headline in today’s Times?? Voters may be asked to approve hike in car tab price to help fund transit. I wouldn’t mind – as a car owner- doing my part by paying more – but how about ALSO making Metro charge what it actually costs to ride the bus? Subsidise low income only.

    Comment by Gene — 7:34 am November 8, 2013 #

  106. Curtis said it best. Like it or not, we do live in a large, thriving, growing city! We need better infrastructure to survive the next fifty years. We need bus bulbs, bike lanes, and rapid transit! People are going to move here no matter what because West Seattle is beautiful and fun and incredibly close to downtown in the grand scheme of things. We HAVE to keep improving our infrastructure or it will shortly turn into a disaster with all the projected new residents. It actually pains me to read the anti-bike lane and light rail comments. A functional, modern city is a diverse one, and that means diverse in terms of transportation too.

    And believe me, I’m just as riled up about the metro cuts as everyone here, although I do believe the intended purpose of the campaign is exactly that: to create public outrage. I don’t believe metro desires to cut 17% of its service; it wants the funding just as much as we want our bus routes!

    Comment by AHneighbor — 7:49 am November 8, 2013 #

  107. How about a tax on stupid? We’d be filthy rich!

    Comment by 56bricks — 7:57 am November 8, 2013 #

  108. AHneighbor- you are right – we do have to keep improving our infrastructure – as Seattle in general- but WS in particular continues to grow. Yes we need diverse means of transportation – but we also need & I don’t think it’s too much too expect, intelligent design & functionality of the new building/ growth. That should also include adequate parking & consideration of traffic impact on our community.
    I don’t mind raising the gas tax, car tab fees- to fund better transit services- I’d like to see a license fee for bikes- & as stated previously a bus fare closer to what it actually costs- with subsidies only for low income & disabled.

    Comment by Gene — 8:26 am November 8, 2013 #

  109. I encourage all here who are interested in seeking functional solutions to both the short and longer term issues being discussed here, to come to the November 12th meeting of the WS Transpo Coalition in HighPoint. (Disclosure: I just joined this group and haven’t attended any meetings yet.)

    I don’t know what is feasible or what the plans currently are to address any of this on a local basis…but I DO know that IT WON’T CHANGE WITHOUT FORGING SOME SHARED VISION BETWEEN US – and then some significant effort to bring that vision to a reality.

    I’m going with an open mind to get educated on a few things and share a few thoughts and see what options my neighbors think are viable.

    I hope many of you with intense feelings on this subject do the same.

    Comment by Tom — 8:51 am November 8, 2013 #

  110. As I was riding the 116X this morning pondering the proposed cuts, I thought perhaps I should start a West Seattle Bus company. I wonder, if there is any legal impediment to a private bus service using Metro stops. It is illegal to do so in SF, but the Google and Yahoo buses ignore the ordinance and to my knowledge, there is no enforcement. Anyway, I think I could start with a couple of circulator routes within W. Seattle and to/from downtown. cant decide if old school buses or Jeepneys would be a better choice. Be really cool to run some old London Routemaster double deckers.

    Comment by George P. Burdell — 8:59 am November 8, 2013 #

  111. Here’s a few points, one, “firing” the recently reelected officials isn’t reality. Dow just got re-elected with around a 70% majority. Two, whining about Metro cuts on a website comments section isn’t going to help anyone, get involved or shut up. Three, your property taxes are low compared to every other major city in the country, I know, I moved here from NYC and grew up in NJ. I voted for the state income tax but it didn’t pass, sorry folks but if you want more services you have to pay more taxes, that’s math.

    Comment by Dave — 9:24 am November 8, 2013 #

  112. GPB, I think running shuttles INSIDE WS might work but I have serious reservations about the economic viability of anything going off the rock.

    Frankly, I think we should consider those two pieces as the defining elements of our solution set.

    Intra WS and Inter WS.

    I believe those two concepts have significantly different issues to resolve (unfortunately), and we can optimize cost and effectiveness for each of them independently.

    Comment by wakeflood — 9:28 am November 8, 2013 #

  113. Dave! First of all, welcome! Secondly, never forget Seattle’s unofficial motto: “We put the Denial in Passive Aggressive!”

    Thanks for your input and giving us some perspective.

    Comment by wakeflood — 9:58 am November 8, 2013 #

  114. There seems to be no straight surface connections from/to WS to industrial areas of SODO or the Stadiums

    Doesn’t look like one can easily get from the Eastside of 35th to Alki Beach or any of the Junctions with the new routes.

    Comment by patt — 11:23 am November 8, 2013 #

  115. BTW

    “Reason who service was reduced or changed”…”the loss of state funding for Alaskan Way Viaduct construction mitigation” (runs out no new taxes)

    We were told the tunnel would be good for us and we were covered. Should have asked who “we” was. My NY dad was right 50 years ago when he said, “Seattle is the biggest small town” he ever lived in. still is.

    Comment by patt — 11:40 am November 8, 2013 #

  116. The state mitigation money is funded through the middle of next year. The county argues that since the tunnel isn’t opening until 2016, it should run until then. Here’s background on the mitigation money, in WSB coverage from 2008:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/09/county-council-oks-extra-buses-during-viaduct-crunch
    .
    The money is from the state, since the viaduct/tunnel/etc. is a state highway, state project. So the Legislature would have to vote to extend or replace it. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:47 am November 8, 2013 #

  117. BTW

    “Reason who service was reduced or changed”…”the loss of state funding for Alaskan Way Viaduct construction mitigation” (runs out no new taxes)

    We were told the tunnel would be good for us and we were covered. Should have asked who “we” was. My NY dad was right 50 years ago when he said, “Seattle is the biggest small town” he ever lived in. still is.

    Comment by patt — 11:50 am November 8, 2013 #

  118. Just an FYI, something in this article didn’t get “unbolded” (I’m guessing the “11:05 AM:”) and now everything on the blog below it is stuck in bold. Just thought you should know, if you didn’t already.

    Comment by HTML police — 12:20 pm November 8, 2013 #

  119. For unknown reasons, I think it will all be fine. I wish everybody would take a deep breath – or five – before collapsing into a puddle of defeat and panic.

    It isn’t exactly logical, but I am as hopeful as I am cynical about this.

    It’s all a bit of necessary, well-orchestrated theatrics, really. Everybody plays their part. Denouement shall be the inevitable capitulation in Olympia. Write your emails of objection though. Just in case!

    And one more random thought…why aren’t any of the transporation advocates advocating increased funding for a water taxi/local ferry service.

    Seriously. Look to Vancouver, BC before you shoot the idea down. Don’t have to build roads, rails, or sidewalks for it. Just a pier here and there…which has its own problems, but still…go take a peek at BC. That’s my vision of Seattle’s future.

    Comment by westseattledood — 12:28 pm November 8, 2013 #

  120. J.. they are all back in office except McGinn. Who’s getting fired for this mess?

    Comment by solidarity — 12:52 pm November 8, 2013 #

  121. I’d love to see more data on how the B.C. system works, dood. Care to do a little research and bring it to the Nov. 12th meeting?

    Things like, where do they put the docks? Bizness zones, industrial, residential?

    How do they work the feeders to the piers? Shuttles, buses? How much parking do they put nearby?

    How much is the fare subsidized? i.e. is the actual cost of a rider 5x the fare or???

    Which routes are the most used and why?

    Any of that would help us sort out the efficacy of the system?

    Just a thought.

    Comment by wakeflood — 12:56 pm November 8, 2013 #

  122. Hey Solidarity, I think WE are? Taxes sunset with no replacement revenue being generated. The Senate was a simple vote away last spring to make this issue go away (already had passed the House) and the R’s wouldn’t let it come up for a vote cuz they have their own agenda.

    Now all the sudden, they’re more open to it since Boeing is holding the 777X hostage.

    I called my Senators last spring begging them to move on it. Did you?

    Comment by wakeflood — 1:14 pm November 8, 2013 #

  123. Write to your representatives!

    State Senator Sharon Nelson (D)
    http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/senators/pages/nelson.aspx

    Rep. Position 1 Eileen Cody (D)
    http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/cody.aspx

    Rep. Position 2 Joe Fitzgibbon (D) http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/fitzgibbon.aspx

    Comment by gb — 2:09 pm November 8, 2013 #

  124. King County Metro Van Pool folks. If you take the same bus with the same people every day from West Seattle to the same stop somewhere else, create a van pool. You don’t need to start at the same place, just meet up in the morning at an agreed upon location.

    We pull up next to you all riding in the bus everyday. Maybe after reading this y’all notice us and think hmm,van pool. It’s a pain to put together but so worth the ride. We got riders who were in buses that got canceled over the years.
    And, Funny, I see the van pool ads on the sides of buses these days.
    Go to King County Metro and enjoy the ride in your very own van.

    Comment by Van Pooler — 8:20 pm November 8, 2013 #

  125. No problem. Just add more bike lanes. Oh, and reduce any remaining 2 lane streets to one lane to accommodate the busses that no longer service W. Seattle. I quit using the busses when Metro messed with the N. Admiral line. You couldn’t take the water taxi to a Sounder’s game and return by taxi or bus to my neck of the woods. Add in the mega developments and you have a monstrous mess. Glad I’m retired. Sorry for the rest of you.

    Comment by Nancy — 8:26 pm November 8, 2013 #

  126. Outside of commute times, Look at the empty Buses.

    Comment by D.D.S. — 9:57 pm November 8, 2013 #

  127. Wakeflood, yes the R’s and also one D, Rodney Tom, crossed over to vote with the R’s.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 11:53 am November 9, 2013 #

  128. All of this just reaffirms the glaring need for real mass transit through West Seattle into downtown: Light Rail.
    Just have small shuttle buses to move you through the neighborhoods around the peninsula to the light rail station. Drop all but a few bus routes to downtown. That would get the buses off the commute routes and provide reliable dedicated service that doesn’t share the roadway with cars or bikes. Light rail or subway system is really what the city needs. The current bus system is a relic. Adding to it is futile.

    Comment by alkiobserver — 11:45 am November 12, 2013 #

  129. stop development if BIG condos, etc if you cant afford to also develop transit to accomodate the residents/businesses

    Comment by heidi — 12:01 pm November 25, 2013 #

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