The original announcement of a removal plan for the two shelters on the west end of the south side of SW Alaska between California and 44th was made via signage that appeared on those shelters – and two NOT proposed for removal – on October 22nd; then concerns arose that the announcement, part of a Junction problem-solving plan, had been made without a chance for comment. So a comment period was opened up, until November 18th, and Metro told us at the time its decision would be made within “weeks.” Now, it’s here:
As part of an effort to address customer comfort and access to Metro bus service as well as to address non-transit use including illegal and uncivil behavior at the Alaska Junction, Metro is moving forward with the retention of two of the four oversized “double” shelters at one of the six transit bays in the area of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street as soon as December 20.
The decision to remove two of the shelters was finalized after several weeks of public feedback and further analysis of rider usage. With this change, the remaining two double shelters at Bay 2 will continue to provide a weather-protected area sufficient for the riders who use these facilities. Metro also provides two RapidRide shelters at Bay 1 for transit riders. The removed shelters will be reused at other bus stops that are in need of shelters, and the artwork will be relocated to bus shelters within the Junction.
Bay 2 is served by routes 50 (Alki to Othello Station) and 128 (Admiral to White Center and Southcenter). Route 50 generally operates every 20-30 minutes and Route 128 every 30 minutes. Metro staff were sent to the location to observe how riders were using the stops at different times and days. Staff observed between zero and five customers waiting for buses at any one time under normal conditions, based on recent observations during peak and off-peak hours.
Metro solicited comments between October 28 and November (18th) and received feedback from both riders and non-riders, some opposed and some supporting the change. The majority of comments opposed to the removal were based on the misconception that Metro intended to remove all shelters at this location.
The change is expected to reduce non-transportation use of Metro facilities, and to better match transit facility supply and demand.