Big changes proposed for Metro service in West Seattle

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With the arrival of the RapidRide “C” Line next fall – replacing Route 54 – Metro has long said, they would be “restructuring” local bus service, and that they will want to hear from local residents on what changes should be made. Just a few days ago, we published news of local meetings to discuss the “restructuring.” Now we’ve just learned they already have a detailed proposal, and it’s just gone public (thanks to Jake for first word of that, via the North Delridge e-mail list). You can find the proposed changes here (lots of links to follow for expanded explanations, maps, etc., depending on what you’re interested in).

Here are just some of the toplines — Route 21 would only serve Arbor Heights during peak periods; Route 22, which serves Gatewood, would be dropped, but Route 125 would be revised to serve that area (and southward to Chief Sealth International High School) during peak periods, though it would drop the Shorewood area; Route 37 would be dropped, leaving Beach Drive with no bus service; Route 128‘s east-west connection would move further north, to give North Delridge cross-peninsula service. Seattle Transit Blog has more analysis of the changes for West Seattle (and other areas). The first West Seattle meeting for input on this, and other ideas, is at 6:30 pm November 9th at Chief Sealth.

SIDE NOTE: Separate from this process, but likely of interest, tomorrow night is the city’s Transit Master Plan discussion in West Seattle – also a place to voice your transit interests, since even though Metro is a county agency, the city needs to know what priorities to advocate and assist. That meeting is 6-8 pm tomorrow at the West Seattle Eagles‘ hall, 4426 California SW.

119 Replies to "Big changes proposed for Metro service in West Seattle"

  • sam-c October 25, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    rt 125 would only operate during peak hours ?! I know I’m not on it often during non-peak hours but I know there are people that ride it during non-peak hours to get to work, doctor appointments, etc. Metro says, “sorry puget ridge”
    and maybe I’m just un-informed, but aren’t there students going to SSCC for classes all throughout the day- don’t they come from other parts of the city, hence the need to get to/from downtown to SSCC ?

  • quiz October 25, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    I have an idea. Monorail.

  • elevated concern October 25, 2011 (2:48 pm)

    They already have a detailed proposal? Well that’s traditionally step 1 in the Seattle way of planning. Step 2 is to engage the public and then Step 3 is to proceed with exactly what they had planned prior to public input. Same way they designed the route for Rapid Ride…sigh.

  • Sue October 25, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    Here are my initial issue with this (and yes, I am going to contact Metro with this). I live on the 54 Express route – moved there specifically because I live right at one of the stops. So they say they’re replacing the 54 Express with more service on the 116. The problem is that the 54 Express took the viaduct and the current 116 goes via surface streets. So they’re making the 54 Local allegedly “rapid” with the rapid ride, but the 54 Express becomes not-so-express and takes longer. Considering that the 54 is currently (during the viaduct closure) taking the 116 route, last night I got home nearly half an hour later than had I taken the 54X over the viaduct because of train and drawbridge delay potential, not to mention stadium events.

  • howie October 25, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    YEAH!! THE TOONERVILLE Trolley administration has now CUT about 25% of the service of the Sounder Bus # 560. So, W. Seattleites, note the demise of that fabulous express bus to the airport.

    They just go on and on and on, taking their enormous salaries and accomplishing nothing but illogic, diminution, and fraud via incompetence.

  • Paul October 25, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    The City of Seattle wants us to take more non-commute trips by transit. Now Metro is planning to gut the daytime route structure in West Seattle. Large chunks of West Seattle will be a long walk from a bus line most of the day. Do these people talk to each other at all?????

  • Sna October 25, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    Replacing the 55 with a connector to the rapid ride line pretty much guarantees I won’t take the bus anymore. Having to transfer will add 10+ mins onto an already too long bus ride.

  • Noelle October 25, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    I like the changes to the 128. Finally Junction access for those of us in N. Delridge.

  • Enid October 25, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    Once again, Metro has skipped the step of inviting public input and developed a detailed plan that they are unlikely to deviate from.

    I live in Arbor Heights and rely completely on Metro for transportation. I don’t work during “peak” hours, nor is every essential medical appointment I make within those hours. What should I do, see a doctor in the morning and then sit and wait until evening to get home again? Seriously?

    The service to Arbor Heights has always been crap, and now it’s about to get worse. The two routes I use to get to and from work (#21 and #125 )will both be reduced to peak hours only. These changes could mean that I will either lose my job, or increase my commute from a 10 minute West Seattle drive to a 3-4 hour per day bus torture.

    This is the worst public transportation system I have encountered in 60 years of living all over the country.

  • EricL October 25, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    Overall from Alki I like these changes. The 56 -> 50 to downtown will be slower best case, but especially if they do 30 minute headways on sunday, I much rather the connection via lightrail. The 37 was SO low in ridership I can’t imagine a justification for keeping it. The 128 changes (going to alki) make it much more reasonable that I’d actually choose to sometimes navigate within west seattle by bus rather than by car.

  • Nick October 25, 2011 (3:26 pm)

    Please don’t take away route 37!

  • Sna October 25, 2011 (3:31 pm)

    No bus service at all for north admiral. And a reduced 56

  • moneaux October 25, 2011 (3:36 pm)

    With all the people who live on Beach Drive, I cannot imagine why the #37 is scheduled to be cancelled! I know that the Water Taxi shuttle is running at this time to the Junction, but it doesn’t hold many people and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were cancelled in the future. How are we supposed to support transit when there is no bus to take??
    I do plan to contact Metro, although I doubt if they care one way or the other.

  • Petert October 25, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    Route 37 would be dropped ??? So I’d be what, two miles from getting onto a bus line at 5:30am ?

    The 37 only runs part of the day. And they’d drop that ??

    I’m going to start passing out leaflets on the 37 for the meeting on the 6th. Even though I’ll be in Dublin on business for this, if there’s some way to partake remotely, I’ll be awake at 4 in the morning to do just that.

  • JanS October 25, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    and it looks like no bus service for the entire North Admiral area, since 55 will be eliminated. “Walk to SW Admiral Way” is the suggestion. For those who live in the very far part of Adm. Dist, that’s a pretty hefty walk. Not all people are young and swift of foot. Some might find that very problematic.

  • GenHillOne October 25, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    Wow, 22 carries a lot of students to/from Sealth & Denny with the district-issued bus passes. Glad to hear 125 will be adjusted to include them, but what is the definition of “peak?” What will happen on early dismissal, etc.?
    Edit: I think if I’m reading the details correctly now, the leg between the Junction and schools isn’t affected by time. It does look to me like this will finally be a route that connects SSCC & Sealth more directly though, which is huge for Running Start students without cars.

  • jiggers October 25, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    It looks like a kindergartener took crayons and scribbled confusing lines…lordy!

  • Anonymous October 25, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    Wait, 125 would still run from downtown to SSCC right? Students who have evening classes that start around 5-6 usually have to catch that bus from downtown still.. That’s not changing right?

  • J October 25, 2011 (3:43 pm)

    The “Reason for change” given for deleting the 21 all-day service is “Match service to ridership.
    Ridership in Arbor Heights does not meet Metro’s guideline for continued all-day service.” Since the proposed changes are supposed to increase ridership (this justifying additional frequency), it makes sense to me that Metro would consider cutting off Arbor Heights during all-day service, for an overall benefit. But that’s a pretty big area to cut off between 9 am and 3 pm. Are there any creative ideas for how AH could be served during that time?

  • ArborHeights October 25, 2011 (3:44 pm)

    It apears I will be driving my car more!

  • jc October 25, 2011 (3:46 pm)

    Officially against completely cutting the 21 during off peak hours. Won’t affect my commute but some elderly neighbors will have a very long, sidewalk-less walk home without the service.

  • Mike Lindblom October 25, 2011 (3:51 pm)

    The new 50 route across to Sodo (light rail) and Rainier Valley and new 60 route to Georgetown fill some longstanding gaps in the service, so there’s some upside. A downside is there’s no direct commuter bus to downtown that begins north of the Junction! So those Admiral/Alki residents (including Dow C!) would transfer to another bus, ferry or train for a two-part ride.

  • Jack Loblaw October 25, 2011 (3:51 pm)

    It looks like I will now need to take 3 buses to get from Charlestown & California to Harrison & Dexter – sigh.

  • herongrrrl October 25, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    We’re able to commit to being one-car family because of route 37. Isn’t that what the city/county wants, fewer cars on the road? What about the middle and high school aged kids on the route who now need to take Metro to get to school? Or the elderly folks who don’t have other options to get around? If low ridership is concerned, how about changing route 37 to one of the little shuttle buses to save on gas, instead of leaving 48th Ave SW, Beach Drive, Harbor Ave and most of Alki Ave without any bus service? The people who ride that route need that route!

  • jiggers October 25, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    Don’t you know that Metro does not care how many busses it takes for you to get to were you need to go?

  • Amanda October 25, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    What did we do in West Seattle to keep getting this kind of treatment?

  • Mike October 25, 2011 (4:15 pm)

    Anyone ever heard of a park and ride?

  • Dapuffin October 25, 2011 (4:16 pm)

    21 goes away and I lose my job. It’s that simple. I am not able to do the walk that would be necessary to get to a bus.

  • Always confused October 25, 2011 (4:17 pm)

    The 56 Express will continue so there IS express service to downtown from north of the Junction. It’s the 56 that is changing to the 50. I’m looking forward to having direct access to light rail, that’s for sure!

  • Mary Robinson-Smith October 25, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    I am a disabled lady of 65 years. I live at 88th and 14th ave sw. I take the 125 to town. Now I have to walk 2 long blocks to the busstop. I am not positive what the changes for me would be.Now I have to take 2 busses to get to my Dr. and 2 back home. It is very hard for me to walk distances. To store would be terrible also.
    I do have Access for some trips, but I do not know when my permission to use that will be stopped or it will have big cuts also. I am very worried and scared. Thank you

  • Eric October 25, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    That’s a huge bummer for arbor heights residents. Though, on a strictly self-serving note, having the 21 go to Westwood Village though is terrific news for those of us that live on/near 35th.

  • Always confused October 25, 2011 (4:35 pm)

    The route maps and information is really informative. It details the changes, the reasons why and alternatives. I hope this link works. I found it very helpful!

  • Sue October 25, 2011 (4:43 pm)

    So it seems these changes are being made to acommodate Rapid Ride and make our commutes faster and more convenient. Yet, I’m hearing a lot of complaints about the proposals (and I join you). I’m curious: is there anybody whose commute is actually improved by any of this?
    When we moved to WS 5 yearson ago we became a one car househoold due to the ease of getting around. I’m now considering a second car.

  • LWC October 25, 2011 (4:49 pm)

    The interesting thing with these sorts of changes is that the few people who will be negatively affected will always be much more vocal than the many who will be positively affected: most of those many don’t even realize how much better they’ll have it! I’m sorry for the folks who will have to adjust their daily routine, but these changes will lead to a large benefit to a much greater number of people.

  • Soosan October 25, 2011 (4:56 pm)

    Oh man I just sang the praises of the 37 on another thread….it’s the only direct bus from WS to UW. Bad news.

  • J October 25, 2011 (4:56 pm)

    Having to transfer more is less of a problem with frequent service.

  • LWC October 25, 2011 (5:01 pm)

    @Sue, as a Delridge Resident, I will now be able to bus to Alaska Junction without transferring either downtown or in White Center. So yes, I’d say it’s an improvement for many!

  • Sna October 25, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    Removing the 55 eliminates sevice to North Admiral. It also removes a trip from the junction to downtown every 20 mins at peak. The elimination of the 37 removes yet another route to downtown. And the 56 is reduced? These changes are offset by what? Im not actually sure capacity to downtown is increased by these changes.

  • JayDee October 25, 2011 (5:10 pm)

    Glad I live 3 blocks from Admiral, but eliminating the 51 will suck if you are an older adult on Genesse Hill at 55th and Andover (or other similar streets to 47). Walk downhill six or more blocks to Admiral. Or wait, 6-12 blocks and the Charlestown hill. Someone on the WSB forums said it best — transit should not solely factor ridership alone but consider other effects like distance to the nearest bus route. I know we could figure out a better map using algorithms but once again, this has been decided so quit your bitchin’.

  • yacman October 25, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    Well, I guess LWC’s “Greater good” argument is persuasive, but consider this: I supported the $20 fee to maintain bus service and now they are going to reduce it in my neighborhood (Arbor Heights). Now I will be forced to drive my car if I need to get home during non-peak service times. Furthermore, my housemate, who doesn’t have a car, will be highly restricted by the limited bus service. She won’t be happy. In addition, the city has extended the times that I have to pay for parking in many neighborhoods, increased the costs per hour, AND, I’m told, increased the cost of parking tickets. Now, I’m being asked to pay $60 more per year for my vehicle plates. (Guess how I’m voting?) Oh, and my property taxes, city utilities and electric bill have all gone up in the last year. Now, tell me again, what do I have to be happy about?

  • PG October 25, 2011 (5:24 pm)

    LWC – I think the problem is that while this increases frequency of service and convenience for some people, it complete cuts out others – such as Arbor Heights. If you look on the map, that is a really large area, where Metro is asking people to walk up to a mile+ to catch a bus, and not offering any alternative.

  • breezygirl October 25, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    where did they announce no more 55? I missed it somewhere and am in disbelief that they would cut that bus!! So many people use that route! It makes zero sense!!! WS Blog, is there anyway you could forward our concerns to metro?

  • Ad October 25, 2011 (5:38 pm)

    I currently live in north Burien but work in Bellevue. On October 1st they changed or discontinued routes due to rapid ride B line and while they said it would be beneficial it meant more time to get back and forth.. it helps no one, I have heard nothing but complaints from other metro commuters. Stay vocal and hope it doesn’t happen in our neigborhoods

  • Sue October 25, 2011 (5:46 pm)

    Breezygirl, the 55 is being replaced by a revised 128.

  • petert October 25, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    I think the best thing that people could do is to show up at one of the meetings – either tomorrow night at the Eagles Hall on Calif SW, or the one at Chief Sealth on the 9th of Nov.

    Either way, those of us who are going to be cut off from service or have to make up for it by taking an automobile, owe it to each other to show up and make our voices heard.

  • Nick October 25, 2011 (5:52 pm)

    Taking away the 37 is a bad idea, everyone South of Gennessee, North of Graham, and West of California will have to walk to California no matter how far West you live just to catch a bus? That route is important.

  • Paul October 25, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    They should continue serving Arbor Heights with the 21 during the off-peak hours, but have it go to the Junction instead of downtown if they need to save some money. I’d rather have a two-seat ride to/from downtown during the day than none at all.

  • Meg October 25, 2011 (6:01 pm)

    Losing the 37 is a huge blow but as I stand here waiting for one to get home that’s 30 minutes late I’m starting to care less and less. My entire family commutes by bus to school and work but with the reduced service and the reduction in the quality of the service these last few years I don’t know how long we can keep it up. Perhaps this is Mike and Dow’s way of getting us all on bikes. Better increase my AD&D insurance.

  • highlandpark October 25, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    I would love to know how many WSB readers work in SLU (e.g. Amazon, UW Medical, etc.) and rely on Metro to get to work. Even with bus routes serving downtown, you still have to walk 9+ blocks from Westlake or wait for the trolley. If there were a bus that went all the way to SLU from W. Seattle (is there?), I’d be happy to park and ride that bus rather than take the 125 -> Light Rail -> Trolley or walk. Without the Light Rail juncture, my bus commute is already an hour door to door, meaning it makes much more sense for me to drive. Anyone else feel the same way? SLU has a lot more people working there than it used to and could use more Metro service… Is it just me?

  • petert October 25, 2011 (6:31 pm)

    Highlandpark- I work in SLU, and I rely on Metro. The 37 drops me at 8th and Howell, and it’s about a 3 block walk from there to the Whole Foods at the south end of the SLU district. Coming back, the 37 picks up along Stewart, goes south on 2nd from there, and eventually into W Seattle along Harbor Ave/Alki Ave/Beach Drive. It’s about one hour each way.

    You can park anywhere along Beach Drive, Alki, or Harbor Aves. and take it in.

  • Suzanne October 25, 2011 (6:50 pm)

    I live on Beach Drive and don’t own a car. The three jobs I have had in the last 8 years have been in Pioneer Square, at the Junction, and in SODO – all retail, and involving weekend, evening and holiday hours. So I never was able to make use of the 37, always having to walk to and from Alki – about 15 mins.

    Now that I am in SODO, I do ride the 37 in the morning – because it’s there. But coming home is a crap shoot. This afternoon I took a 116 and walked home via Jacobsen. Yesterday, I walked over the low bridge and got a 57 at Chelan and then walked down from 49th/Admiral.

    I do appreciate that people living further down Beach Drive are going to be faced with a long walk to Alki or to California Ave. But I must confess that the idea of being able to come home from SODO to Alki on a 50 or take a 128 to the Junction on Sunday has an appeal that more than compensates for the loss of the 37.

    I have walked up and down Jacobsen so many times I’ve worn grooves in the sidewalk!!!

  • Heath October 25, 2011 (6:59 pm)

    This business of routes being dropped outside of peak hours is scary. I often have to work late and withoutt notice – this means I would have to drive to work more often to avoid getting stranded downtown since I live in one of the of the areas affected. That’s the way to solve our traffic problems: more cars, less buses. God this is so frustrating.

  • JN October 25, 2011 (7:22 pm)

    Are they seriously going to cut the 55 & 54? If they haven’t learned anything else from the viaduct shutdown, they could at least see that there is a strong demand for transit in West Seattle! And then they compound that by not improving bicycle access/infrastructure into and out of West Seattle. And I thought the city wanted to reduce the impact of personal vehicles….

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (7:27 pm)

      Rapid Ride is a replacement for the 54, though certainly not exactly the same.

  • nighthawk October 25, 2011 (7:31 pm)

    I’m also very confused about the 125 route changes.

    My husband works at SLU and also does the 125->trolly (laughable option) or walk

    There are tons of people who take 125->downtown and i don’t see how connecting to SODO does any good on that route.

  • Scupper's Buddy October 25, 2011 (7:37 pm)


    PLEASE !!!!!! PLEASE !!!!!!!!

    We have a bus stop right in front of our house and we’re knee deep in cigarette butts, pop cans, crushed cigarette packs, and all sorts of garbage left behind by the bus riders !!!

    Not to mention the ones that pee in our driveway and on our car.

    There are aren’t many bus riders, certainly not worth paying for a bus route …. but the ones that do ride route 37, it in our part of Beach Drive, are absolute PIGS !!!!

    IT WOULD BE A SUPER CLEAN GREEN DAY to get rid of the INCONSIDERATE bus riders that don’t give a crap for the environment on Beach Drive and the fish and animals the have to live with the filth they leave behind.

    GO AWAY ROUTE 37 and the RIDERS who don’t care about the GARBAGE they leave behind.

    Don’t believe it, just take some time and walk along Beach Drive and take a look around the bus stops that are there….the cigarette butts and garbage surrounding the bus stops here along Beach Drive and then take a look at the area where there isn’t a bus stop. The difference is AMAZING !!!


    And good riddance to the riders that leave their filth behind for the rest of us to clean up !

  • WSTroll October 25, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    I am not sure why people expect busses to run when there are no people on them just in case they ‘might’ need it sometime.

  • dq October 25, 2011 (7:52 pm)

    If the WT shuttles are “replacing” the #37, are they going to make the shuttles larger to accommodate more people? Are they going to give those of us who live far from a shuttle stop more space to park our cars at or near the dock?

    Completely cutting routes, and thus creating large numbers of people who have no nearby access to any public transportation, doesn’t seem to be very progressive thinking.

  • Eaglelover October 25, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    37 is a great route that gives many options. Bring it back.

  • Sna October 25, 2011 (8:02 pm)

    Rapid ride replaces both the 54 & 55. Combined, those two lines have 16 buses serve the junction to downtown between 7 and 9am. If the Rapid Ride runs every 10 minutes as advertised, thats only 12 buses during the same time.

    How is that an improvement?

  • jk October 25, 2011 (8:26 pm)

    Taking away both 53 & 37 leaves a huge chunk of west seattle stranded. No more Metro for me and I’m not getting on my bike in the winter either, so much for less cars on the road.

  • Rob October 25, 2011 (8:45 pm)

    I’m actually pleased that the C line will run 15-30 minutes in the evening. Finally those of us who live in the south end of california (Morgan Junction) can use the bus to go to dinner/drinks in the Junction (go figure!). Currently the 54 stops at like 7p and 128 is 1x/hour after 7, so you either hoof it to happy hour and stay for dinner, or drive and park.

  • DJY October 25, 2011 (9:01 pm)

    I thought the overall objective was to REDUCE the number of vehicles on Seattle streets. This is easily, hands-down, one of the greatest city’s in the nation, BUT Seattle has consistently dropped the ball when it comes to its mass transit infrastructure, or lack thereof! Why in 2011 are we even having to talk about bus service, we need a 21st century approach to moving people from point A to point B, and that is not a bus!

  • Moose2 October 25, 2011 (9:12 pm)

    Wow, just wow. I am a huge fan for transit and support every effort to increase funding to increase service. I supported RadpidRide C. I thought we’d end up with better service.
    But for anyone north of the junction going to downtown, this seems like a terrible change. At worst, I expected the 55 to be replaced with an all-day shuttle. But not deleted completely. Here are the problems:
    1. No service from north of junction to downtown outside peak hours (56X/57X)
    2. No service from California north of the junction to downtown unless you are walkable distance to the 56x or RR C.
    3. Inside peak hours, 56x/57x claims 24 rides and 15 min – but that is less than today (~10 min freq between 7am and 8am on 56x/57); and from west of California, it’ll be down to 30 min frequency between 7 and 8
    4. North of Admiral it gets inconceivably worse. Coming from downtown at night means a RR C, change to 128 (with a 30 min headway – long delay), then a 775 to Seacrest (30 min, but not after 7pm); then 773 back up to California.

    This is so sad. I don’t know what to to say. I loved riding the bus to work. But this service change proposing is so depressing.


  • Suzanne October 25, 2011 (9:23 pm)

    When I worked at the Junction I walked from my place on Beach Drive. I would turn off Beach Drive onto Jacobsen just after the 53 bus went by towards Alki. And I would race it. I always beat Dale up to the Junction, but Scott did get there first a couple of times:)

  • heather October 25, 2011 (9:38 pm)

    I’m still irritated about not getting light rail in West Seattle…why is this part of the city constantly ignored by urban density planning?

  • Aaron October 25, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    Rapid ride may be a faster route downtown, but with 1/3 of the stops along California it sure isn’t convienient. I walk 3 blocks to catch the 54, the new routs would have me walking 5. The 54 at peak time ends up stopping at every possible stop between the Alaska & Morgan Junctions. How much further will all these people have to walk. Keep the 54, 54X and add the Rapid Ride. See ridership increase.

  • jk October 25, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    Scupper’s Buddy, I’m sorry you have had that experience but that’s a pretty sweeping statement and certainly not fair to most of the people that ride it and depend on it for transportation every day.

  • Kathleen October 25, 2011 (9:58 pm)

    If they’re cutting the routes that serve the edges of the physical community, they need to put park and ride lots next to the hub. In other words, if you’re taking out the routes that serve Beach Dr they need to put park and ride lots next to the Junction. I get irritated every time I hear the expression park and hide. When will this city start thinking like a large city.

  • Mark October 25, 2011 (10:25 pm)

    I was prepared to support the increase in car tabs but if they cut or reduce the service in Gatewood I’ll vote no on the increase. I agree with the others about WS being neglected. Why is it we can get light rail to UW and not out of WS where it is needed most! They already took away our downtown exits with the impending closure of the viaduct and build of the tunnel. How much more abuse must we take before we stand up and do something! Perhaps it is time for an occupy West Seattle movement against those that decide our transit future!

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 25, 2011 (10:42 pm)

    The proposal that was released was to give the public something to discuss. I’m glad Metro is taking that approach, giving us a year to prepare and amend, before it takes effect.

    The changes in the 60, 124, 131, and 132 are examples of Metro listening to neighborhood groups where bus riders had heavy input.

    For those of you who ride the bus, show up at your neighborhood meetings, especially when transit lanes are under attack. The need to cut unproductive routes has a direct correlation with the slowing down of other routes so that more service hours have to be used on those routes.

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 25, 2011 (10:48 pm)

    The 560 had its shot to develop sufficient ridership between western West Seattle and the airport. It failed. Perhaps Delridge, with its blue-collar demographic, would have been a better direct connection.

    There ought to be better non-three-seat connections between West Seattle and the airport, but let’s not re-invent the flat tire (i.e. the 560).

  • alki_2008 October 25, 2011 (10:49 pm)

    @Scupper’s Buddy – not sure if you see many riders on 37 along Beach Drive, but the 37 gets more than half-full during the commute times when it gets to Harbor Ave.
    Considering the 37 only runs during commute times…mornings and evenings during the week. Is it REALLY going to save much by cutting that route? There are elderly folks in the Alki condos that cannot walk miles or uphill to catch another bus.
    KEEP THE 37!!!

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 25, 2011 (10:56 pm)

    “The interesting thing with these sorts of changes is that the few people who will be negatively affected will always be much more vocal than the many who will be positively affected…”


    I really like the first draft Metro has put out for public consumption. I don’t get why some people choose to burst a blood vessel. There is a whole lot of time for public input and changes.

    And, no, just because you don’t get your way doesn’t mean Metro isn’t listening. It could mean that other people have a different viewpoint, and Metro is hearing from more of them.

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 25, 2011 (11:01 pm)

    For those who want to save a route, study up on the service guidelines and the importance of ridership as a determinant in where service is kept or increased.

    Ride your route consistently. Recruit your neighbors to do likewise. Demonstrate demand, and you’ll have a strong case to preserve the route.

  • metrognome October 26, 2011 (12:07 am)

    “Why is it we can get light rail to UW and not out of WS where it is needed most!” I’m betting there are more people who travel to the U District every weekday than actually live in West Seattle. That’s why the light rail is connecting the airport with downtown with UW and eventually the Northgate area; it’s called ‘demand’.
    BTW, the people in most of King, Pierce and Snoho counties, which includes WS, voted to approve the light rail system. Twice.
    Rob — you might want to check a schedule; the 54 has never stopped at 7pm (you’re thinking of the 22.) Even before the fall service change, the 54 ran until after midnight 7 days a week.

  • WSGuy October 26, 2011 (12:11 am)

    Canceling the 55 makes no sense at all. They should send a RapidRide C-1 down from Admiral every 15 minutes at peak, and a RapidRide C-2 up from White Center every 15 minutes. The 54/55 combination has served WS very well for many years. It is a time-tested formula.
    As for the #37, I live on that route and it is empty all the time by the time it turns off Beach Drive. I’m surprised that they would leave Beach Drive and Alki without service, but I’m sure that the #37 route could be shortened by a mile or two at the tail end.

  • Two Words and then some October 26, 2011 (12:19 am)

    Car pool.

    Save time. Make friends out of neighbors. Save wear and tear on auto. Lower stress. Save money. Be flexible and accommodating with schedules, errands and the like.
    Be green by reducing emissions by two or three
    Be social without social media!

  • DM October 26, 2011 (2:43 am)

    Thanks Blue Collar Enviro. Good advice. I live on the 125 route. That route is packed mid day with students from SSCC, and it’s not that easy to get off the ridge if you need to take public transportation.

  • Jeff Isaacson October 26, 2011 (5:25 am)

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Does Metro even LISTEN to the commuter’s concerns (I suspect no, they do not!) and just WHO comes up with these new proposals, a monkey with a crayon?

    Arbor Heights, North Admiral and Alki needs bus service.

    And to Scupper’s Buddy: ever consider that MAYBE all that “garbage” and people “peeing on the lawns” just MIGHT be coming from people leaving the nearby taverns or holding parties on the beach? Don’t paint bus riders with the same brush!

    It’s just AMAZING to me how even in smaller counties such as Kitsap or in other states like Oregon that the transit systems have the COMMUTER in mind when drawing up transit routes!

  • Alan October 26, 2011 (6:56 am)

    This is a disaster. Currently (with the viaduct) I can get from home to work in 30 minutes on the 125 (door to door). Metro’s proposed “improvements” will have me transferring from the 128 to the 120 and/or to light rail. With the transfers, I picture this doubling my commute time, with that extra half-hour spent standing or walking in rain or snow. Perfect.

    I also like to take the 125 home after an evening downtown. Now I get to stand down on Delridge in the wet dark waiting for a 128? (Expletive deleted)

  • jiggers October 26, 2011 (7:11 am)

    I blame Paul Allen!

  • sam-c October 26, 2011 (7:13 am)

    highlandpark and nighthawk- you noticed something I didn’t even realize. the rt 125 wouldn’t even go downtown. wth?? I’ve finally come to accept the fact that to get anywhere outside of downtown, you have to bus downtown and transfer (to wallingford, beacon hill, etc). But with these changes, you wouldn’t even get downtown from WS without transferring ?!? that is just plain ridiculous.
    I know a lot of neighbors take 125 to work downtown. (I used to but work in WS now).

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 26, 2011 (7:16 am)

    If you suspect Metro isn’t listening, try talking with them first. They respond to emails.
    Show up at one of the numerous hearings on the Metro route planning or on the Seattle Transit Master Plan. Don’t expect immediate changes, but show up two or three times and watch how plans evolve.
    Participate in your neighborhood transportation committee meetings, which are otherwise dominated by the concerns of car drivers and business owners if no bus riders show up.
    BTW, those car drivers and business owners get their angry attitudes toward Metro in part because Metro listens to all the private emails from bus riders who disagree with the car drivers and business owners, just as much as they listen to the neighborhood groups dominated by those who have the free time to show up repeatedly to meetings.

  • Blue Collar Enviro October 26, 2011 (7:27 am)

    One more thing: Before picturing that your commute will take longer, be sure to look at frequency and connection timing. Metro isn’t just proposing to alter route paths. They are proposing to increase frequency on a lot of the routes (which is why they are cutting the least productive routes). If your concern is transfer time, see if you can get a timed transfer to a downtown bus.
    If you want to save a particular one-seat commuter route, pay attention to midday ridership on that route, and lobby for a service level (e.g. peak only) that would leave the bus on your route full when it is running.
    Be mindful that your impression of what constitutes a “full” bus may be less full than a lot of other routes. If your peak-hour express bus is not standing-room-only, then it isn’t full. I’ve ridden many a 522 that could not hold one more rider without someone sitting on the front stairwell.

  • ws1 October 26, 2011 (8:14 am)

    The biggest problem I had in a year of trying to ride the bus is they were NEVER on time in the afternoons. Wouldn’t most of us value timeliness and predictability over frequency of service to someplace we don’t even live near or work near? In one two week period I tracked, the 57 wasn’t on time even once. A few times it never even came within an hour!

  • JS October 26, 2011 (8:16 am)

    What Blue Collar Enviro said. Routes to/from the U District, Central District, Cap Hill and Ballard are, from personal experience, SRO during commute times AND very close well into the evening hours. If you want to justify your route, mobilize, organize, and start talking to your County Councilmember, not just Metro.

    I’ll add that fewer one-seat rides to/from downtown is designed to improve overall network performance and make it easier to get other places, not just downtown. That may not work for everyone all the time with this service change, but that’s what Metro is trying for.

  • jiggers October 26, 2011 (8:41 am)

    Complaining here on a blog doen’t get you anywhere.

  • ummm October 26, 2011 (9:38 am)

    This (and the Viaduct) is exactly why we have chosen to move out of WS. :(

  • jedifarfy October 26, 2011 (10:27 am)

    Ok, I just moved into Highland Park from my parent’s house along Roxbury (where all the buses lived!).

    First, WTH to losing the 23? It’s the ONLY bus along there unless you want to run down to 16th and get the 125.

    NO PEAK ON HIGHLAND PARK WAY?! I’ve been taking the 23 in the morning and to home for the last month. No matter which way I’m going, it’s full. Same with the few times I DID run down Holden to get the 125. Oh, except the 125 WON’T GO DOWNTOWN. How am I going to get to work? DRIVE. Good job metro. GOOD JOB.

    Sorry, I feel VERY ranty right now.

    Edit: Ok had a chance to calmly read everything. The 131 would go downtown during non-peak AND peak. Their maps are weird and confusing, like always! I want to see time now. Might as well start planning ahead for this inevitable doom.

  • Dan October 26, 2011 (10:38 am)

    With the reduction of Sound Transit route 560 the commute to the airport now requires me to take a car. There are no good routes to the airport from the Morgan Junction area.

  • Been There October 26, 2011 (11:32 am)

    Hooray for the proposed revision of the #128! SSCC-North Delridge-Junction-Admiral-Alki. East-to-West connectivity for more of the West Seattle Peninsula:)

  • bigmark October 26, 2011 (11:36 am)

    highlandpark, I take the 55 straight to SLU. It turns into the 5 downtown and heads up Aurora, so I get off at Aurora and Thomas. Then it’s 4 short blocks over to Westlake. Of course, now they’re going to take that away!

  • girlonahandcycle October 26, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    well this could be a major bummer since I JUST moved close to Beach Drive and bus service was a must on my list. Luckily I don’t need it to commute but as a wheelchair user the bus is what can get me up the hill to the Junction to change buses and go anywhere I need to. Having to roll a mile on sidewalks that are not kept up very well and have no curb cutouts in random places to get to the nearest bus stop is not very feasible for some of us. Apart from going to the 11/9 mtg what else can we do to tell Metro leaving Beach Drive without any service isn’t a good idea??

  • MO October 26, 2011 (12:19 pm)

    I have a question for those complaining about losing a nearby bus route. Full disclosure, I don’t live in West Seattle, and I support this change because overall it helps more people than it hurts.

    Metro is under the gun to improve efficiency by next year when it goes before the Legislature to ask for a long-term funding source. (“Efficiency” roughly means riders per service hour.) The $20 fee ends in 2013, and without long-term funding all the cuts announced this summer will be made, and more cuts beyond that. So your low-ridership, peripheral, residential bus route will be going away in any case.

    When you chose your house, did you consider whether it’s within walking distance of a neighborhood commercial center? Those are the places it’s easiest for transit to serve. Did you support zoning that would put more of these commercial centers and housing closer together? Or did you support residential-only, single-family-only zoning, which is hard for transit to serve and makes a car more necessary? Finally, if some streets do lose bus service, what can West Seattle do as an alternative? Perhaps a neighborhood van shuttle funded by residents, either autonomously or paternering with Metro. Perhaps more car-sharing and truck-sharing. I don’t know the answer, but I think there must be SOME answer.

    Also, Metro does want to upgrade the 120 to RapidRide but it doesn’t have money yet. There will probably be a second wave of RapidRides that the 120 will be in, although who knows when.

  • Morris October 26, 2011 (2:18 pm)

    Sorry MO, I did not realize we should have studied urban planning and/or transit planning before purchasing a home. We bought a home that was near an existing bus line, less than 10 miles from the center of town. Since a portion of our taxes pay to suppport the transit system, and since we see that transit serves even remote portions of King County, it did not occur to us that the potential existed for our neighborhood to lose transit service. I was operating under the assumption that any system improvements Metro made would be to expand public access to transit within the service area, rather than the opposite. My mistake I guess. I will now likely drive an SOV rather than walk over a mile to use the transit system. Don’t worry, I’ll keep paying the taxes that support transit in your neighborhood anyway, since I dont’ have a choice in the matter. Congratulations on your wisdom and foresight.

  • Morris October 26, 2011 (2:29 pm)

    “I support this change because overall it helps more people than it hurts.” Those that are helped get improved service, while those that are hurt no longer have service at all except at peak hours. Does that seem fair? Shouldn’t these areas still get some level of service off-peak? Hourly? Bi-hourly? Maybe a mid-day run and one or two evening runs?

  • Suzanne October 26, 2011 (2:52 pm)

    One more remark about Beach Drive. In the 9 years I have lived here there has never been bus service on weekends (other than the minimal Sat 37 that no longer runs), later in the evening, or on holidays. So I would assume that anyone who lives here without a car must have a Plan B for the days and times that there is no service. In my case, this has always meant walking.

    What have other bus-dependent folks been doing all these years?

  • Sna October 26, 2011 (2:53 pm)

    “I support this change because overall it helps more people than it hurts.”
    The number of trips to/from downtown look like they’re being reduced to me. The rapid ride doesnt make up for the lost 54/55 trips as far as I can see.

  • Michael Taylor-Judd October 26, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    Yikes, folks! Would some of you mind taking time to read through the details at the links above or plan to attend one of the meetings in West Seattle?
    Many commenters above are complaining about cuts to routes without understanding that service is being replaced by other routes… although Beach Drive and Arbor Heights are taking severe cuts. But Metro cannot keep providing service for lackluster ridership. You want to keep your service? You have the next few months to increase your ridership on these routes and DEMONSTRATE their necessity.
    Many readers also seem to be assuming that they will have to transfer and wait the same amount of time they do now… but Metro is altering service specifically to improve connections and frequency. In particular, they are emphasizing connections to light rail stations because traffic into Downtown will continue to increase as we move through the Viaduct replacement. Your transfer time may be LESS than sitting in traffic with a one-seat ride!
    Finally, I would like to point out that a number of these improvements like the new Route 40 & 50 and changes to 120 and 128 come specifically at the request and longtime lobbying of your neighbors.
    So make your opinions known, but it will take some time to understand all of the details of these changes…

  • metrognome October 26, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    Sna — yes, it does. RapidRide IS the Rt 54, essentially. Currently, Rts 54 and 55 have alternating schedules, so there is a bus leaving every 15 minutes for downtown from Alaska Junction and a bus coming in from downtown every 15 minutes (I know, I know, they rarely run that close to schedule.) Eff. Oct 1, Rt 54 service was increased to 15 minute headways all day (plus extra peak service) and Saturday, which is essentially the RR schedule, and Rt 55 is still operating its usual schedule. This increase was implemented early; if they had waited until the service change being discussed now, the Rt 55 would have gone away as the portion to/from AJ and downtown will be provided by RapidRide every 15 minutes (possible every 10 minutes.) The 128 is designed to replace the ‘lost’ 55 service between Admiral Junction and Alaska Junction where the 128 and 55 currently offer duplicate service.

  • Sna October 26, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    There are over 25 buses that go from downtown to west Seattle between 4 and 6 pm on the 54/54E/55. Won’t there just be 12 rapid rides during that time?
    And the 128 does nothing for north admiral.

  • Cheryl October 26, 2011 (4:46 pm)

    @Jeff, you DO know there aren’t any taverns or public beaches on/near Beach Drive right? It’s all private access on that stretch (except at public park areas like Me Kwa Mooks and Emma Schmitz), and the only business on the whole stretch is La Rustica (a lovely little Italian restaurant), which hardly has a daily dumping of drunks onto the streets. Also, they’re only open for dinner, so their hours of drunk dumping would be greatly limited.
    Not sure WHERE the trash is coming from, let alone all the pissing on cars, etc. But it’s sure not coming from bars and beach bashes. Just sayin.
    As for bus service cuts, I live nearer to Arbor Heights (west of 35th, but north of Fauntleroy Creek Park) than to the Junction, let alone Admiral, but it’s not exactly a cake walk getting into town on the 21 or the 21X. Local buses are notoriously running behind schedule, or diverting to other routes because of trains, traffic, etc.
    If it worked better, I’d take it daily, but as it stands now, I’m MUCH better off either driving down to the Water Taxi (or getting dropped off there), or braving the WS Bridge, or the 1st Ave. Bridge, and just driving in.
    Metro buses just don’t get me where I need to go, at least not in a timely fashion. Too bad, I kinda liked taking the bus most days… well, except for when I didn’t.
    That said, I’m not moving. A) there’s no buyers, B) the banks aren’t lending even if there were, C) I’ll never sell my home for what I paid, let alone what I put into it after I bought it, and D) where would I go that is anywhere near as lovely as West Seattle?

  • metrognome October 26, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    Sna — your comment didn’t mention peak trips specifically, so I addressed the broader issue of headways between the Junction and downtown. It won’t be possible to answer your question until the schedules come out. RR Line A provides 10 min. headways from 7am to 9am and 2pm to 6pm while RR Line B has 10 min. headways between 6am and 9am and 3pm and 6pm.
    Current 54 PM peak service runs about every 8 minutes, not including 54X since it doesn’t serve the Junction, which adds up to 12 trips between 4 and 6 p.m. The 55 has another 9 trips for a total of 21. However, my experience is that one bus will be full and the next couple will have plenty of room, so 21 trips is probably not very efficient. Assuming 10 min. headways, there would be 13 RR trips to the Junction, so there would be a net loss during pm peak, but I’d bet there won’t be people left standing at the stop, esp if the 10 minute service starts at 3 pm; pm peak tends to be more spread out than am peak and people adjust their departure to match available service.
    There will also be added trips on the 116 which will replace the 54E under this plan.
    I specifically didn’t mention North Admiral; I think if the community submits sufficient number of comments and attends the meetings, this gap will be addressed.

  • jiggers October 26, 2011 (6:29 pm)

    I used to live on Alki for several months years ago, it sucked waitng for the bus.It still sucks there.

  • Heath October 26, 2011 (7:00 pm)

    A note re: 37. I think the biggest problem with this route was that it ran so seldomly and so unreliably. I used to live on this route but could never make use of it because it was sooooo inconsisteent. So Im not surprised ridership is down but its a little ironic.

  • metrognome October 26, 2011 (9:09 pm)

    for the folks who are complaining that this is set in stone already; Metro will collect comments in Nov and spend Dec revising the plan. The public can comment on the revised draft in Jan & Feb. The revised draft will be finalized at a staff level and the County Exec will submit that to the County Council in March. The Council will host a public comment process in April and will adopt a final plan in May.
    Take the time to fill in the on-line survey and to attend a meeting, if you can (or send rep for a group of people with similar issues).

  • Joe Metro October 26, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    Don’t be fooled by this whole “rapid ride” concept – it’s anything but that. They started it in Bellevue at the beginning of October. Basically, the con game is to eliminate a lot of routes and mask the reduction in service by deploying these “rapid ride” buses to cover SOME of the territory that used to be covered by the deleted bus routes. I used to have a bus drive down my street. Now I have to walk nine blocks to catch another one into town. Oh sure, I could wait for the “rapid ride” bus to bring me the connecting route I need to take, but it stops five blocks away. My commute time has gone from 30 minutes – each way – to 55 minutes door-to-door. I used to be able to sit on the bus on my now-deleted route; now I stand the entire trip. Hopefully the same thing does not happen to West Seattle, but I would not be surprised. I wouldn’t be as ticked by this reduction in service if they had just deleted a bunch of routes and said “deal with it,” but don’t try to sell this “rapid ride” crapola as if it’s some sort of improvement.

  • Tom October 27, 2011 (10:03 am)

    Save the 37! I thought about it last night, and I’ve decided its better to have the 37 direct to downtown than this new 50 proposal. I live on beach drive and work in rainier valley, so this 50 line excited me until i see I would have to walk to a shuttle passing the water taxi to even get up to admiral to catch the 50. No no no, 37 to the light rail or water taxi to the light rail seems smarter.

  • Marlon Perkins October 27, 2011 (11:12 am)

    Whomever came up with the Rapid Ride deal should be flogged for trying to hoodwink the citizens of King County.

    Instead they will probably get promoted and a fat raise.

    We are all suckers for allowing this to happen.

  • Scupper's Buddy October 27, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    –Sorry if this is a duplicate post, I waited about an hour and didn’t see it posted —


    Yes, you’re right that I was wrong to blame ALL bus riders for leaving the trash and garbage at the bus stops and I APOLOGIZE.

    It is only an inconsiderate few that are actually leaving their trash there.

    I was a bit upset because the timing wasn’t good, just a day earlier I was out there picking up cigarette butts and trash left at the bus stop by one or more inconsiderate bus riders and wasn’t too happy about it.

    But, let me ask you a couple of questions:

    Since the Bus Riders are using bus stops nearby their own homes and as you said “use it every day” …

    “Why can’t they bend down when they see trash around their own bus stops and pick it up?”

    “Why do they just ignore the trash that has been left there and leave the mess to the unfortunate person who happens to have the bus stop in front of their home to clean up ?”

    ….Especially since they are the ones benefiting from having the bus stop nearby, why can’t they help to take care of the bus stop they use every day?”

  • alki_2008 October 27, 2011 (8:36 pm)

    A different way to look at things. If people in the Admiral junction area are concerned about people taking public parking spaces on “their street”, then you’ll have some folks driving up the hill from Alki to catch the 56 (or whatever its replacement will be).

  • Barb October 28, 2011 (9:52 am)

    I rely heavily on the 37. Would be at a loss if it went away. Taking the WT adds a long time to the commute. Shuttle to WTaxi, waiting and loading time and then a walk 6 blocks straight up a very steep hill to work? Plus, they would need to add more runs. I catch the 6am 37 often and its usually packed by the time we wind around Harbor. the earliest WT is 6:45 which is too late when I need to be at my office by 7am.

  • Admiral California October 30, 2011 (10:52 am)

    Oh, and I’m a lifelong supporter of mass transit, but after the unveiling of this plan (with no chance for public comment until AFTER Election Day), I’m voting against the permanent car-tab increase. Let the North Seattle douchebags pay for their own damn “improved service”.

  • cj October 31, 2011 (2:13 pm)

    Looks like a lot of people will be walking from South side of California to Fauntleroy to catch a bus.

  • LS October 31, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    RE: 37 being cancelled. Please do not get rid of 37! This bus already runs very infrequently. If they do drop this route I’ll be forced to drive. As will a good chunk of people along Beach DR SW.

  • expatom November 2, 2011 (10:03 am)

    The justification for continuing the 37 in spite of the low ridership is that the folks along this route HAVE NO GOOD ALTERNATIVE other than driving. From where I live, near Jacobsen and Beach Drive, it is a 20 minute walk uphill to get to the Alaska Junction, which is the nearest alternative. This really sucks.

  • Sue November 9, 2011 (8:39 am)

    Hi, I do not understand what Metro is thinking of dropping the 37 as it is a main bus for people living on Alki to get to work downtown. It only runs during the week during rush hour.
    How are we to get downtown from Alki? I know it will be easiest for us all to park at the Chelan Cafe park n ride then take a bus from there if Rapid Transit stops there!
    Can we get a petition signed by all the 37 riders and get the bus to not be dropped?
    Or is this a Tim Eyman question?!

  • toast51 November 21, 2011 (10:56 am)

    It seems that Metro is inviting comment, but not sharing. I guess they believe that dialog is one way and would hurt their chances of ramming this proposal down our throats if we actually knew what we all thought and could respond with some synergy.

    The following is the message I sent to them in response to the elimination of the 51, 37, 53 routes:

    Changes would disenfranchise us and many others by completely eliminating the 51 and 37 routes. The proposal is unconscionable. An easy solution would be to combine the routes. Both the 51 and the 37 terminate at the Alaska Junction. Replace the larger busses with a smaller Dart sized van and alternate throughout the day between the route 51 and the route 37/53. Currently, there are rather lengthy layovers between the end and start of the routes. Alternating the routes would eliminate the stopovers and coupled with a reduced bus size and economies in operations, this alternative would allow savings without completely sacrificing ridership to somewhat arbitrary priorities.

    We deserve better consideration from Metro. If you want to exact cost savings, try instituting overtime rules changes that would eliminate any possibility that drivers could earn over $100,000… or even $60,000 per year. Cut management and salaries. It’s those kinds of excesses that drives Metro to constantly raise fares and eliminate service.

Sorry, comment time is over.