Metro changes, weekday #2: Checking on the commute

(Monday morning photo from Alaska/California RapidRide station)
6:38 AM: How will things go for bus riders on the second weekday of RapidRide C Line and Metro route restructuring? After going through the first two commutes yesterday, Metro said they would consider adding buses on the C Line if needed. We’re starting this story for updates and comments – let us know. (We’re watching Twitter and Facebook again this morning, too.) Yesterday’s coverage is here (morning) and here (pm), both including Metro responses/updates. Detailed Metro info (including schedule and map links) is here.

8:08 AM: So far the rider reports continue to center on crowded buses.

8:40 AM: Via Twitter, Ben reported that his RapidRide bus stalled for a few minutes on northbound 99 (around 8:30 am) before the driver could get it restarted.

152 Replies to "Metro changes, weekday #2: Checking on the commute"

  • RichWSeattle October 2, 2012 (6:43 am)

    At 5:59a I got to the Alaska/Fauntleroy stop, and at 6:07a the C line arrived with a few seats available. About 8 of us got on and a few were left standing. So it was standing-room-only on the way to the city, but not crammed full. Got downtown at 6:17a.

  • Sarah M. October 2, 2012 (6:46 am)

    6:45 am Rapid Ride at Fauntleroy & Alaska is nearing the bridge and still has plenty of seating.

  • Ugh October 2, 2012 (6:53 am)

    Won’t be as crowded because so many people gave up on Metro yesterday.

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 2, 2012 (7:09 am)

    The 21 local at 35th and Avalon northbound at 7:04 was standing room only, which never happens except maybe when it snows. The RR bus right after it was the same. I took the 21, which had quite a few seats.

  • Yikes October 2, 2012 (7:10 am)

    Time to build rapid transit over the west Seattle bridge that does not sit in traffic and get rid of metro.

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 2, 2012 (7:11 am)

    Also, the electronic signature at 35th and Avalon northbound isn’t still not working.

  • CandrewB October 2, 2012 (7:12 am)

    They must have all gotten on the C line before Sarah’s because the 6:30 was packed front to back.

  • Chris W October 2, 2012 (7:13 am)

    Went to Alaska Junction to try the 50 today. Driver missed the stop and continued south on California, improvised a stop to offload, and drove around the block to come back for people. Yay. I am on it now. Smooth sailing and only 5 minutes late.

  • Ixobbp October 2, 2012 (7:15 am)

    6:59 RR C from ak Jct packed. AND the new driver isn’t taking the bus lane down the WS bridge. Yup stuck on traffic like the cars.

  • Rich October 2, 2012 (7:23 am)

    7:15 from the Junction, seats full, almost at standing capacity. There’s a #55 right behind us so at least there’s that. It seems like the auto traffic is worse today and it’s slow going.

  • SRO October 2, 2012 (7:27 am)

    I catch RapidRide at the last stop at Avalon and Yancy. I have twice as far to walk to catch the bus as I did before, and I can count on having to stand up once I catch it !

    Thank you Metro !

  • coyoteandthecat October 2, 2012 (7:28 am)

    No one wanted the monorail because it was going to cost an astounding $11 billion to build…So we’re stuck with this so live with it. Learn to stand and see packed busses from now on…hehehehehehe!!

  • OldPink October 2, 2012 (7:32 am)

    Grabbed 3:07 PM 56E from 3rd & Seneca and it was packed. Most of that including the Express regulars and the regulars that caught the 2:42 56 local before the changes. For those of us on Admiral, taking the C line to the junction and grabbing the 50 takes longer than just waiting for the 56E.

  • Don't Be Scared October 2, 2012 (7:32 am)

    So now we have a bus that comes every 10 minutes and the major complaint is it’s too crowded (used too much)? That’s called a success fail. It’s so successful it’s at or over capacity. Could have worse problems. I’m glad so many folks are using transit. I agree at SOME point we will need light rail (separated grade) transit in West Seattle. It’s just a timing thing. When an area is too small yet it’s not worth the huge $ to do that, but as it grows folks will complain more and more about the density and lack of mass transit and we will get it. West Seattle is in that perfect awkward stage right now, just about big enough to burst at the seems, but no light rail either. They really should start planning that now (given it will take a decade to get done)

  • M October 2, 2012 (7:35 am)

    Big backup on the bridge!!!!

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 2, 2012 (7:38 am)

    I meant the electronic sign, not signature.

  • slackmaster October 2, 2012 (7:45 am)

    Ixobbp – no one on that bus is cluing the driver in that s/he should be in the bus lane? Do everyone on the bus (and all the other cars stuck in traffic) a favor and help him or her out.

  • Jen October 2, 2012 (7:47 am)

    At the Brandon/Delridge bus stop by 6:50a for the scheduled 6:55a Northbound 120 to downtown. 7:00a the bus (packed full) blows by the three of us waiting (bus #2885). Next bus due at 7:05a running a few minutes late. Packed again, but picks us up. Slow commute to downtown. Including waiting for buses, takes almost an hour to go 6 miles.

    Also, seems like the tunnel is underused now. A few minutes at a time will go by with no buses and no Link in either direction. This can’t be right.

    I look forward to this settling down.

  • DRS October 2, 2012 (7:48 am)

    With two others standing next to a sign that says “This stop will remain open” when the (not full) 120 whizzed by.

  • Babs October 2, 2012 (7:50 am)

    Caught the 6:50 RR from the Alaska junction. Standing room but not crammed. Got downtown in 20 minutes.

  • Karen October 2, 2012 (7:55 am)

    I use the bus stop at Chelan and Spokane under the bridge which used to be serviced by 6 routes which made it very convenient. Now with the service changes only the 21 and the 37 stop there and the 37 only runs during rush hour. I would have thought that there would be more service or at least the same service to a park and ride not less.

  • Dancingeek October 2, 2012 (7:57 am)

    Had a packed 120 skip my stop both yesterday and today. Even though I was always standing in the aisle before the changes, the bus was never packed enough to skip stops.

  • coffee October 2, 2012 (8:00 am)

    Just wondering, how many of the elected officials are riding the system this week to see what they really have on their hands…..

  • JW October 2, 2012 (8:02 am)

    I can’t find a list of RR downtown stops but it appears that the first downtown stop heading into town in a.m. is 3rd and Pike. True? Do I really have to walk back 3-4 blocks to get to where I used to get off 54x?

  • CandrewB October 2, 2012 (8:05 am)

    “It’s so successful it’s at or over capacity.”

    These are not gobs of new people taking the bus for the first time. These are regulars who are now being crammed onto fewer buses as Metro has reduced capacity. It’s not at all pleasant. If this is their vision of the future, mine will be in my car. Also, if I now choose to pay for more gas and parking, I will go out to eat less, consume less, etc… Which I probably should anyways.

  • Anne October 2, 2012 (8:11 am)

    Why doesn’t a bus driver know how to recognize a bus lane or a bus stop?? Just how experienced are these drivers? Starting jury duty next week-am hoping things have smoothed out by then.

  • ST October 2, 2012 (8:19 am)

    7:08 from Morgan Junction… standing room only after that stop… driver decided NOT to use the bus lane on the bridge…downtown 40 minutes later. Not an improvement (especially over the 54X), yet.

  • k October 2, 2012 (8:19 am)

    God forbid any of you people have to ride the subway in NYC. And of course no one is going to help the driver out. We are passive Seattle. We don’t talk to people.

  • PAM October 2, 2012 (8:20 am)

    slackmaster on Sunday my husband tried to help the driver of the c line when he was going the wrong way… result the driver called his supervisor and had my husband removed from the bus. so thats Metros answer be polite and helpfull you get removed.

  • East Coast Cynic October 2, 2012 (8:22 am)

    Some people have alluded to a net negative number of buses removed from service during the rush hour as a result of RR. This appears to be having a net negative impact on service on non RR express buses. In the quarter hour window of 7:15am to 7:30am there used to be 3 21E’s that would stop at 35th Ave SW and Morgan, but now there are only 2. The one that is supposed to arrive around 7:15am for the last couple of days has been 10-12 minutes late, just a few minutes arrrival time before the 7:30am bus, and has been very crowded–posssibly getting too many people from the previously available 7:23am bus? Usually driver error corrects after a day or so, but that couldn’t be the case could it?

  • Sue October 2, 2012 (8:22 am)

    I was on the 119 this morning, and passed a RR and a regular bus (not sure of the #) both sitting in the long line of traffic for the 99 ramp, rather than using the bus lane (as we were). Looks like a common problem this morning.

  • Magpie October 2, 2012 (8:23 am)

    I think the buses are packed due to less capacity. When you take 3 55’s, 2 54x, 2 57’s, 2 54 and 2 56E in a half an hour period and drop that down to 6 or 7 total buses, that is diminished capacity. Plus these buses now have less seats available due to their configuration.

    I noticed that the back up on the bridge was earlier this morning, makes me think more people decided to drive than yesterday because they were caught in the hell of Metro’s making. I feel sorry for the folks from 35th and Avalon to the bridge. They were already standing, now the buses are just passing them by. Happy to see the 50 going across the bridge about 7:20 almost empty.

    I took the 73 from the international station to convention place today and with the front loading, I was out of the tunnel at convention, transferred to a 70 and across the street by REI by the time the same bus was on Eastlake (and it was standing room only from the Pioneer square stop). It took close to 4 minutes to board.

    It will be interesting to see how the scientists at Metro skew the data to make it look like this is a success.

  • joannbylincolnpark October 2, 2012 (8:25 am)

    Thought I would try taking the 116 in today. I watched it come up Fauntleroy, I was on the curb waving, and IT DID NOT STOP! I did already report this to the Metro customer service center. An excellent idea yesterday from someone to communicate directly with them.

  • E October 2, 2012 (8:26 am)

    Sitting on the RR now. The driver says we have to wait 6 minutes so they can “space out” the buses. I’ve seen two non-RR buses go by. Wish I was on one of them.

  • Moose2 October 2, 2012 (8:26 am)

    Anne & Ixobbp – it is frustrating when the driver doesn’t take the buslane. I asked the driver of my 56 yesterday to take the bus lane, which he did (it was his first time on the route).

    However he also get back into the mainline traffic waiting to get onto 99 way before he needed to, and similarly on Admiral hill waiting with the traffic rather than pushing to the front of the line.

    It would be good if metro reminds drivers that they should go past backed-up cars.

  • BWD October 2, 2012 (8:27 am)

    Re Route 50: I told Metro 3 weeks ago that stop 19920, where there is a posted schedule and a “bus will stop here” notice for the Route 50 is PAST the eastbound turnoff to SW Genesee. They still have not corrected it or responded to me. There were alot of angry people at that bus stop both today and yesterday.

    Get your act together Metro, you should at least be able to post your route stops correctly.

  • Sunny October 2, 2012 (8:30 am)

    @JW Yes, the RR only stops at Seneca and Pike and skips University.

    Took the bus in from the junction this morning at 7:56. According to One Bus Away, the RR was supposed to get there prior to the 55 but never did so I took the 55.

  • ws bred October 2, 2012 (8:32 am)

    Disappointed in the cuts to so many neighborhood routes to fund a “rapid ride” that appears to run less often than the 54 it replaced. If I get off work even a tad bit late (which is almost every day) I now have to take 3 buses home. So much for rapid. I’m really trying to stick it out and keep using transit, but there comes a point when you have to weigh the cost of driving a car and getting home at a reasonable hour. I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way and I’ve been a metro advocate for more than a decade.

  • Brian October 2, 2012 (8:35 am)

    There was a Rapid Ride D bus stalled out on the 99 ramps going up to the Viaduct by 1st Ave. That slowed stuff down at 8:30 this morning. It started moving again but not before making a mess of traffic.

    • WSB October 2, 2012 (8:38 am)

      Thanks, Brian. Might have been Ben’s bus – I noticed a RapidRide bus at the end of Avalon, bridge-bound, with its display reading D – since the C line becomes the D line, I suspect they switch their displays by the time they reach that spot on the bridge.

  • Moose2 October 2, 2012 (8:37 am)

    Re Route 50: it is also badly signed on the bus – it says “South Downtown Seattle”, but it goes nowhere near downtown. It should say “SoDo” (which is the name of the neighborhood and the name of the light rail station). Remember SoDo doesn’t mean “South Downtown”, it means “South OF Downtown”.

    Sometimes I think whoever plans things for metro doesn’t even live if the city or use the bus service.

  • Nordic October 2, 2012 (8:39 am)

    Totally packed on the C line getting on the bridge right now. Is it just me or do these coaches have less capacity than the ones with only two doors and more forward facing seats?

  • Robert October 2, 2012 (8:45 am)

    My driver also merged on the WS bridge much earlier than (s)he should have. WS – U District 1 hour. Not bad time wise, but I was standing the whole way and very uncomfortable. I’m new to WS and was walking/busing all the time before the move, but I think from now on I’m strictly driving. At least I got a free ORCA card until the end of the year. Not sure how I will use it though. ;-)

  • allison October 2, 2012 (8:58 am)

    I waited at Findly and California for 15 minutes for a rapid ride at 7:40 this morning. It was standing room only. I used to take the 54E and it took me 25 minutes door to door. the last two days my commute has been 40+ minutes…

  • olivist October 2, 2012 (9:00 am)

    Metro achieved what must have been their goal which was to get me off the bus and into my car. 25 minutes flat from alaska junction to downtown, leaving at 745.

  • oneanne October 2, 2012 (9:06 am)

    There appears to be an error in the schedule for 21/21X: it looks like the second column marked “35th/Morgan” is actually the time check for “35th/Roxbury”. According to the schedule the 2nd morning 21X should be at Morgan at 6:26am but it hasn’t even gotten to Thistle at that time, so 10 minutes or so late, but it gets to town at the posted time of 6:55pm.

  • elizabeth parker October 2, 2012 (9:10 am)

    Been at alaska junction since 8:35…the rapid ride c finally arrived at 9:03 & was too full to pick up people commuting to downtown. I counted 50 people! Apparently peak hours end at 8:15??? After peak is 15 minutes? Except it is not running every 15.

  • Kg October 2, 2012 (9:13 am)

    Waited 30 minutes for a crowded bus at alaska and fauntleroy. At least this time driver stopped but did not stop on avalon where 10-20 people waiting. They need more buses

  • Magpie October 2, 2012 (9:13 am)

    Oh, one thing I forgot. Last night, we decided to go to Target so we drove south on 35th around 6:30 pm. There were 3 21’s to Westwood Village all in a row on 35th. That means at least 2 of them were late. It was like a caravan of 21’s.

  • Kg October 2, 2012 (9:15 am)

    Bus c is rerouted to 4th ave so expect even longer commute

  • Spamela October 2, 2012 (9:17 am)

    The RR from downtown to WS first stops at 3rd and Virgina. Though yesterday coming home at 5:15, the 21x never showed, the RR came by at 5:25 (already packed solid), but there was a 21x 2 min away, so I skipped the RR. Since Virgina is the first stop for the 21x, it was open. But at standing room only (per usual) by the viaduct. I use “one bus away” to track busses, but the RR only says “every 10 minutes” so, that is not helpful at all. I’ll stick to the 21x.

  • Lindsey October 2, 2012 (9:19 am)

    I took the 8:15-ish RR C from Alaska and Fauntleroy, my usual stop. Just like yesterday, there were about 3x as many people waiting for the bus, and just like yesterday, not a single one of them got on the 50 to Sodo. I barely squeezed on the bus and had to uncomfortably dangle from the straps to prevent myself from falling on the gentleman behind me. I know it’s only been two days, but I feel like I’ll never be able to sit down on the bus again, and as I get more and more pregnant, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to count on metro for a safe ride to work. :(

  • Euripides October 2, 2012 (9:20 am)

    It may be worth remembering that one cause for the cutbacks in service are that Metro’s funding has gone down significantly in recent years, in part due to the recession, but also in part due to people’s general unwillingness to pay taxes. It seems that Metro could have done a better job with what they had left, but reductions in service and stops are to be expected with budget cuts. One tends to get what one pays for!

  • David October 2, 2012 (9:33 am)

    Does anyone know if the 21 has any seats left when it stops at 35th/Avalon going towards downtown at 7:47AM or 8:02AM ? I am looking for options to get off the packed to the gills Rapid Ride C line.

  • Ugh October 2, 2012 (9:50 am)

    Bridge traffic will be worse because many people who use to bus from Alki and North Admiral have given up and are now driving. Plus, RR C is so ridiculously crowded that you get passed by or you stand up smashed like a sardine the whole wat to downtown. Very unpleasant. I could not be more unhappy with the way West Seattle has gotten screwed in the service revisions. Hope our King County Councilmember figures out how to more effectively fight for his district.

  • S October 2, 2012 (9:57 am)

    I cant wait for SLOWRIDE to see Snow.

  • Standing October 2, 2012 (9:59 am)

    I thought RR buses were supposed to offer more rider comforts with easy loading platforms, Orca readers at stations and wide doors. They do have that but they also have a lot less seating than a typical articulated bus which means during peak you are forced to stand for the whole trip. I hate this. And yes, I hope Joe McDermott is reading all these comments because he needs to do better for his district!

  • sna October 2, 2012 (9:59 am)

    Eiripides — RapidRide was sold to the public as a vast improvement, not a cutback.

  • Rob Gillette October 2, 2012 (10:24 am)

    I used to ride the 54 from California and Hudson to downtown. I’ve ridden the C line 3 times. Each ride has been totally packed. I’m from DC. I’m no stranger to crowded public trans, but a packed bus is not the same as a packed train. There are many hills, turns, and traffic, which means people are constantly falling into each other. Also, because the doors are not as wide as a train, it is extremely challenging for people to board and deboard. The RR is not faster and it is a much bigger hassle. To address the comments that have attempted to paint overcrowding in a positive light as “full capacity,” is simply wrong. When the bus is so full that people cannot board in the later stops leaving west seattle and leaving downtown, that’s overuse. And it’s a huge problem.

  • Geena October 2, 2012 (10:25 am)

    Project Management and planning?
    1. There certainly seems to be a lacking of public support and comment pre-implementation. Or (adjustments made based on public comments) As I look at the amount of routes dropped from WS and the number of C Lines added, there is a large deficit in capacity. (NO ONE likes to watch a bus pass by once or more, because it is at capacity continuously through morning commute)
    2. It would be interesting to read the details of the PM Project Plan and discussions around route stop/curb placements/planning at major intersections. Morgan Junction is near me, I live north of it on California Ave SW, and the junction is really backing up a good 1/2 mile at peak times in both directions-non peak times are not really great either. Jackson, Alaska Junction merges off of Fauntleroy and no dual turn right onto Alaska is causing a plethera of confusion.
    3. I rode the C line from Morgan Junction this morning, walked 7 mins to stop, waited 5, and the one stop filled bus to 75% capacity. I felt sorry for the next two stops, as Alaska Junction filled to capacity, there was no room on 35th & Avalon and we passed right by. 8:02am start, 8:50am finish in downtown. If a passenger with disabilities needed to ride, there would be absolutely no room for them to load. At least 7 passengers would need to negate their standing room only. (more would need to evacuate and then reload after allowing wheel chair to load) Deplorable/long wait and unsafe; elderly, riders with disabilities, longer walks, longer waits and possibly no bus to ride)
    4. This C line at 8:02 departure, did stall on 99-Viaduct North Bound. No mention from Bus Driver on overhead speaker. He just kept turning the bus on and off. I would assume compression issues?
    5. Being a motorcycle commuter to downtown, I will stick to my motorcycle on 99% of my commute as this morning was not a pleasant experience and I can beat that 50 mins. (40 mins, negating the stall) to 20min tops. Yes it takes a little more planning, and good visible gear, but it is cheaper, reliable, flexible, manueverable for my needs.
    6. Back to Project Management- it seems there was minimal to no training for new bus drivers on traffic patterns, route pattern basics. What happened to friendliness and good nature? It would have made my commute a little easier if he noted on overhead that “Hey, we’re working through it”- or “Gee, the bus is having a compression problem, let’s see if we can get it moving again”. Glad I didn’t have a bus driver who sat in non HOV lane on WS bridge-wow!
    7. Perception – is 99% true in the eye of the beholder. (Granted change is difficult and large projects such as this will have challenges, but capacity vs. rate of pick up does not = better Rapid Ride in these scenarios)
    And yes, I’m contacting Metro KC.
    PostScript: Additionally, if I want a “Free” Ride there is no way in haites that the bus driver would know that I didn’t slide my orca card at stop in peak hours- poorly planned and executed, and I may want to make my RapidRide a FreeRide. (would Love to see a Bus Inspector work his/her way around bus to “check” for bus fare)

  • petert October 2, 2012 (10:33 am)

    Was on the 5:33 RR “C” out of the Junction for my first venture on the new system.

    Complaints: The lighting on the new buses is pretty bad. Reading anything in print is pretty difficult, and the back of the bus is pretty dark. Got out at 3rd/Virginia, for an 11-block walk for what used to be a 5 block walk. That’s going to be interesting once the real fall/winter weather sets in. I also felt really bad being yet another street parker in the Junction.

    Positives: Even with the 11-block walk, I was through the front door at my destination at 6:03, only 30 minutes from when I got on the bus. That used to be 57-60 minutes. The additional door in the rear makes for a really quick and convenient step-off. The bus seemed warmer than usual – don’t know if that’s systemic, or the heat was just turned up, but it was nice.

    So, the pros and cons roughly balance out for me, but I’ll do a sanity check in the winter to see if I feel the same way.

    Oh yeah – who chose the color scheme for the buses, someone from Oscar Meyer ? I felt like I was getting on board a Kingdog…

  • East Coast Cynic October 2, 2012 (10:40 am)

    David RE:21 Bus

    There is a 21E that should hit 35th/Avalon going downtown about 7:40-7:45am that isn’t standing and has seats (at least for the past couple of days). The one after that one tends to be packed.

  • SammaJamma October 2, 2012 (10:40 am)

    Oh Whaaaaaaaaaa! What a bunch of babies! It’s a change, everyone needs to adapt to it and it will become more efficient as well as familiar. Calm down. Leave earlier, find a different route, do whatever you need to do, but for the love of sanity, please stop complaining unless you have a better solution to the issues.

  • Faith4 October 2, 2012 (10:42 am)

    After almost 20 years of taking the bus, this mess is making me rethink going back to driving. Since there was extra traffic, looks like others may be doing the same. I wonder if we could get a West Seattle community meeting with Metro to get some answers as it seems even in the second day things are not improving. Everyone keep contacting the people at Metro per WSB information above. Perhaps we can get some action to fix what seems to be a big mess all around.

  • clark5080 October 2, 2012 (10:43 am)

    Another possible problem, a comment from my son, was that he thought the capacity of the rapid ride buses was less than the previous buses on the 54 route

  • Magpie October 2, 2012 (10:51 am)

    Ah, those unintended consquences brought on by a bunch of bureaucrats!

  • Casey October 2, 2012 (10:52 am)

    A. His name is Jim McDermott.
    B. I doubt he’s reading these, I suggest contacting him directly.
    C. Funding for Rapid Ride comes from the county and is approved by King County Council – Rapid Ride is in no way federal.

    • WSB October 2, 2012 (11:38 am)

      Casey – You mean Joe McDermott, I think. Jim McDermott is the longtime Seattle U.S. House Rep. (aka Congressmember).
      Yes, RapidRide uses a lot of federal funding. I don’t know the degree of oversight now that it’s implemented, but here’s a bit of explanation directly from the county, which does indeed run Metro:

  • Jet City October 2, 2012 (10:56 am)

    The 57 this morning at 8am also sat in traffic on the WS bridge instead of using the bus lane. Are the drivers on the regular routes being told to leave the bus lane open for the Rapid Ride buses so RR can seem more rapid?

  • DTK October 2, 2012 (10:57 am)

    I’d rather stand on a bus for 20 minutes than sit in traffic for 50 and replace my clutch every year.

  • Ixobbp October 2, 2012 (11:04 am)

    @slackmaster; @k I was packed in back and would have had to shout to be heard. And like others have mentioned some drivers freak out if you talk to them.

  • Brent October 2, 2012 (11:04 am)

    It should be remembered that some in West Seattle fought against making the RapidRide rapid, by doing things like keeping car storage in what would have been arterial lanes.

    Longer trip time with a set number of buses means fewer trips, and less capacity.

    If you want to know who is causing the packed buses, it isn’t Metro. It is the businesses who insisted in keeping car storage in the arterial lanes on the *public* right-of-way in front of their businesses. Want someone to complain to? Go talk to those business owners and ask them to be less callous to those of you on the bus.

    If they won’t listen, tell the Seattle Department of Transportation that you disagree in letting cars have a sit-in in arterial bus lanes, causing longer and less comfortable commutes for thousands of riders and thousands of drivers.

    Metro has no jurisdiction in creating bus lanes. That’s up to SDOT. Oh, and let your city council members know what you think, too.

  • natinstl October 2, 2012 (11:09 am)

    Findlay/California stop. Just missed a 7:30 bus as I was walking to the stop. Next bus didn’t come until 7:55. This stop is at the beginning of the route and generally has plenty of open seats, but I got the last actual seat and it was standing only from then on out and we passed many of the stops towards the end because the bus was too full. Got to work at the exact same time I would have on the regular 54-8:30am.

    Unless they put a lot more of these buses in service nobody is going to know what time they may actually make it to work and they definitely are not running 10 minutes apart and I would not expect them to unless they put more buses in service. Dreading the ride home.

  • OtherJW October 2, 2012 (11:13 am)

    At around 9am, I was sitting in my car at Findlay and California, where I saw a completely full RR C Northbound bus drive past the “station” there, where about 20 people were waiting in vain. I saw a lot of incredulous looks on their faces.

    I also have talked to a couple people in the neighborhood who had negative experiences taking Rapid Ride yesterday.

    So…the word-of-mouth and the on-street visuals are pretty bad for RR’s BIG DEBUT. Is anyone doing damage control? Has anyone submitted a big ol’ purchase order for 10-15 shiny new big red buses? Anyone thought about just putting a few 54s back in service (which are sure looking good right now)? Just wondering.

  • coyoteandthecat October 2, 2012 (11:49 am)

    Live with it folks. You didn’t want the monorial built…lol

  • skimsea October 2, 2012 (11:51 am)

    I just wanted to remind people that the water taxi is a nice option if you are anywhere near the shuttles or want to try alki parking.

  • Diane October 2, 2012 (11:53 am)

    @Casey; Standing was correct; Joe McDermott is our KC Council rep responsible for this mess; (keep that in mind next time KC Council members come up on the ballot; remember what happened to Nickels after the snow/ice disaster)
    Jim McDermott is our US Rep in DC; he had nothing to do with the Metro debacle, as far as I know

  • Grundle October 2, 2012 (12:21 pm)

    Anyone know if there is indeed a new policy that is keeping non “RuinedRide” buses from using that bus only lane on the bridge?

  • JR October 2, 2012 (12:25 pm)

    I’m thrilled Seattle is joining every other major city that requires you to pay before you use mass transit. Sure, it’s taking some adjustment. But I think the peer pressure of “hurry up and get on the bus so we can get moving” will eventually make the whole process run more smoothly and will definitely improve the unreasonable amount of time people take to get off the &#@# bus in this town (because now they’ve already paid). Nothing more annoying than someone taking two minutes to finish a conversation, grab their stuff and slowly walk down the length of the bus to exit.

  • Jeff October 2, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    Took 56 in today, bus was on time, as opposed to 15 min late yesterday. Did notice heavier traffic on bridge today, but still got to work right on time. Took Water Taxi home last night, nice quick ride not too crowded. Not sure which method will use to go home this evening. Have more people started using the Water Taxi over the past couple of days?

  • Dancingeek October 2, 2012 (12:30 pm)

    Grundle: The 120 I was on both yesterday and today used the bus only lane on the bridge.

  • jedifarfy October 2, 2012 (12:32 pm)

    Took a 120 ten minutes later than yesterday, and it wasn’t full yet. It was standing only by the time we got on the bridge, but we didn’t have to skip any stops. These problems with the RR make me never ever want to move out of the Roxbury area. What a horror show. :(

    @SammaJamma – Uh, are you not reading these articles? There are no other buses. Your only option when the bus passes you IS to wait for the next and hope you can get on. Give it a try before you bash everyone. Follow your own advice and stop complaining unless you have a solution to the problems.

  • SV Admiral October 2, 2012 (12:33 pm)

    Seems like the changes have been rough on the drivers too. I don’t blame them, though. Lack of preparation is on Metro. Our driver took the 57 up Fauntleroy yesterday after missing the Admiral Way exit, an was promptly chastised by multiple riders. We ended up doing the 57 backwards. My advice is give these guys a little break. They may screw up, but again, I think it’s on Metro for lack of prep.

  • coyoteandthecat October 2, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    I’m voting for McDermott.. I like his style…

  • BWD October 2, 2012 (12:41 pm)


    No new policy. All buses are suppossed to use that lane. The 21 local took it correctly on both my trips to work (at different times). I think there are just alot of drivers driving West Seattle routes for the first time. Riders should (courteously) point out the designated lane.

  • dapuffin October 2, 2012 (1:16 pm)

    Tuesday comments — Drivers could use a bit more training in how to align the longer vehicles with the curb. I had a fairly long hop down to the street with the curb being *just* out of reach for me this morning when I disembarked from a rear door. My ride early this morning started at 35/Barton and was maybe 1/3 full at that point. By the time it got to Alaska Junction, it was standing room only with people standing right against the rear doors – something never tolerated on the other buses.

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 2, 2012 (1:21 pm)

    Before we vote our our county councilmember, I suggest that we find out exactly how he voted on the various changes. We don’t know for sure that he even voted for it or wanted it to be the way it was.
    (If anyone does know for sure though, please let us know.)

  • AEL October 2, 2012 (1:22 pm)

    I think the frustrated RR people are coming down into Delridge. The 120 continues to be standing room only and running late. Normally I am fine standing, but as I am nearly nine months pregnant…it is completely painful (literally). I thought day two would be better as people would shift around to different buses, but it was worse today.

  • RR Sucks October 2, 2012 (1:25 pm)

    RapidRide = RapidCrap

  • onion October 2, 2012 (1:27 pm)

    I’m not a downtown bus commuter, but I appreciate the posts about the relationship between taxes paid and the level of service. People in WA are really good at finding ways to cut taxes (thanks Tim Eyman), but seem surprised and bitch when that results in reduced government service. Let’s face it: If we wanted to, we could vote for Lincoln limos to pick us all up at our doorsteps, drop us off directly at our offices, and polish our shoes during the ride. No, I’m not advocating that. But I’d tell anyone who votes for every single proposal to reduce taxes that this is what you get — reduced government services, whether in the form of better bus service or reduced road traffic — so deal with it. The alternative is to think more seriously about the implications of tax cuts before voting for them.

  • wetone October 2, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    The people that have anything to do with the RR system or any type of new traffic design or changes (Mercer St.) should have to personally use these systems and roads during commuting hours for a month and see how their ideas work and how they can improve them. Things might change a little quicker. These buses sound like a disease factory so I will stay with my car.

  • old timer October 2, 2012 (1:40 pm)

    Good grief – what kind of ‘professional drivers’ are they if they can’t read “BUS ONLY” and realize
    “Hey, I’m driving a BUS”
    Give me a break,
    give someone with smarts the job.

  • Thistle October 2, 2012 (1:42 pm)

    Having attended several of the Metro public meetings, I know for a fact that many frequent bus users voiced articulated concerns and observations foreseeing the very problems that are being faced (especially in regards to having enough busses running since so many were now being funneled to just a few routes). The only response that was ever given is “we have already taken that into consideration” or “lets write that on a white sheet of paper with a sharpie”. There are absolutely no legitimate excuses here. Metro has already rolled out two other Rapid Lines (FYI, all of the issues with too few busses, drivers unfamiliar with routes, traffic snarls, overcrowding were present in the introduction of the Rapid B, but it did smooth out a week or so in). With a major change over like this, the extra money should have been spent to ensure drivers were familiar with their routes before hand, more then enough busses were running, and all equipment was actually working at the stops. What is the worst thing that could have happened, oh yes, Happy Commuters and a gradual shifting back of bus amounts, if warranted.

  • Carole October 2, 2012 (2:27 pm)

    Regardless of whether the drivers are new to the WS routes, was there NO run-through training before they took over? I mean, you could drive the route in a car just to get familiar with the turns.

  • Stephanie October 2, 2012 (2:42 pm)

    I’m curious if people decided to drive today because of the new bus changes because the bridge was HORRIBLE this AM at 7:30 – traffic started before you even got on the bridge. I hope the bus system starts working smoothly so that the bridge isn’t so packed at least for a little while until all these apartment’s go up and then it will be the worth commute ever.

  • Diane October 2, 2012 (2:46 pm)

    @West Seattle since 1979; agreed, everyone should do homework prior to voting; I participated in KC Council hearings last year, where the public were in long lines wrapping around the block to get inside, and people testified til late into the night about hardships that would occur based on loss of bus service; now we are experiencing the outcome of KC council member’s votes
    and I attended all the neighborhood meetings about proposed changes to bus service, which started about this time last year; I pleaded with Metro to NOT do what they have done; alas, they did it anyway
    and exactly what Thistle said; Metro reps, at best would write down my concerns, but I had no confidence it would make any difference; most of the time they made excuses, based on data, not on actual live human beings; at one meeting there were college interns who brought out these huge notebooks of data to show us why these decisions were made

  • anonyme October 2, 2012 (2:57 pm)

    I’m guessing a LOT of West Seattleites will be driving now instead of taking the bus – many because they now have no other option, especially residents from Arbor Heights.

  • Not a Success Fail October 2, 2012 (3:20 pm)

    @ Dont be scared. i don’t think MORE people are using transit, I think the fact that so much capacity was cut elsewhere in West Seattle service means everyone has fewer options jamming too people onto RapidRide. That’s not a ‘success fail’ just a fail because many longtime transit riders will now choose SOV commutes again. This will cause WS Bridge jam ups. I think when the Bridge construction and 1st Ave ramps and AWV capacity was restored people breathed a big sigh of relief only to have our transit service eviserated this week :(

  • Lisa October 2, 2012 (3:33 pm)

    Just waited 25 minutes downtown to catch the RR back to West Seattle, I gave up & ran around the corner for the 116. Get it together metro. Please

  • Tucker October 2, 2012 (3:47 pm)

    So far, loving the changes to 21. Dropping off and picking up at Westwood Village is a godsend. (Not that I couldn’t make the walk from Barton down, but it’s a lot more convenient.) And the increased frequency during peak hours, particularly in the evening, looks like it’s gonna be a winner. Now, if they can just manage to keep a consistent schedule and not get backed up for 20-30 minutes coming out of Ballard/QA, I’ll be very happy with the changes. Also, the change in frequency seems to have cut the bus ride (non-Express) from 35th & Holden/Ida to 3rd & Virginia by about 5 to 10 minutes in the morning. Hoping that will keep up too.

  • MegJunction October 2, 2012 (3:50 pm)

    To all these people saying “you get what you pay for”: I consistently vote for these sorts of taxes/fees/projects, because I see how important they are living here in The Side Seattle Forgot. I bet I’m not the only one, either. I would encourage you to think before painting us all with the whiny brush.

  • onion October 2, 2012 (4:35 pm)

    MegJunction, My comments were not intended as a universal brush. Honestly, I have not voted for every proposed tax proposal because some, quite frankly, truly do not make sense. And even when I vote for tax increases, it isn’t because I say ‘goodie, I get to vote for another measure that is going to cost me $$.’

    But it’s a larger issue than any individual. The fact is that we as a society have chosen not to fund needed many essential services. And therefore that is the society we live in, with (among other things) overcrowded buses, libraries that have to shut down and don’t buy as many books, and state parks that are shuttered, all because too many people are swayed by the rhetoric of the anti-tax (so-called) “conservatives.” No need to take the comment personally. We all live in this society, so we share in the choices of the majority.

  • Harry Reems October 2, 2012 (4:39 pm)

    Big surprise, we generously donate money to Metro via car tabs only to see them waste it on inefficient “improvements”. To buy buses that have less capacity than current buses is idiotic.

    Can’t wait for even more mixed use construction in West Seattle, lets see how many more people we can cram in without improving access in and out.

  • Bruce Nourish October 2, 2012 (4:45 pm)

    “most of the time they made excuses, based on data”

    “there were college interns who brought out these huge notebooks of data to show us why these decisions were made”

    OH GOD NO, Metro made decisions based on DATA. Save us from the DATA. We might be in danger of building a better transit system based on DATA.

    For all that RapidRide is not *actually* BRT or anything like BRT, this restructure moves resources from underutilized routes to focus them on the peak-only expresses and improved service on the best routes. Yes, some people in areas who’ve seen reduced service will switch to driving their cars, but far more will switch to transit out of their cars in the denser areas where buses were already well used (e.g. Alaska Junction).

    Every restructure where Metro makes these changes is accompanied by a big mess for a while, including howls of protest, but in a year, ridership will be up, costs will be less, and the hysterics in this thread will be consigned to the garbage can of history.

  • West Seattleite October 2, 2012 (4:45 pm)

    Geena must work on the Boeing 787 cooling system. Go get ’em rocket scientist. I bet daylight savings time throws you a loop every year. LOL

  • DTK October 2, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    After two days of Ridiculous Ride, I have just one thing to say to King County Executives, “Heck of a job Brownie.”

  • RJB October 2, 2012 (5:00 pm)

    Rapid Ride=epic fail….ugh Metro…ugh.

  • Ixobbp October 2, 2012 (5:11 pm)

    Just waited 30 minutes for RR C at 2nd & Seneca. Only 1 bus came by and it was too full. Metro employees taking some heat bit trying to help.

  • JW October 2, 2012 (5:30 pm)

    But, um…Bruce Nourish: If the data are so powerful, and the people analyzing it are so brilliant, why are there people left standing at stops even south of the Junction while jam-packed buses fly by? If the big mess is so predictable, why haven’t the dataheads figured out a mitigation plan?

    Seriously, people are willing to forgive Metro and I think a lot of us want this service to succeed. But you (and Metro) have the wrong approach/style here. It’s time for a mea culpa and some commitments to improvements. A Metro commentator making a reply on this thread with that attitude would do wonders. If you look elsewhere on this blog, you’ll find business owners responding to complaints, and occasionally you’ll even find a public figure commenting on relevant threads, and those folks win respect here.

  • Yeah, "Rapid" October 2, 2012 (5:41 pm)

    I had been calling it just “Ride,” because there’s nothing “Rapid” about it. Now I can’t even call it “Ride” after being passed up at the stop by overly full buses this morning.

    And as for every 10 minutes during peak time? Not a chance this evening. 25 minutes, only 1 C Line bus, and it was too full to get on.

    Sorry fellow commuters, but I’m going to drive myself now. Add another SOV to the WS bridge. At least I know I’ll have a “ride,” and in the end, even with traffic, driving myself is three times more “rapid.”

  • MSW October 2, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    Jet City – I’m usually the last person off the 8:00 57, the driver wasn’t familiar with the route. He didn’t think it was o.k. to go all the way to the end of the bus lane and muscle his way onto the 99 ramp. He will do that from now on after seeing the other buses do it.

  • Sarah M. October 2, 2012 (5:56 pm)

    Just waited 20 minutes at 2nd & Columbia without seeing a RR C bus. 2 standing room only 120s and a 56. Then a 55 came, with empty seats, which a horde promptly filled, with some still standing.

  • zip line October 2, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    The water taxi is not impacted. Lots of room on the boat.

  • Chris W October 2, 2012 (6:02 pm)

    There were no RR buses at 2nd and Seneca from 530 to 545. Many angry people waiting. 125, 120, + 21 all full. Hopped on the 55.

  • old timer October 2, 2012 (6:03 pm)

    So, tell us Bruce Nourish, if “Every restructure where Metro makes these changes is accompanied by a big mess for a while”, what is it about the Metro bureaucracy that prevents them from LEARNING?
    Learning how to handle an implementation.
    They’re having the same problems with RR on the Eastside.
    Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is called insanity.
    You have your ivory tower view that permits you to take your time out of the lives of hundreds for years until adaptation of the abused results in grudging acceptance which you will call success.
    We expect more.

  • Chris W October 2, 2012 (6:11 pm)

    Hey Zipline, thanks for mentioning room on the water taxi. I was wondering….

    • WSB October 2, 2012 (6:14 pm)

      Update – this will be published as part of a separate story later, but right now I’m out in the field covering a meeting, so I’m putting it here – Sent by Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer:
      Full RapidRide C line were reported Monday and Tuesday during the morning commutes from West Seattle to downtown Seattle. Riders are frustrated and contacted Metro Transit asking for more buses to improve capacity..
      What’s Metro doing about it?
      Metro temporarily deployed two RapidRide additional buses, and also made a third additional trip to help carry passengers on Tuesday morning. That said, there also were a few temporary mechanical problems with buses on the route during the Tuesday morning commute, causing delays and additional overloads. Metro will have two additional buses available downtown for the RapidRide C and D lines during the Tuesday afternoon commute, and for the C line during the Wednesday morning commute. The additional buses are intended to be available in case of service disruptions due to mechanical problems, transit delays or reports of overcrowding or stops passed because a bus was too full..
      What do riders need to know?

      Full buses might bypass stops if there is no more room for additional passengers. Metro drivers report and the Transit Control Center tracks these situations and when possible works to add available buses to the route to accommodate the demand.

      Metro is tracking the issue of full buses on the C Line and working to address the issues. During these first few days of the new service, crowding and longer travel times might occur as riders, drivers and transit coordinators become familiar with the route and schedule. Other bus service in West Seattle is available through Metro’s Trip Planner and noted in the attached document.

  • WSB October 2, 2012 (6:14 pm)

    (I will publish “the attached document” with the forthcoming story, by 8 o’clock or so)

  • West Seattle since 1979 October 2, 2012 (6:16 pm)

    I caught a Rapid Ride C bus at 3rd. & Pike, and got one of the last seats. It’s standing room only at 2nd and Seneca, where I’d normally catch it.

  • CandrewB October 2, 2012 (6:17 pm)

    “this restructure moves resources from underutilized routes to focus them on the peak-only expresses and improved service on the best routes.”

    But this is exactly what didn’t happen. The howls as you call them are mostly about too little capacity on the C Line. Last week, we had ample capacity between the Junctions and downtown; this week we do not. It takes a lot of balls to call this an improvement.

  • iggy October 2, 2012 (6:19 pm)

    Metro says: “During these first few days of the new service, crowding and longer travel times might occur as riders, drivers and transit coordinators become familiar with the route and schedule.” Sure, blame it on the riders!!!!! The C is the 54, so why do riders need to become familiar. And I love the part about crowding “MIGHT” occur. Sigh. This reminds me of the defensiveness of the Mayor and the SDOT commissioner during the big snowstorm a few years back. Why can’t Metro do the adult and ethical thing and just apologize to us already. But, no, it’s all euphemisms and hedging and impersonal. And, as someone remarked on the blog earlier, we are the people who pay the taxes, so Metro works for us.

  • babs October 2, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    Waited at 3rd and Seneca at 4:30pm. Twenty five minutes go by and not a single RR or 55 and all the while the crowd grows. Finally hopped on the 119. Would rather walk up to the junction from Fauntleroy than stand there waiting for non-existent buses. Argh.

  • Harry Reems October 2, 2012 (6:30 pm)

    Thanks for the update WSB, much appreciared.

  • Hf October 2, 2012 (6:50 pm)

    I apologize in advance for complaining, but I really feel metro is down playing the problems with rapid ride. Stating they “temporarily deployed two buses” isn’t enough. Every bus is packed so full that it’s dangerous. For every bus running from 7:30-8:30am, you need to add another. The buses are smaller and can’t hold as many people. This is also a huge problem for any disabled rider. I generally have a service dog with me but can’t take my dog on the bus because there is no room and its dangerous for her. It’s a huge problem.

    This afternoon I waited more than 30 minutes and there was no bus. When I tried to get on the 55, the driver wouldn’t let anyone stating his bus was too full. It was no where near as full as any rapid ride bus. So, I caught the 116 – maybe only 10-15 people on the bus. Had to walk a few extra blocks but I still beat rapid ride.

    3 buses used to run down California/Fauntelroy multiple times each morning and afternoon (close to every 15 minutes) now we have one bus to carry the passengers of three – how could you not see there would be a problem!

    So, metro I would like to hear you say something that makes me feel you realize there is a big problem and what you plan to do to fix it, not down play the problem.

  • Chris W October 2, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Other service is available through Metro’s Trip Planner?? Will it recommend the 22, 54, 54x, 56x, and additional 37, 56, 55s? It will not.

  • Based God October 2, 2012 (7:13 pm)

    Oh, please. These complaints are ridiculous. I have not had any problems with the new changes. I also love the addition of WiFi on the Rapid Ride. Get a grip, everybody. You are acting like children.

  • Single Mother October 2, 2012 (7:49 pm)

    Yes, I agree it is dangerous when it is so overcrowded. I caught the bus around 8:30am today. Probably because of yesterday, people rushed the doors when it opens and I got ‘muscled out’ (the guys were fat) out of getting on. I’m a 5′ older woman. This afternoon from downtown, so many people were congregating around the bus stop, it felt like a protest. No RR came for over 45 minutes according to people in the crowd, then everyone charged the 55 when it showed up. He wouldn’t open the door – it was standing room only, and people, particularly 2 woman started yelling at the bus driver through the door very irate. It is very hostile out there. I feel my shoulder hurting very badly today from hanging on the loop during the jerky bus ride from yesterday. METRO: PLEASE FIX the service. It makes me feel that this is the new paradigm that the rich has given us I want to jump off the West Seattle Bridge. I’m too afraid of self-immolation.

  • DM October 2, 2012 (7:59 pm)

    I boarded the 125 at Holden and 16th at 6:20 this morning. A quick ride downtown now that they don’t drive under the bridge first. My only disappointment: I was charged for 2 zones ($3) when I boarded, only traveling with in Seattle. Hopefully that was a temporary error.

  • Brent October 2, 2012 (8:03 pm)

    I was actually at Holman watching the two extra RR buses pull out around 4 p.m.

    I really have no sympathy for the complaints about standing. It’s been happening on many buses for years, with the standing room being filled to capacity. People from other parts of town have just dealt with it. 120 riders have just dealt with it too.

    I hate to see the name-calling etc be rewarded by giving West Seattle preferential treatment. I think some of you owe the hard-working women and men at Metro an apology.

  • Brent October 2, 2012 (8:09 pm)

    Ah, I see someone brought up car tabs. Sure, West Seattle gladly voted for the monorail car tabs when West Seattle would get half the money. When it was going to be more evenly dispersed, West Seattle voted No. Sometimes, you get what you vote for.

  • Brent October 2, 2012 (8:15 pm)

    Oh, and I’m really sympathetic about having to wait a whole 25 minutes for a bus. Not.

    I’ve had to wait over an hour for my bus sometimes. Now, my bus comes half hourly, and it is suddenly crushloaded. Okay, I’m making that part up, but entitlement, rudeness, and histrionics seems to be the way this blog works.

  • justme October 2, 2012 (8:27 pm)

    Written by E: “Sitting on the RR now. The driver says we have to wait 6 minutes so they can “space out” the buses. I’ve seen two non-RR buses go by. Wish I was on one of them.”

    Hilarious!! A perfect picture of your morning…and my son’s trip to Seattle Center high school. What fun.

    I’ve been on two RR’s and both have had technical problems needing me to exit both buses and catch another one. Ho hum.

    It’s a fact that these new buses have much less seats. Who thought that was a good idea??

  • Moose2 October 2, 2012 (8:30 pm)

    Bruce – I thought you would have a good handle on the changes, but this shows a lack of knowledge:
    “this restructure moves resources from underutilized routes to focus them on the peak-only expresses and improved service on the best routes.”
    Certainly extremely poorly performing routes were removed (51, 53); other middling routes were also decimated (55, 56). However there was no service improvement on the best routes (120 and 54).
    For example, the 54 served downtown to the junction. It ran every 15 minutes. Plus the 55 ran every 30 minutes – 6 buses an hour. Now RR replaced both 55 and 54 and runs 4 times an hour. Into that reduced service it has to take passengers displaced not only from the 55 (2/hour) but also 56 (2/hour) and possibly others.
    This is an epic fail in that the ONE promised improvement in this restructure – better service on best used line – is manifestly not occurring.
    It is also terrible PR for Metro to advertise RR as an improvement when everyone that rides it knows it is a service reduction across the board.
    As someone who has steadfastly supported Metro and increased taxes to pay for bus service, I find this very sad and am questioning whether Metro is the right agency to lead transit in Seattle.
    Not to mention lack of schedules & realtime updates for RR lines – that smacks of Metro manager’s ignorance of what is important to riders.

  • SeattleDad October 2, 2012 (8:59 pm)

    Walked down the hill downtown this evening at 6:15 and waited 25-30 minutes for the C line at 2nd & Columbia, then when it did finally arrive it drove on past without letting anyone else on. I was pretty upset about that, but the woman next to me looked utterly defeated and about to cry. That Metro is trying to package this as an advancement in service by calling it ‘Rapid Ride’ is a crock. It’s reduced service and a step in wrong direction.

  • Elynne October 2, 2012 (9:25 pm)

    Took the 8.30am C-Line from Alaska Junction. Packed like a sardine can. People were getting off the bus and taking the next one.

  • Uncle Heck October 2, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    Some of you may know me from the 53&37 I’ve driven them both over the last few years and I am currently driving the 50. I am sooo glad I don’t drive or ride the c line, I just have a bit of insight for you, the only thing worse than riding in an over crowded bus, is driving a bus full of unhappy passengers. Trust me we feel the same way you do. I wish I could say that I am surprised how bad things are going, but I am not.

  • Uncle Heck October 2, 2012 (9:40 pm)

    Moose Metro is not the same agency they were before King County took over. Metro always had a budget surplus, since KC took over it been budget shortfalls. The way the government runs their budget is flawed to say the least, it’s no wonder that the whole country is such a mess.

  • Bruce Nourish October 2, 2012 (9:47 pm)


    “However there was no service improvement on the best routes (120 and 54).”

    Right on the 120, wrong on the 54. Weekday daytime 15 minute headways on the 54 had been paid for by a temporary special allotment of property taxes from the state to pay for “congestion mitigation” due to viaduct construction. That money was soon to run out, and the 54 would have returned to the 30-minute daytime headways.

    The 54 *was* interlined with the 55 as far as Alaska Junction, providing frequent headways except in the evening when the 55 turned into a shuttle. Now, the entire alignment of the 54 has 15-minute service throughout its entire length, until 10 PM every day, and will have real time arrival info and off-board payment once Metro gets its s*** together and figures out how to run this route.

    There are also things in this restructure, like this new crosstown Route 50, connecting WS to Delridge and the RV, which many people (including WSB commenters in other posts — not just transit wonks) have been begging Metro for since… I don’t know when. The money for that route came from canning other routes.

    The 120 did not receive and increase in frequency, and that is indeed unfortunate. It’s easily the best transit corridor in Southeast Seattle, and if I had my druthers it would have been the first RR corridor in this quadrant of the city. I’ve consistently advocated for improved service on the 120, but there wasn’t enough fat to cut out of the Delridge network to pay for it.

    The 120 did get the deviation to Westwood Village that the Youngstown folks have wanted for ages, and it’s getting a number of minor capital improvements, including an inbound AM peak queue jump in north Delridge that should make the commute better for many riders. But yes, Delridge deserves better.

    I’m not defending Metro’s logistical handling of the rollout, nor denying the miserable experience people have had today, nor claiming that the new bus network is perfect; but when the dust settles, it’ll get more riders for less money, and make it easier for people in the dense parts of West Seattle to get around conveniently without a car.

  • Magpie October 2, 2012 (9:49 pm)

    Really Brent, expecting decent bus service is some sense of entitlement? At least we used to have a schedule. We are expected to keep schedules each and every day. Is it too much to ask the same of Metro? We are not a bunch of babies.

    Metro did an extremely poor job in designing this new system when there was a pretty good system in place.

    I have been sending comments to Metro each day, giving them feedback about their poor planning. The amazing thing to me is how much they underestimated capacity, knowing that they have statistics that probably told them exactly how many riders there were at each time and to where.

  • Jeff Welch October 2, 2012 (9:54 pm)

    I am a Metro driver who has been operating W. Seattle routes for over 4 years now. I’d like to address this issue of drivers not using all or part of the “bus only lanes”. First off, “bus only” does not mean “bus MANDATORY”. The lanes are there to provide an option for buses to bypass traffic when needed.

    Buses run on schedules, and if using the bus lane would put a non-express or Rapid Ride bus at 2nd and Seneca several minutes EARLY(I.e. ahead of schedule), that’s a problem. Maybe not for you, but the driver can be disciplined, people expecting a bus headed north on 3rd at a later time can miss a bus, and there’s no good place to “hold for time” between 2nd and Seneca and 3rd Avenue stops. Hence, if my inbound bus hits downtown 7 minutes ahead of schedule, I can’t just sit there blocking other buses – I have to move on, potentially risking being written up, missing transferring customers by being early on my connecting route, or both.

    So before you go assuming that drivers who may be hanging back a bit, using the main lanes or merging too early because they lack training, are out to deliberately irritate you or are some kind of idiot – you might stop and think that maybe there’s a reason why that driver is operating that way, and you’re simply unaware of it.

    I have had more than one of you West Seattleites try to “help” me by reminding me of the existence of bus lanes (DUH) and telling me that I have to use them (WRONG). Usually in a condescending and even outright insulting manner as if I were some uneducated child. Sorry folks. I love you all, but sometimes having people who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about try and tell you how to do your own job gets old.

  • DM October 2, 2012 (10:20 pm)

    Thanks Jeff W. I was wondering how you all were coping with it. I have friends who drive for Metro. Blessings be upon you, and thanks for your patience.

  • WSAH October 2, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    C line and other recent changes are purely a cost cutting measure by Metro, it is naive to view it in any context other than that. How can fewer buses serving same number of pax somehow be faster and more pleasant to ride, no matter how pretty they look or what brand name they carry. Tip for morning commute. 21 local via SoDo is a good 10 min faster to downtown than C or 21X. It is pretty empty too. If you can, check it out. Might also be a good choice for those boarding around Westwood and Roxbury, i.e. 120 riders. Will check out 116 tomorrow, it goes via SoDo too I believe. We’ll have this mess till next spring at least, make the best of it.

  • LivesInWS October 2, 2012 (11:31 pm)

    Metro’s Trip Planner is a joke. It advised me to take the 128, then the 50, then the 120 to get from Admiral to about where Locol is on 35th. I looked at the route maps and it was obvious I could do it with just two buses — take either the 128 & then the 120, or the 50 and then the 120.

    Or maybe their idea of “we’ll get you there” is by as many transfers as possible. No thank you.

  • Jan Jarrell October 3, 2012 (10:31 am)

    ‘Metro temporarily deployed two RapidRide additional buses’

    TEMPORARILY?? I’m a senior who USED to enjoy riding the bus downtown for shows and such. I can now see that I’ll be exchanging the money I put on my ORCA card for parking fees.

    Calling these changes an improvement is an insult. We need our old routes back.

  • anonyme October 3, 2012 (2:58 pm)

    Many complaints here about the poor planning re: capacity. I can’t help but wonder if the figures justifying the drastic cuts to Arbor Heights service were just as far off.

    Took the #22 to Arbor Heights for the first time today, trying to be positive. As I boarded, I asked the driver if he was going to Arbor Heights – just wanted to be absolutely sure. He shrugged and turned away without a word. I repeated the question. He snapped “I don’t know where Arbor Heights is”. REALLY????????? We Arbor Heights residents already have a pretty good ideas where we stand with Metro, but this confirms it. What a jerk.

  • Fuzzy October 3, 2012 (8:22 pm)

    For those that asked, the regular metro 60′ buses have seats for 56-58 passengers (without wheelchairs) and 54-56 + 2 wheelchairs. The rapid ride has 48 seats + 2 wheelchairs with a net loss of 6 to 10 seats. The layout for rapid ride has less seats but wider aisles to accommodate more standing passengers (gain in total passenger capacity) as well as to allow for faster boarding/exiting.

    This means an additional ten more people will have to stand during peak times that were already standing room only, but more people will be able to fit on the bus.

    • WSB October 3, 2012 (8:38 pm)

      Thank you, Fuzzy.

  • denbol October 3, 2012 (10:05 pm)

    Just when i thought i would start taking the bus. No way. I will continue my commute in my car driving through the-speed up-slow down-i don’t know how to drive in the new 99 north and south highway. Please figure it out metro so i can take the bus

  • Birdy October 4, 2012 (10:16 am)

    Waited 30 minutes for the C-line downtown yesterday before giving up and jumping on a (very crowded) 21. Can’t say I’m surprised, nor do I expect the city to address the issues. Dreading my commute today… I used to love you, Metro ):

  • cbr October 4, 2012 (2:35 pm)

    On a (unusually! ) positive note, from our office at Delridge and Henderson, it’s like peace has settled over our world! With the changed routes, and those seeming to be mostly the new buses, it is SO much quieter! Fewer buses are going by, and the ones that are, make much less noise, which I’ve noticed seems to be the case in general with the new bendy busses compared to the old, really noisy ones. SO…not all is bad.
    ( oh…and yes, I’ve also noticed the bus “corral” across from Westwood..sometimes as many as 6-7 at a time…is that where they hide from annoyed passengers?)

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