Delridge RapidRide, splitting RR lines C and D, 47th/Admiral safety, more in bills passed by State House Transportation Committee

From Olympia: 34th District House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon – who is on the House Transportation Committee – says the committee passed a package of transportation-funding bills today, and tells WSB he “was able to help amend the bill to add some projects of local significance.” Keep in mind, this isn’t anywhere near final approval, but right now, here’s some of what he says the bills now contain:

*$125,000 for safety improvements at the notorious 47th & Admiral intersection.

*$500,000 for safety improvements on the West Seattle Bridge bike trail

*$33 million for improvements to Metro Route 120

*$15 million to split RapidRide C and RapidRide D – this will significantly improve reliability on both routes and add a new bus connection between West Seattle and South Lake Union

*Authorization for King County to seek the full 1.5% motor vehicle excise tax for transit (60%) and local roads (40%), subject to voter approval. This will enable Metro to maintain current levels of service.

That last one is related to the dire dollar situation outlined by Metro Transit general manager Kevin Desmond at his media briefing three weeks ago (WSB coverage here). Regarding the biggest proposal on the list, Route 120 improvements, Rep. Fitzgibbon says the money is proposed to “leverage nearly completed speed and reliability enhancements supported by the State Regional Mobility Grant Program to serve a rapidly growing ridership base of over 8,000 daily riders. Implementing RapidRide in the corridor would provide additional enhancements such as real-time information and off-board fare payment. An investment of service hours would be required to get to frequency levels of 10 minutes or better in the high commute times and 15 minutes all day.” We’re still waiting for all the fine print on today’s action to appear online; the bills involved are HB 1954 and 1955, according to Rep. Fitzgibbon, who says their next stop is the Rules Committee.

ADDED 4:02 PM: A group of local politicians and advocates is planning to head to Olympia tomorrow morning to lobby for this to make it the rest of the way through the Legislature. They’re planning a 10:30 am media briefing; County Executive Dow Constantine and City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw are among them.

53 Replies to "Delridge RapidRide, splitting RR lines C and D, 47th/Admiral safety, more in bills passed by State House Transportation Committee"

  • Diane April 22, 2013 (2:32 pm)

    any idea what this means?
    “add a new bus connection between West Seattle and South Lake Union”

  • Bruce Nourish April 22, 2013 (2:33 pm)

    Splitting the C/D and doing RapidRide on Delridge are both excellent ideas, and might have happened already if Metro weren’t so broke. Good stuff.

  • enid April 22, 2013 (2:53 pm)

    33 MILLION for “improvements” to a single bus route – #120 – and yet ALL service to Arbor Heights is to be cut? Who the hell are these people, and what kinda drugs are they taking????????????????

  • birdrescuer April 22, 2013 (3:03 pm)

    What does “split RR c and d mean?

    • WSB April 22, 2013 (3:05 pm)

      RapidRide Lines C and D are currently the same bus route – starts here, heads eventually to Ballard as Line D, turns around and comes back here as Line C. Some have said it would be a lot more efficient for both ends if they were distinct routes from their respective end points to and from downtown.
      And that’s where the “new route to South Lake Union” would come in – that could/would be (I need to check next with Metro to see what they have about this proposal) where the C Line ends/turns around, rather than, as it does now, heading on out to Ballard.

  • elisaid April 22, 2013 (3:09 pm)

    How does the splitting of RR C/D improve connections between West Seattle and SLU?

  • sardine April 22, 2013 (3:13 pm)

    The other problem with the current RR system is that it connects to Ballard on the 15th Ave. Bridge, which regularly opens for boat traffic. That affects buses headed south, and eventually to WS. This will help.

  • birdrescuer April 22, 2013 (3:22 pm)

    Does that mean it wouldn’t go past Key Arena?

    • WSB April 22, 2013 (3:55 pm)

      Metro’s communications folks are checking for me to see if there’s more information about how a potential C/D split would work. Will add anything more we find out. Also, there’s one “what’s next” just in that I will add to the story now – a coalition of folks including County Executive Dow Constantine are going to Olympia tomorrow morning to lobby for all this.

  • LWC April 22, 2013 (3:28 pm)

    @elisaid – reading between the lines, I imagine the plan is to terminate RR C in South Lake Union, so that’s where the connection comes in. This is probably pragmatic more than anything: a rapid ride terminus needs lots of layover room for buses! (See Westwood Village).

  • Jiggers April 22, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    What’s wrong with RapidRide? I love the new busses compared to old smelly stink green ones.

  • olivist April 22, 2013 (3:40 pm)

    Considering that I often see 3 half-empty 120s while waiting for a a packed 55, 57, or Crapid ride during rush hour (between 530-6pm) I hardly see the need for $33 MILLION for just the 120. Those funds would seem better used to bring back the same capacity the old 54/55 route combo provided.

  • Jim P. April 22, 2013 (3:47 pm)

    That’s one heck of a lot of money to improve 120. Maybe they’ll up the frequency late at night from the miserable and very crowded once an hour since this is supposedly one of the busiest routes in Seattle.

  • Don_Brubeck April 22, 2013 (3:47 pm)

    Great news for pedestrian safety at 47th and Admiral (where Alki Mail is, and site of pedestrian fatality and speeding cars with poor sightlines). Great news for bike safety on West Seattle Bridge trail to help us commute safely to and from SODO and downtown. Thank you Rep. Joe Fitzgibbons for representing us well.

  • Elevated Concern April 22, 2013 (3:48 pm)

    That was the original plan. Why they didn’t implement it in September is a mystory.

  • elisaid April 22, 2013 (3:49 pm)

    @LWC and WSB, That would be awesome, might mean that I wouldn’t have to move out of West Seattle if I could get to SLU with a more reasonable commute.

  • Kip April 22, 2013 (4:11 pm)

    Perhaps Crapid Ride could designate .5 million to remove Crapid Ride Bus Bulbs… All the rest of the ideas seem like a waste of good money. Again, someone with all these bright ideas “not to mention all those in favor” need to get canned!!

  • jedifarfy April 22, 2013 (4:15 pm)

    The money for the 120 is easy: If they cancel the 21, 22, 113, and 125, there are no other buses going through White Center/Arbor Heights to downtown and they will have to run them every 2 minutes! (Edit Exception: 131, all the way over at the Olson P&R and through Highland Park, and of course RR C from Westwood)

    @olivist – The reason they are going by empty is because the previous 5-5:30 buses are always so late and bunched up that by the time anything after 5:30 shows up, everyone’s grabbed the first available bus home. I never, if I can avoid it, take a 120 between 5-530 because they are CRAMMED to the roof with riders.

  • helridge April 22, 2013 (4:23 pm)

    That’s funny olivist because I see just the opposite! And I hate the 120 with a passion, I call it the thug train…

  • M April 22, 2013 (4:24 pm)

    Any clarification on what the improvements to the 47th and Admiral are? $125k does not sound like much

  • Bob H April 22, 2013 (4:33 pm)

    A few well-placed park-n-rides would really go a long way toward improving the usefulness of our poor mass transit system for many of us, especially if they continue decimate the smaller and less-used lines that feed the neighbor hoods not on a major route.

  • highlandpark April 22, 2013 (4:54 pm)

    Bob H – I have thought the same for a very LONG time!

    I might consider commuting via Route C if it stopped at SLU. Really hope this happens…

  • Thomas April 22, 2013 (5:06 pm)

    As a long-term rider of the 120, it’s nice to finally see Metro step up and fund a highly used route that serves a corridor inhabited by a much lower socio-economic bracket.

  • Katrina April 22, 2013 (5:06 pm)

    the 120 might occasionally be half full when it leaves 3rd & Pike during rush hour (although more frequently I am crushed by the crowds getting on it), but any remaining seat is full by the time it gets on the viaduct. The 120 is in the top 10% of ridership in the whole system. Whenever I’m on it (3x/week) it’s completely packed. And most people on the 120 route have no other bus options for getting downtown.

  • Jenny April 22, 2013 (5:08 pm)

    I’ve relied on public transportation for most of my adult life and in various cities in the US and abroad. While not perfect, I found Seattle’s public transportation to be quite accessible and fairly reliable. I know a lot of people complain about Rapid Ride but I have found it very convenient for getting around all the way from West Seattle to Ballard and points in between. I’m actually quite disappointed at the prospect of splitting the C/D line. This most likely means it will take additional transfers to get to Seattle Center for any events. Anyone who knows public transportation, knows the more transfers you introduce the more unreliable your transporation time becomes. Since parking is expensive and inconvient, people are encouraged to take public transportation. It just seems like common sense to me to try and preserve at least one route that goes from far north and south.

  • RB April 22, 2013 (5:19 pm)

    I think these improvements are great. if the RR would stop on SLU and come back it will increase reliability and speed.

    The 120 can greatly benefit of more buses at peak time. That is the bus i take and it is true that it can get very crowded in there.

    Do we have any idea of the timing of these changes?

  • Chris W April 22, 2013 (5:55 pm)

    Hmmm. And I was hell bent on not voting for anymore tax increases for Metro til they learn how to use what they have better. But a direct line to SLU might just sway me. IF they aren’t full of it again. I feel lied to after the September changes, which promised me a better commute, not a worse one.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 22, 2013 (5:58 pm)

    “it’s nice to finally see Metro step up and fund”

    Metro isn’t funding anything, the taxpayers will be.

    I would have no problem with subsidizing Metro if their finances were audited by an external agency.

  • Sunny.206 April 22, 2013 (6:27 pm)

    If the same people are going to be spending our money, they’re not getting anymore from me. The “speed and reliability enhancements” they say it will be used for sounds like more bus bulbs, ext curbs, reader boards the don’t work, ect and not actual bus’s to get us around. Per the Seattle Times “each” bus bulb cost $100,000….that’s why there’s so much money slated for the 120 route. It’s not going to be spent on more bus’s or longer routes. They’re not throwing anymore of my money away.

  • justme April 22, 2013 (6:55 pm)

    This will make us have to transfer now if we need to get to Ballard. I loved the fact that the C Ride took me all the way there without having the inconvenience of transferring.

    I’m bummed. And boy, do those bicyclists know how to push for funds, or what?

  • zipline April 22, 2013 (7:11 pm)

    I don’t want my tax dollars going toward pay raises for Metro supervisors and execs.

  • kay April 22, 2013 (7:32 pm)

    Hmmm…$33m on the 120? – on what, paying someone to map out a new route? I’m confused. Is that before changes are necessary in a couple years (or sooner!) due to the 99 tunnel bypassing DT?? Same goes for the RR’s. Does METRO have a plan/route for either 120 or C line once the viaduct is gone? Plus, the 120 route changed when RR took over…are we just spending money fixing what wasn’t broken in the first place? Regardless, no additional funds should go to the Rapid Ride D & C lines. The routes are brand spanking new (and cost us all a few $ already!) but we already need to fund improvements, huh?!? IMO, Rapid Ride has not proven to be an improvement to the previous routes, it has, in fact, decreased the available bus options for my family and made navigating West Seattle by any other means just a little trickier. Ironically, the one and only time I actually found the route handy was on a trek to Ballard…

  • W April 22, 2013 (7:37 pm)

    the one thing that would make the RR and other buses more reliable: a continuous bus lane.

  • Gene April 22, 2013 (9:03 pm)

    Beginning to wonder if the folks at Metro have one functioning logical practical brain amongst them? The only way to change things is to stop giving them money every time they ask until they can prove they are truly working for the best interests of the public. Also voting out current King County government when they are up for reelection. Maybe new blood will replace current Metro officials. That goes for State government as well– really Joe Fitzgibbon $ 33 million for improvements to one route?? Anyone remember that old saying–SNAFU– fits this city/ county/ state to a “T”!!

  • G April 22, 2013 (9:31 pm)

    RapidRide has been an unmitigated disaster. Heads should roll for the utter incompetence.

    1) Frequent service? Huh? Try that when you have
    a bus connection to make downtown. Frequency?
    Not. Fifteen minutes is an eternity when you’re
    waiting for the bus.

    2) Bus “shelters?” They tore down shelters
    that actually offered protection from the WIND
    and RAIN for…what? Oh, but they’re brand
    spanking new and cute!

    3) Buses. Same as the uncomfortable seats on
    the light rail. Hard and narrow. Neat!

    4) Enter at the front? 3rd and Pike is like
    a third world country with people crowding
    each other to get on. Forget about riding
    the bus if you’re elderly. That is history.
    It’s every man, woman for themselves.

    Crazy, and just more evidence of the Rapid decline of Seattle.

  • cj April 22, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    D and C do need to be split but $33 mil for improvements to the 120? They are gonna need to show us where all that money goes.

  • Chris W April 22, 2013 (10:08 pm)

    Agreed, W!

  • Thistle April 23, 2013 (6:39 am)

    Thug Train? Wow, that is a seriously classy comment. You do realize that the “thugs” you are referring to are actually the retail clerks, baristas, kitchen/wait staff, hospital support staff, hotel staff, Pike Place grocers, etc… that make up a good sized chunk of the Downtown workforce. I say this because I lived on Delridge without a car for over 3 years; unlike some routes that are just busy during peak hours, the 120/125 were consistently filled 7 days a week, morning and night, with mostly work force commuters. My sister would recognize half the people on the bus because she worked at a busy downtown coffee shop and saw them coming in on their lunch breaks. I wait to see what the sizable chunk of funding is being set aside for, but the 120 is hardly an unused resource.

  • J April 23, 2013 (8:00 am)

    I don’t know how many of you have actually met our representatives. I had the privilege of meeting Joe Fitzgibbon in person during a legislative lobby day in February. I just want to say that he is one of the best representatives in the state. Very personable and approachable. He is fighting hard for his constituents. I think sometimes we can become jaded to “nameless politicians”. It is important to contact your senators and representatives. Believe it or not, they do listen!

  • Ann April 23, 2013 (8:14 am)

    Thank you, WSB and Joe Fitzgibbon, for highlighting the proposed legislation to improve funding for Metro Transit and other important transit systems in our state. I think it is critical the voters in our area see that transit helps not only those who ride it but those who cannot, including the significant number of freight movements competing for road space in our area. These investments keep our city moving.

    I appreciate the investments made in increased service on Route 21 and the Rapid Ride. Severing the RR C and D would help with reliability and ending the C at south Lake Union could provide an important connection to a growing residential and commercial center.

    I use the C line to hasten my ride and connection to the Route 21 and find I have been able to reduce my travel time significantly despite crowding and other conditions.

    Action by the legislature will be much appreciated! Again, thank you…

  • Is It Me April 23, 2013 (8:38 am)

    I second that Thistle. I’m getting a little tired of the NIMBY classist attitudes of West Seattle. THIS used to be a working class neighborhood, now it’s becoming a pretentious enclave of folks who don’t want “those type of people” in their neighborhood and want to be protected from “apartment dwellers” and those folks who might work at the Whole Foods or PCC that serve their organic free range groceries. These are the folks endlessly whining about how everything is always worse than the magic “good old days” (which were never were).

    Rapid Ride is a disaster because it ONLY comes EVERY 15 minutes? LOL. How about any normal bus that comes once, maybe twice an hour, then stops for 3 hours in mid day. Trying using THAT for a connector. You just can’t please some folks, even if we have flying buses, they’d complain their “unsightly” in the sky. sigh. Just give up and ignore them.

  • miws April 23, 2013 (9:34 am)

    Well stated, Thistle and Is It Me.



  • dwar April 23, 2013 (12:28 pm)

    Delridge gets Rapid ride and improved 120; Crapid goes to Allenville: Admiral and Alki get nothing, not even a decent connection to the 128 or the “new” route 50. Great planning, Joe and Kevin.

  • sam-c April 23, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    dwar- delridge really doesn’t ‘GET’ rapid ride, unless you count Westwood…which isn’t really close to a lot of ‘delridge’

  • anonyme April 23, 2013 (2:53 pm)

    Ann, hundreds of other people (yes, hundreds – we signed petitions to no avail) were adversely impacted by the CUTS (not improvements) to Route 21. Those that were able have started driving again. Arbor Heights traditionally gets nothing in the way of improvements, and it’s just getting worse. We’re treated like we’re unincorporated King Cty.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 23, 2013 (5:23 pm)

    “You just can’t please some folks, even if we have flying buses, they’d complain their “unsightly” in the sky. sigh. Just give up and ignore them.”

    Wonderful approach. Ignore people whom you disagree with or share opinions that differ from yours.

    Whatever happened to diversity?

  • helridge April 24, 2013 (12:20 pm)

    Yeah Thistle I know the 120 isn’t totally comprised of thugs but they sure make you proper folks feel uncomfortable now don’t they? All aboard…!

  • Thomas April 24, 2013 (3:59 pm)

    Helridge, that’s ridiculous. I ride the 120 route 2-4 times daily, and there is rarely someone that makes me ‘uncomfortable’. In fact, the tail end of this morning’s bus was filled with elderly women, all of which offered to make more room if needed. Try taking the 358 or a few of the other routes and see if it’s any different. It’s _public_ transportation, and the ridership is representative of the _public_ in White Center and Delridge.

  • Thomas April 24, 2013 (4:01 pm)

    @West Seattle Hipster: Metro funds projects through resource allocation. Don’t be naive, please; this forum can be a place for great discourse.

  • Thistle April 24, 2013 (4:48 pm)

    Helridge, you just made my mom’s day. She has tried for 30 years to get her daughter to act like a “proper” lady, and now someone has recognized her work by calling me out as one. Honestly, the only people who have ever made me feel uncomfortable on a public bus were a few lecherous citizens whose not so subtle looks made my skin crawl… and not a single one of them looked like a “thug” or rode the 120.

  • Kara April 26, 2013 (4:39 pm)

    Working in Ballard and living in West Seattle…I might be the only one to completely hate this split…oh well, first world problems.

  • nicholas April 28, 2013 (9:12 pm)

    sort of a fan of having a single bus from here to ballard…just saying.

  • ArborHeightsandMad May 1, 2013 (9:17 am)

    I live in Arbor Heights and Rapid Ride has been a disaster. Miserable service in Arbor Heights and if I drive to Avalon and 35th all the parking has been eliminated, there is no parking at 35th and Roxbury either. Yesterday, drove to 35th and Avalon, found parking 4 blocks away. Arrive in Seattle for a 6 block walk to work. Reverse that on the way home. How convenient was that!

Sorry, comment time is over.