THE H LINE: Delridge RapidRide gets a name, and a later opening date

The RapidRide line through Delridge is now projected to open in 2020 – one year later than suggested as recently as a few months ago. And it’s been officially declared the H Line. That’s according to new information on the SDOT website (hat-tip Seattle Transit Blog, which says this was presented downtown last night at a Seattle Transit Advisory Board meeting), including this list of the names and start dates for all the currently envisioned expansion routes:

Also posted by SDOT, this detailed report on the expansion routes and what’s next – you’ll find the H Line on page 24 and 25:

We’ll be checking with SDOT to see when the next community discussion/presentation about the H Line is planned. West Seattle’s first RapidRide route, the C Line, launched service in September 2012.

40 Replies to "THE H LINE: Delridge RapidRide gets a name, and a later opening date"

  • AmandaK(H) February 23, 2017 (12:38 pm)

    Not every bus ride is a commute trip to downtown Seattle.

    • Mr. K February 23, 2017 (12:59 pm)

      Correct, but may i suggest looking at the whole picture rather than that 1 point, this is part of a larger transportation system for the region its not going to serve 100% of the community (maybe 90%) but these dwtn lines will link with light rail and other regional transit lines in the dwtn corridor. 

      • AmandaK(H) February 23, 2017 (1:11 pm)

        A consolidation of bus stops is not a small point for people living along Delridge.  A transportation system should serve people who rely on it to make a living, but also live.

        • Raised in WS February 23, 2017 (1:50 pm)

          Last time I checked Delridge has the 120 which runs pretty frequently.

        • Mr. K February 23, 2017 (1:57 pm)

          I never said it was a small point.  My point is that these lines will serve a lot of people but I don’t think we’ll ever make 100% of the population happy. You mention a consolidation of bus stops and I’m not sure what you’re referring to, dwtn has always been a hub for transportation and I haven’t seen any new measures to cut existing lines from Delridge, but I could be mistaken. 

          • WSB February 23, 2017 (2:00 pm)

            RapidRide H is expected to replace Route 120, as RapidRide C replaced the 54/55. The format generally means fewer stops, farther between.

          • Raised in WS February 23, 2017 (2:08 pm)

            Oh, my mistake for not reading father into it, disregard my earlier comment then. With RapidRide the stops are fewer and extremely far between, making it inconvenient to go short distances to/from specific locations. so now I understand the concern. Still looking forward to the H line though, not gonna lie. I wish we could just keep the 120 around.

        • Jort Sandwich February 23, 2017 (10:20 pm)

          There are tradeoffs of all sorts in transportation planning.

          In the case of the RapidRide, it might mean that you have to walk farther to get to your stop, but on the plus side you’ll get to your destination faster.

          This tradeoff seems to have paid off: the number of people who ride buses in Seattle has been growing dramatically in the last few years. 

          • West Seattle since 1979 February 24, 2017 (2:34 am)

            Yes, but the Rapid Ride buses aren’t that much faster because they don’t get dedicated bus lanes for their entire run. And not everyone can walk that far (or has time to. If you have to walk five or ten extra minutes to get to the stop, it negates any small time savings from the “Rapid” Ride route.)

  • AmandaK(H) February 23, 2017 (2:21 pm)

    They could easily do a 120 local and a 120 Express.   Metro has this idea that they only serve “choice riders”, ie; riders who choose to ride the bus instead of driving solo.  They really need to be serving riders who have no choice.

    • West Seattle since 1979 February 23, 2017 (3:17 pm)

      I agree, AmandaK(H), and also for various reasons, not everyone can walk long distances or uphill  if their stop gets moved.  

    • Peter L February 23, 2017 (6:00 pm)

      I’m not aware of any proposal that would allow or disallow people from riding a bus based on choice vs. need. First of all, a robust, efficient transit system is integral to overall mobility. That is a need, not a choice. Second, you’re exploiting fear of change as an argument against transit improvements, and that’s just lame. 

      • AmandaK(H) February 23, 2017 (9:24 pm)

        Peter, a few years ago, former leader of Metro, Kevin Desmond, in an interview with the WSB, stated that Metro is focused on  serving “choice riders” (I can’t find the link).  When you remove multiple stops in an effort to make a line more efficient, you predictably eliminate a section of the population that cannot get to the new consolidated bus stops.  I am not convinced that RapidRide, which eliminated options, has actually improved transit.   

        • WSB February 23, 2017 (9:35 pm)

          Good memory. Using that phrase and Desmond’s name, I found it:

          Use your browser search to find “choice” in the story, or scroll to the paragraph beneath the video with the slug RECENT AUDIT and it’s a few lines down.

          • AmandaK(H) February 23, 2017 (10:09 pm)

            Tracy, I know I’ve said it before – but You Are The Best!  Thanks for finding that link, and posting it again.  Even though watching Desmond say bus service is a product just burned me up all over again. <3

      • West Seattle since 1979 February 24, 2017 (2:36 am)

        It’s not much of an improvement if it’s only minimally faster, and if fewer people are able to get to it. Or if people who really need it can no longer use it. 

      • newnative February 24, 2017 (10:43 am)

        The thing is Peter, not only have been shown to be incorrect about the “choice riders” issues, you are also forgetting that the Rapidride “improvement” has been implemented for several routes already.  So, those of us can based our predictions and/or opinions about the 120 replacement on our experiences with the C/D Rapidride.  The 120 seems to be fine the way it is.  It’s not uncommon for me to see 3 120’s for every (C)rapidride depart downtown.  The rapidrides are packed, many people standing (I can no longer stand on a moving bus) and so for some or many, the commute takes longer because they have to wait for another bus.  

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  

        • Katrina February 24, 2017 (9:03 pm)

          Strange, my experience is often the opposite: I see several Cs pass by while waiting for a 120. And the Cs usually aren’t packed, whereas if I don’t catch the 120 by (at latest) the Pike St stop it’s packed to the gills. I’ve been on 120s that couldn’t let more than a couple of people on at the last stop before the Viaduct. 

    • Wsmom February 24, 2017 (9:28 pm)

      D Dr lridge is essentially a food desert and there are many that depend on the 120 for everyday needs not commuting.  Id rather see a 120 express and a 120 than a rapid ride.

  • AMD February 23, 2017 (2:56 pm)

    Dang, I really thought G-line would be a perfect name for the 120.

  • JRR February 23, 2017 (3:59 pm)

    I don’t understand why metro would remove stops on a line that serves so many. I hope the stops that remain are thoughtfully placed, with an eye on use and frequency of pickups, but I think we’re going to have to be loud to get that. 

  • D Del Rio February 23, 2017 (4:38 pm)

    How do we fight this one? I used to ride the 54, and loved it. When they replaced it with the C Line, it took twice as long to get anywhere. Instead of the Rapid Ride, it should be the Slow Ride. If metro really wants to help, just add more rides to the 120. Look at all the money saved not having to replace all the bus stops. 

    • AMD February 23, 2017 (5:26 pm)

      RapidRide includes bus stop safety improvements and Fare Enforcement (a welcome upgrade for those of us who ride it late at night) as well as the all-door boarding.  The all-door boarding doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface, but when you see 120s piling up behind each other day after day, it sure would be nice to be able to get the buses boarded and away from the stop quicker.

      I used the 54 frequently in its old state.  I was super annoyed when it became a RapidRide because it ran less frequently and without a schedule (they’ve fixed that).  But the 120 is a different bus.  I think neighborhood input is going to be very important in keeping as many stops as possible (there are stretches of the E line that have just as many stops as the 358 did) but overall I’m REALLY looking forward to this change.  

      My one criticism is that they’ve supposedly been putting off paving Delridge in anticipation of the transit improvements.  If they are going to keep bumping the target date for implementation, can we at least not wait that long for Delridge to be paved?


      My tires.  

  • WestCake February 23, 2017 (5:21 pm)

    And I’ll be on a bike. These timelines are a joke, 4 years?!? It takes 4 years for a rail line. If they want to act progressive around here, they should fund it too. No state income tax for public trans, enjoy sitting in traffic you fiscal conservatives.

    • Jort Sandwich February 23, 2017 (10:06 pm)

      Westcake, KC Metro is likely budgeting in enough of a time buffer to handle the “Seattle Process,” in which every person whose feelings are hurt about one thing or another have ample opportunity to have their feelings heard.

      Interestingly, though, despite the projection of four years until completion, there is still going to be a huge group of people throwing their arms up in the air at the 3 year, 11 month mark and going, “Oh my GOD! Why are we rushing this?!?!?!?”

    • Rico February 23, 2017 (10:30 pm)

      4 years for a bus line, 20 years for rail. This city….

  • Seabruce February 23, 2017 (9:41 pm)

    Kinda wish Metro would do a pilot project in West Seattle to pick people up and take them to a Rapid Ride stop, and drive them home on the return trip

  • Jort Sandwich February 23, 2017 (10:16 pm)

    I, for one, am grateful to the transportation planners who have the courage to make these kinds of improvements to transit at the expense of people who choose to drive their cars.

    For example, “bus bulbs.” I totally understand how frustrating it must be for somebody driving down the street, alone, to have to stop behind a bus while it makes a stop. Ugh! So annoying!

    But, on the plus side, the 150+ people on the bus have a faster, easier commute because the traffic doesn’t keep getting continuously more congested in front of them. Why? Because the bus itself is a traffic calming mechanism. It can continue on its drive without having to merge back into busy traffic, and it allows for a gap in the congestion so that it can get to its next stop quicker.

    I imagine, just like on the C Line, solo drivers will realize that it’s more difficult and annoying to choose to drive alone, rather than just take the bus. That’s the point! Sorry for your luck, car drivers. :-(

    • Canton February 24, 2017 (7:16 am)

      I, for one, get it. You despise cars with every fiber of your being. Cars and property paid, many times over, for these roads. Buses can barely pay for themselves. Unless you have a desk job and work in the downtown core, they don’t work for EVERYONE. I tried it for a year to work in Ballard. With walking and transfers it took an average of a hour and a half each way. Couldn’t work OT, would be a extra transfer and a two hour trip. Now with a kid and daycare it doesn’t work. Not EVERYONE has the luxury of extra time. In my car it takes 40-45 minutes and 3 bucks in gas. You can’t paint everyone’s commute with such a wide brush.

      • Jort Sandwich February 24, 2017 (9:38 am)

        If I hate cars so much then why do I have one and use it occasionally? It’s very hard to carry all of my groceries from Costco on the bus or on my bike!!

        One thing I don’t do is drive my car from West Seattle to downtown Seattle, because that experience is soul-sucking and miserable, and it is considerably, demonstrably faster and easier to take a bus instead.

        But, I could be stubborn and obstinate, if I wanted to, and continue trying to drive into downtown and blaming “traffic” (that I’m contributing to) for all my problems.

        But I’m not stubborn. I get on the bus. You should come along, too. More and more people are every day.

      • MIckymse February 24, 2017 (12:28 pm)

        EVERYONE contributes towards property taxes, which means that those who don’t drive a car should be able to have some of their property taxes also go towards buses and space for buses on those roads.

        Plenty of bus riders ALSO own cars and pay car-related taxes — like Jort Sandwich and myself, which means we’re contributing the same as you AND we’re also helping to reduce the number of cars on the road in front of you.

        • Canton February 24, 2017 (7:29 pm)

          The point is, this is not a square peg in a square hole issue, you don’t know the personal lives of commuters involved. We need to make transportation work for ALL modes, not just the ones that “ideally” will work. To hinder all cars will effectively hinder all modes. Mass transit is great, if it works for some, but won’t work for ALL. Isn’t that the point? Work for all? Not just the few that can use alternative means?

  • flimflam February 24, 2017 (12:44 am)

     “rapid ride” sounds wonderful and fast and rapid, but really, its the same route with the same stops and takes just as long as the route did 5 years ago. this isn’t a real transportation solution.

  • Blinkyjoe February 24, 2017 (9:16 am)

    I doubt Jort Sammy hates cars that much, and the analysis is erudite. FWIW, took me 45 minutes to get from the Stadium (Go Huskies! Kelsey Plum, YAY!) to Morgan jct last night. Light rail from stadium to Westlake, C line to Morgan junction. So when it works, it really works. You can’t constantly refer to the fact that not everyone can be flex in their hours, not everyone works downtown or SLU, not everyone can ride a bike, etc. to throw cold water on a plan. The Seattle Process is frustrating. City leadership is inept. Property and car tab taxes are crazy. But commuting in Seattle is a team sport, and we’re all on the same team.

    • Jort Sandwich February 24, 2017 (9:35 am)

      And, not only that, there is no feasible solution to transporting masses of a growing population by relying and depending on a network that prioritizes single occupancy vehicles.

      Cars take up a certain amount of space. When there are too many of them for the given amount of space, you get congestion. You can either a) increase the amount of space for cars, which is extremely expensive and disruptive (you’d have to tear down hundreds of homes and buildings to accomodate street growth) or   b) You can reduce the number of cars on the road by creating better transportation options that serve a greater collective of people. 

      One way or another, people are going to realize that the private, solo vehicle is not the future of transportation in Seattle, and it’s going to be de-prioritized so that more efficient methods of transportation can have greater priority. Nothing is going to change this, because geometry is not going to change. We have X amount of space that can fit Y number of cars. Unless you’re willing to purchase billions of dollars of private property along Delridge, California, 35th, Admiral, Avalon, etc, tear down those buildings and displace tens of thousands of people’s homes and businesses just so you can add an additional lane of traffic that will just eventually get as congested as any other road — then X is not going to increase.

      It’s time to decrease Y.  See you on the bus.

      • AmandaK(H) February 24, 2017 (2:01 pm)

        If there are more people riding the bus (than every before!) why is traffic so much worse in Seattle?

        • AMD February 24, 2017 (2:33 pm)

          Because there are more people living and working in Seattle than ever before.

  • AMD February 24, 2017 (9:49 am)

    Extra thought for all of the folks commenting on transit for those who don’t work downtown…

    I would strongly encourage you to look up Metro’s long-term plans, or even get onto their e-mail list so the long-term plans will come to you as they are envisioned.  Metro has expressed a desire to move towards a more efficient hub-and-spoke model for transit (similar to the way planes are routed, but on a smaller scale).  

    Yes, it means more people will have to take two buses to get where they’re going (or bus + light rail).  But it also means more people will be able to take public transit in general and those who do are going to get to farther destinations faster.  Some choices seem weird in the moment, but when viewed in context of the Big Picture, they make a lot more sense.

  • WS Dad February 24, 2017 (9:26 pm)

    If I’m reading the map correctly, it looks like the new H line will go all the way to South Lake Union like the C does, as opposed to terminating at Virginia Street like the current 120. Personally, when I commute home by bus, I have to take the 40 or C to 3rd Ave, then transfer to the 120. That transfer can take anywhere from a couple minutes all the way to 20+ minutes when buses are off schedule. This would be a huge improvement for me and many others if true.

    Can anyone confirm that extension all the way to SLU is definitely planned? Other than the map, I don’t see any written confirmation of this in the document above.

  • Kay K February 24, 2017 (9:45 pm)

    I’m confused, I thought Metro already operated a hub and spoke model. I can understand that, but I think they could use some better timing of the hookups at the “hub” of the “spokes”. I can get downtown super quick and reliably on the light rail, then wait for 20-25 minutes minimum to get a bus out to my neighborhood. If the connection was good, it be 5 minutes max, ride to ride. That seems to me like where the schedule engineering practice can be fine tuned.

Sorry, comment time is over.