1 MONTH TO VIADUCT CLOSURE: West Seattle Water Taxi expanded schedule now out; new Ride2 service starting for part of WS

(WSB photos)

2:47 PM: Ever since King County announced that the West Seattle Water Taxi would add service when the Alaskan Way Viaduct shuts down for the tunnel transition, we’ve been asking about schedule specifics. Today – with exactly one month to go until the AWV is closed forever on January 11th – the schedule is out. It was released along with other transit-related announcements at a media briefing at Seacrest, led by County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Jenny Durkan. We were only able to drop in briefly after getting sidetracked by breaking news, but we did get the info you need to know:

Scroll through that document (or here in PDF) to see the new Water Taxi schedule, which will continue not only through the three-week Highway 99 closure, but all the way until the WT’s seven-days-a-week spring/summer schedule begins in late March. It also includes the expanded Route 773 and 775 shuttle schedules. Also, there’s word a new on-demand app-based ride service will start serving parts of West Seattle, Ride2:

(Ride2 van on display at today’s briefing

The new mobile app Ride2 Transit will make it possible for commuters to hail an on-demand van to and from two locations in West Seattle – the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest Park and the Alaska Junction – that will provide first- and last-mile transit.

Here’s the map of the area that Ride2 will serve:

The county says the Ride2 pilot program will start December 17th and last a year. Find out more here. Meantime, today’s new county info also includes this reminder about expanded parking for those who choose to get to the Water Taxi that way:

Harbor Ave SW will have overnight parking restrictions south of Seacrest Park on the southeast (water) side to allow open morning parking for approximately 120 cars.

SW Bronson Way is an unpaved parking area south of Salty’s restaurant which holds about 40 cars.

The Pier 2 parking lot is a secured parking facility holding more than 250 cars. It will be staffed Monday through Friday from 5:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Cars will not be accessible outside of these hours. We suggest you park here 20 minutes before sailing time. The shuttle will run the .6 mile route continuously between Pier 2 and Seacrest Park.

Again, the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes forever on January 11th, for about three weeks of work required to “Realign 99” with the new tunnel. Ramps to and from 99 in the stadium zone will close a week before that, on January 4th, and the new NB 99 ramp into downtown won’t open for two to three weeks after the tunnel (as first announced last June), so West Seattleites headed north are facing more like a six-week squeeze.

3:23 PM: Added photos. Also, if you’re interested in the official news release about today’s event, read it here.

47 Replies to "1 MONTH TO VIADUCT CLOSURE: West Seattle Water Taxi expanded schedule now out; new Ride2 service starting for part of WS"

  • sam-c December 11, 2018 (3:15 pm)

    So, can you only catch the Ride 2 if you hail it via an app? What if you don’t have a smart phone?  the route looks great as it serves areas that are not served by 772/ 775.  Wish there were more transit ways to get to the water taxi as parking is so limited over there.  Where is Pier 2? (google couldn’t help me figure that out)

    • WSB December 11, 2018 (3:16 pm)

      I’m adding the map, which you can see if you go through the doc with the schedule. In short, though, it’s across from the Harbor Ave 7-11. Was put into action in past viaductless times.

    • John December 11, 2018 (3:35 pm)

      Sam C, it says in the PDF you can call for Ride2 as well:Enjoy on-demand rides with Metro Ride2. Use the Ride2 Transit app or call 855-233-1880 to conveniently request an on-demand ride.I for one am grateful for the extra service and will be making use of the Water Taxi during the shutdown.

  • trickycoolj December 11, 2018 (3:33 pm)

    I went to the Ride2 site, so do I understand this correctly I can have it come to my home if it’s within the boundary? Or do I still need to go to a traditional metro stop within the boundary? Either way, this is the first time there’s service from High Point to the Water Taxi which would be fantastic to leave the car at home and not worry about how to get from the dock back home.

    • BeverlyK December 11, 2018 (4:30 pm)

      The website seems to contradict itself: in one place it says you can use it from anywhere (i e , home) within the service area to get to the junction or ferry dock; in another it says all trips must originate or terminate at the junction or ferry dock. Guess I’ll just have to call to find out.

    • Jeff Switzer, King County Metro December 11, 2018 (6:00 pm)

      @TrickycoolJ & @BeverlyK One of your origin or destination points must be the Alaska Junction or the Seacrest Water Taxi dock. So you can hail Ride2 during service hours within the service area and travel to one of those two locations, or if you are at one of those two locations you can hail a ride to anywhere within the service area.

  • Ron Swanson December 11, 2018 (5:16 pm)

    Originate *or* terminate, you have to be going to or coming from the dock or the junction, but the other end can be anywhere in the service area.

    • Jeff Switzer, King County Metro December 11, 2018 (6:00 pm)

      Yes, you got it!

      • BeverlyK December 11, 2018 (6:26 pm)

        Thank you for the clarification. You might want to revise the website to avoid confusion.

        • Thinkhard December 12, 2018 (9:10 am)

          What confusion could there be? How else would you expect to use it? 

  • F'unnel December 11, 2018 (5:26 pm)

    If the City really wanted to address the nightmare scenario for traffic that is being predicted it would lower fares for the water taxi. $5. 75 per ride ensures that this service is only available to the very affluent. If you work around 20 days per month that is another $230. out of pocket. Even with an Orca card you’re still talking $200/month. Oh take the bus you say?  Not unless you want an hour-long ride. Tearing down the viaduct without creating a bus-only lane from West Seattle into downtown, even for part of the distance, is irresponsible and shows a complete disregard for the residents of West Seattle. I predict this will be Durkan’s snowmaggedon.  Already I’ve heard folks are organizing a protest by not using the tunnel at all. At $150M over budget they’ll find a way to make us pay whether we use it or not. #FtheTunnel!

    • KM December 11, 2018 (6:25 pm)

      There are already partial bus only lanes to downtown (part of 3rd, 4th, WS Bridge), but truly it’s only partially beneficial. A complete bus-only to downtown (with proper enforcement) would really be fantastic.The region’s transit authorities and leadership have completely dropped the ball. Planning a new van service for a small part of the peninsula for smartphone-only users? Their response is appropriate if they only had a few weeks to plan, but they had a couple years. The waterfront and several paths in and around WS remain unsafe for walking and biking–those very activities that will ease our transit crunch (and that leaders are only giving lip service to, encouraging residents to use despite the lack of safe infrastructure). Holding this announcement in an area of WS that is pretty underserved by transit and lightly populated is very on brand for our current leadership. 

    • K. Davis December 11, 2018 (10:00 pm)

      @F’unnel … let me be the first to endorse your plan.   Speaking for those of us who are looking forward to the tunnel making our lives easier, we greatly appreciate you staying out of the tunnel.  Stick to your guns!  We’re behind you all the way.  Kind of … well, actually not really. ;-)

  • Chris December 11, 2018 (6:01 pm)

    This is going to be an “interesting” 3 weeks. 

  • NW December 11, 2018 (6:12 pm)

    If people starting seriously carpooling in large numbers to and from West Seattle it would have a significant positive impact on traffic. 

    • KM December 11, 2018 (8:13 pm)

      Would be awesome to have a “casual carpool” meeting point. 

  • Julie December 11, 2018 (6:18 pm)

    I, for one, will not be using the tunnel. After being stuck inside the I-90 tunnel at Mercer Island for nearly an hour with no cell service, I strongly dislike the idea of repeating that experience inside a new tunnel that spans all the way through downtown Seattle. Oh no, let someone else deal with that mess.  #FtheTunnel  

    • Ron Swanson December 11, 2018 (9:58 pm)

      There’s emergency phones throughout the new tunnel, same as there are throughout the Mercer Island tunnel.

      • Jethro Marx December 12, 2018 (2:58 pm)

        C’mon, Ron, you miss the point; one cannot play ‘angry birds’ on an emergency landline.  Plus, for many people, spending even five minutes without the internet is pure torture! Not, like, torture in the traditional sense, of course, but hey, we’re getting a little soft as a species.

    • bolo December 13, 2018 (6:21 pm)

      Are we sure there is not going to be cell reception in the tunnel? How is gogglemaps supposed to work?

  • Morgan December 11, 2018 (6:24 pm)

    Too bad no extended service additions for Morgan’s junction.

    • New2Seattle December 12, 2018 (8:07 pm)

      I was just thinking the same thing. It would be nice if we had a method to get to the Water Taxi as well. As it stands, I will need to take a bus to the Alaska Junction to catch the bus/shuttle to the water taxi.  If I had known about all this 45 days ago, I would have moved to a different area of town. My whole decision was based on a decent commute to downtown. <sigh>

  • Joy December 11, 2018 (10:16 pm)

    Just worked out that I’m retiring dec 31,  I’ll enjoy my second cup of coffee watching the fun, let’s hope for no accidents, rain or snow, good luck west Seattle 

  • EinWS December 11, 2018 (10:23 pm)

    Anything being done to make it easier to get from Coleman Dock to 3rd to catch a bus? I’m not lazy but during the winter that uphill walk sucks and it’s more added time to what I imagine will be a looong commute to SLU. 

    • herongrrrl December 11, 2018 (11:51 pm)

      You can get an elevator or escalator on each block between Post Alley and 3rd.  From Post Alley, use the door next to the Owl and Thistle pub for stairs/elevator to 1st Ave level. Cross the street and take the elevator in the Exchange building lobby to the 4th Floor (2nd Ave). Kitty-corner from where you come out of the Exchange building is a building with a covered outdoor escalator that takes you up to 3rd.  Hill walking is great for fitness, but nobody wants to start their work/school day drenched in sweat from that hill climb.

      • desdemona December 12, 2018 (8:15 am)

        fantastic, thank you

      • Rick December 12, 2018 (11:01 pm)

        That must be the express lane!

      • Jk December 16, 2018 (4:19 pm)

        It seems very confusing to get from Coleman Dock to 3rd & Pike, and there is constant construction there too.  Is there a map for that? I’m also frustrated that the new on-demand van does not include my part of West Seattle. What was the decision-making here? I’d have to essentially have five separate legs of my journey to SLU:  C line to AK junction, bus to water taxi, water taxi, somehow walking through more construction uphill to 3rd Ave, and back on the C line to the end of the line (which is already a slot). If the on-demand van worked here, it would at least only be 4 legs… Sigh. 

  • anonyme December 12, 2018 (6:26 am)

    Any idea why the entire south/southwest section of West Seattle has been denied this service?  Once again, we’re being treated like the poor stepchildren by Metro.  Bus service to and from Arbor Heights sucks.

    • Hosed December 12, 2018 (4:15 pm)

      This was exactly my thought. Just call us north White Center, not West Seattle, I guess.

  • Loretta December 12, 2018 (7:20 am)

    The water taxi is so expensive. Do we know anything about the new bus routes coming from DT to WS? 

  • Greystreet December 12, 2018 (7:25 am)

    Yes Anonyme, we’ve been ousted by Metro ever since they cut the 21 route (well as long as I’ve lived in Arbor Heights now approx. 7 years). I don’t even consider public transportation an option living on the south end, it sucks. As for the tunnel, well for the rare times I head to Ballard I’ll give it a shot, otherwise I’ll be part of the thousands of people clogging first and fourth when I want to go downtown.

  • sam-c December 12, 2018 (8:23 am)

    So, for the free shuttles to Pier 2, and the Ride 2 bus service, do you know how many vehicles will be in operation at a time ? I’m having flashbacks to the Art Walk Park and Ride shuttle this past summer….. we waited about 15 or 20 minutes beneath the bridge, the shuttle showed up, the driver’s eyes got big when saw all the people waiting, he said, “I only have room to take a third of you (as he had people on the bus already), and “i’ll be back in 30-40 minutes to pick up another load of people”.  that didn’t seem to work out very well……..Seems like having only one shuttle in operation at a time is a recipe for disaster.

  • MJ December 12, 2018 (8:54 am)

    The Water Taxi schedule unfortunately has a big gap in service mid morning!Metro needs to add midday service to areas currently only provided peak service, routes 56 and 57.Everyone needs to try to cut at least one trip out each week.And those lucky people with resources take a Vacation to a 🌞 place.

  • Steve December 12, 2018 (5:00 pm)

    Does the water taxi shuttle (773) stop at 35th and Avalon? Trying to figure out the best way to get to the water taxi from Thistle and 29th (outside the ride2 zone and without an easy way to get to the junction).  

  • Rick December 12, 2018 (11:06 pm)

    soon a Metro ticket will be 12.75 but that will be OK because you make so much money. or it’s free for you.

  • New2Seattle December 13, 2018 (7:29 am)

    So, if I take the 21 to 35th & Avalon, I get charged $2.75. then I take the 773 ($?) to the dock to catch the water taxi ($5.75). One way. Can I get a transfer for the taxi? I can afford this but it sure seems a Waste.

    • KM December 13, 2018 (9:47 am)

      You won’t need to pay for the 773, it’s free. Also your $2.75 includes a 2-hour transfer, in case you need to use another bus after the water taxi.Good luck!

  • HPMom December 13, 2018 (9:12 am)

     Is there a fee charged for folks to use the Pier 2 parking lot? I sure as heck hope not, but I won’t make any assumptions…

    • WSB December 13, 2018 (9:59 am)

      No, and the shuttle from there to the water taxi will be free.

      • F'unnel December 13, 2018 (10:11 am)

        I think people are confused by a lot of this information. The basic water taxi shuttle is free. It has always been free. The new Ride2 service just announced, that requires a smart phone app is not free. According to their website and you have to dig deep here, each direction will charge you the same as a Metro bus fare, so the person who said $2.75+5.75 in each direction for the Rapid2  water taxi is correct. That is not a viable option for most working families. it’s simply irresponsible to tell the people of West Seattle & Southwest Seattle that this is the solution to the mess that the City has known was coming for literally years. I do hope that our community organizes around this issue and demands better solutions because the real needs of the community are being ignored. 

  • Ribs December 13, 2018 (10:01 pm)

    Disappointed with such a minimal increase in the water taxi schedule… Really not enough to account for the 90k people that will be shifting from 99 during the construction.

  • anonyme December 17, 2018 (10:09 am)

    Good thing none of the tens of thousands of people who live west of California and south of Holden have jobs downtown or beyond.  Or lives (that matter).  Or limited income. Or mobility issues.  What a pathetic band-aid for what is shaping up to be yet another transportation fiasco.

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