NEW BUS STOPS: Pioneer Square addition to start with Metro’s ‘service change’

ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: It’s been a topic in our daily transit/traffic discussions and now it’s becoming a reality. When Metro‘s next “service change” kicks in this Saturday (March 23rd), a bus stop will be added in Pioneer Square, at 1st and King. The news hit our inbox simultaneously from Metro spokesperson Torie Rynning and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s legislative assistant Newell Aldrich; Herbold had written earlier this month about asking Metro for a 1st Avenue stop for the buses from West Seattle that formerly used the Alaskan Way Viaduct. SDOT and Metro had to ensure the pavement in the area was strong enough for buses. Rynning sent the photo of the sign installed today for the northbound stop; the southbound sign will follow.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: For those who asked – the routes that will use the new stops, Rynning says: “All SR99 routes (12 in total) will use the new stops: 21X, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, C Line.”

39 Replies to "NEW BUS STOPS: Pioneer Square addition to start with Metro's 'service change'"

  • Michele March 19, 2019 (5:23 pm)

    I am excited about the 1st and King stop.  This will shave time off my commute.  It will also be good for business in Pioneer Square.  I have been wanting to stop at some of the businesses that I see from the bus.  But didn’t want to walk all the way back.

    • Christl Marcontell March 21, 2019 (4:22 pm)

      I am a West Seattle local with a boutique Pilates studio right there. Stop in and say hello! It’s been a hard push to stay open during all the construction, and I know all the Pioneer Square businesses are thrilled to see people coming to our neighborhood to work, shop, and play again. 

  • AMD March 19, 2019 (5:30 pm)

    How did everyone get to Pioneer Square when their bused took the viaduct?  I’m currently trapped on 1st where I’m pretty sure I’ll spend the remainder of my life based on how long we’ve been waiting to get through this intersection.  I cannot imagine giving bused MORE reason to stop on King will make it better.  Can they make 1st Ave Bus Only during rush hour to accommodate this?

    • West Seattle since 1979 March 19, 2019 (6:41 pm)

      The 21 used to stop at 1st and King, and 1st and Yesler. So did the 22 when it went downtown. The 54 and 55 (before the C) stopped at 1st and Marion before getting onto the Viaduct. 1st and Marion isn’t far from Pioneer Square.  There were always West Seattle buses that stopped on 1st somewhere in Pioneer Square, until 2011.  Eventually they took all buses off 1st, even the 99 and 62, which means everyone has to walk up the hill, which makes it hard for some people.  Plus those buses are going down 1st constantly. They might as well stop somewhere, since they’re there anyway. 

  • Kyle March 19, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    That’s good news for folks who work in Pioneer Square. However, 1st Ave is a mess for busses to get through during rush hour. Since the curb lane is strong enough for buses, why not turn the curb lane into a bus only lane during peak times? 1st Ave is already a crawl and baseball season hasn’t started yet. Not sure why Metro isn’t more proactive. Their approach seems to be to wait, see if enough people complain, maybe do something.

  • Kyle March 19, 2019 (5:53 pm)

    That’s good news for the folks who work in Pioneer Square. However, busses still crawl through 1st Ave.Since the 1st Ave curb lane can support busses does Metro plan to stripe it for bus only during peak times? Baseball season hasn’t started yet and today it took 30 minutes to get through Pioneer Square from downtown in evening rush hour traffic. Do we have to wait for it to get worse for Metro to take action?Metro just seems very reactive instead of proactive. The plan seems to be wait, see if people complain, maybe do something.

    • WSB March 19, 2019 (6:09 pm)

      I asked about the overall bus situation a while back and receiving this news reminded me I was still awaiting an update on that, so we’ve asked it on followup.

      • Kyle March 19, 2019 (8:24 pm)

        Thanks for being our voice WSB! I’ve sent Metro plenty of comments asking if they have a plan, but I never get past the stock answer from customer service:”In response to your concerns, staff documented your comments and routed a report to the Route Schedule Planner for review and consideration. The planner will analyze the route using objective data, and use the service guidelines adopted by the King County Council, as a basis for considering the change in service suggested in your comment.”

  • Beth March 19, 2019 (6:40 pm)

    What bus route will stop there?

    • Seriously? March 19, 2019 (7:24 pm)

      @Beth, I think the 55 out of Admiral will. Not sure about 56 or 57 out of Alki, but I would hope they do. No clue about the C Line.It would be nice if there was at least one bus that ran from Admiral/Alki to downtown and back all day. Would ease a lot of cramming on the C Line. Just my two cents.

  • Mj March 19, 2019 (7:06 pm)

    It is moot for residents with no midday bus service or no service at all!

  • John N March 19, 2019 (7:42 pm)

    Apart from the convenience to commuters who work near by this does not sound like a great idea.  The soil is notoriously mushy in Pioneer Square, and even if there is a solid roadbed on top of it, we can expect the weight of the buses to do to First Avenue what they have done to Barton on the mushy soil in front of Westwood Village, only in a historic district.On top of that, this stretch of First Avenue is extremely vulnerable to gridlock.  I work in West Seattle so I don’t have a horse in this race, but this sounds like an aggravating one year solution at best for West Seattle routes.

    • West Seattle since 1979 March 19, 2019 (8:44 pm)

      Buses always stopped on 1st Ave., some of them from West Seattle.  I have a picture of a trolley stopping at 1st and Yesler in 1959. Buses stopped at 1st and Yesler until 2011.

      • AMD March 19, 2019 (10:05 pm)

        There’s a reason they stopped…

    • West Seattle since 1979 March 19, 2019 (8:48 pm)

      Also, the buses are already running down 1st, hundreds of them a day. Seems like that might create problems anyway. I wish they had one bus that ran down 1st so that it wouldn’t be necessary to climb the hill. Excellent 

      • West Seattle since 1979 March 19, 2019 (9:14 pm)

        Oops, don’t know how I got the word “excellent “ in there!

  • G March 20, 2019 (7:28 am)

    This is good new for those of us who work in Pioneer Square.  I wonder what busses will stop there?  Maybe 21, 55, 56/57.  I doubt the C will stop because it’s not a “Rapid Ride” station.   But any bus stop there is better than none!

    • WSB March 20, 2019 (7:53 am)

      I’m asking today. This came in relatively late yesterday. – TR

      • KJ March 20, 2019 (9:14 am)

        Thank you, WSB! I agree with G – this is great news for those of us working in the Stadium/Pioneer Square area

  • AB March 20, 2019 (7:50 am)

    I have to say, I am not a fan of the buses traveling through Pioneer Square via First Avenue with this new route. I am a 56/57 rider typically.  I feel that This new route can’t be sustainable.  The roads are already in poor shape and with heavy pedestrian traffic who are not bus riders ( tourists mainly) I think there is an accident waiting to happen. The back-ups are getting worse and worse getting in and out of Dowmtown. I can’t imaging how challenging this will be when baseball season is in full swing with evening games during commute time. Just does not seem like the right route for a long-term solution. 

    • Cline Rider March 20, 2019 (8:33 am)

      I totally agree! I understand that they had to remove the 4th Ave “bus only lane” but I wish we were still taking that route every morning.  The transit only lane that ran along the link rail made for a smooth morning commute vs fighting our way through all the lights and commuter traffic on 1st Ave. Is this current route temporary or the new everyday?

      • Ron Swanson March 20, 2019 (9:44 am)

        The buses are going to run via Alaskan Way to Columbia to 3rd – they’re working on tearing that part of the viaduct down now.  Columbia has been rebuilt for buses from 3rd to 1st, but they’ll need to rebuild the 1st to Alaskan part before the buses can take that route.  The city’s schedule doesn’t break out when that’s supposed to happen, but hopefully they’ll start on it as soon as that section of viaduct is gone!

        • sam-c March 20, 2019 (10:08 am)

          That will be nice (buses routing somewhere other than 1st Ave), but besides the viaduct demo, aren’t they re-building Alaskan Way…. as a big boulevard project.  Seems like that area will be under construction for a while before buses can take a more efficient route again.  Right now, a WS bus ride that used to take 20 minutes, takes 45 minutes, instead.

  • ScottA March 20, 2019 (7:53 am)

    WSB, if you have a chance, can you see if the “permanent” routes after the viaduct is taken down and some of Alaskan Way is rebuilt will also get bus stops near King Street? Thank you!(See map at this story:

    • Mark March 20, 2019 (12:26 pm)

      The West Seattle bus routes will eventually (planned for 2020) exit 99 at the current new exit and then drive down the waterfront to Columbia. They will take a right turn on Columbia (which will be changed to a two-way street) and head east up to 3rd. The current Pioneer Square situation is temporary, and as many have mentioned, pretty tough with traffic. One can imagine that Metro will put a stop somewhere along the waterfront for easier access to Pioneer Square and the waterfront.

      • West Seattle since 1979 March 20, 2019 (6:44 pm)

        I certainly hope that they put something so that we don’t have to walk up that hill if we don’t want to or can’t. Originally I thought the was going to be around Western and Columbia. But it seems like Metro thinks everyone can walk up that hill with no problem, so I wouldn’t put it past them to still have the last stop on 3rd.

  • Delridge Resident March 20, 2019 (10:15 am)

    Thank you for the update!I’m remaining hopeful that the 120 and.or 125 will be on the list of routes. I walk to and from the downtown bus stops now, and while it’s nice to have as part of a daily routine, it is frustrating since I also have to sit on a stopped bus in Pioneer Square looking at my final destination and unable to exit (resulting in another 10 minutes on the bus + 15 minutes walking back to get there).

    • newnative March 20, 2019 (12:16 pm)

      I am a 56/57 commuter who has been frustrated by the conga line through Pioneer Square as well. I’m glad there will be a stop there for those of us that wish to walk instead of sit, as well as access the light rail. 

      • Kimberly Rezentes March 20, 2019 (2:15 pm)

        I’m please to read this. I am a 56/57 commuter and I found it frustrating to pass my stop and then back track another 10-15 mins on my walking commute. Also, I feel I would frequent more places in the the PS neighborhood with a convenient commute home.good news! Hope 56/57 get to stop here.

      • Joleen March 22, 2019 (8:01 am)

        Precisely! I work at 4th and Madison but plan on walking often from the new stop… it’s probably quicker.

  • Jamie March 20, 2019 (11:57 am)

    Hi, i’m a 120 bus rider and while I’m glad that folks will get that pioneer square exit. I am absolutely frustrated with the amount of time stuck on 1st avenue. The route during Viadoom was SOOOO much faster. The pionner square router added so much more to my commute that I’m tempted to buy that second car and take it to work (much faster now with the tunnel open and would take the Mercer exit). I am wondering why the buses won’t simply use the 5th ave route we used during viadoom? That way buses don’t clog 1st ave? Do you know where I can send feedback or learn about metro routes etc? I’m at my wits end stuck on pioneer square.

  • Chuck March 20, 2019 (12:14 pm)

    The C going though Pioneer Square is already a disaster IMHO, and it will only get worse as tourism levels increase. Seriously Metro, what are you thinking? Add Mariner game day traffic in the afternoons and no one will be going anywhere. On top of that, I have a hunch that the added surface street bus traffic (to be flushed out of the train tunnel starting on Saturday) will quickly prove what a disaster this route really is. Luckily from Morgan Junction I have other bus route options, but only if I leave earlier than I would prefer. Bring back the C line via 4th, Metro!

  • C in WC March 20, 2019 (12:26 pm)

    Thank GOD! I was definitely one of the folks that wrote a written complaint about the fact that we were spending a 10 minutes on the bus, bypassing my office and any other PS destinations (or stadiums, ID etc.), and then having to walk all the way back from Madison! Never got a response but this is good news.

  • West Seattle since 1979 March 20, 2019 (6:41 pm)

    There needs to be some kind of stop on 1st in Pioneer Square. I actually think the 21 local should be the one to stop there. But some bus needs to. It’s ridiculous that there should be no stops and that everyone needs to walk up the hill. 

  • WSB March 20, 2019 (9:46 pm)

    Update for those who asked – The routes that will use the new stops, per Metro’s Torie Rynning: “All SR99 routes (12 in total) will use the new stops: 21X, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, C Line.” I also have some info on the ongoing 1st situation in general and will write that up separately tomorrow – TR

  • maxmama March 21, 2019 (10:04 am)

    I’d like to see a stop at 3rd & Columbia for all the buses coming into the city from 99.  The bus goes east up Cherry Street & there are plenty of folks that work for city/county facilities & would love to have a stop south of Madison & 3rd.  There’s already rapid ride lines & other stops there.  Why can’t it make this stop for the West Seattle buses as well?

    • newnative March 21, 2019 (2:37 pm)

      During the Viadoom many of them did stop at Columbia and then they stopped. Now I have to walk two blocks to the next stop. Not to mention there are some nice restaurants at 3rd and Columbia. 

  • SeattleSunburn March 21, 2019 (1:21 pm)

    I wish the NB ‘C’ would stop at the RapidRide stop on 3rd/Cherry. (I think it’s Cherry. Maybe it’s Columbia.) The C goes right past it then travels on to Seneca. It just seems to make sense, and would prevent lots of us from backtracking.  

  • CAM March 21, 2019 (2:32 pm)

    I don’t see this mentioned anywhere else but I just saw the southbound stop is located at 1st and Dearborn, right before the turn onto Dearborn. Driving by that area for the last several weeks I’ve noticed it’s a frequent location for work or delivery vehicle storage. Hopefully that stops once the route changes start. 

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