SLOW BUSES: Metro announces another reroute test

ORIGINAL MONDAY NIGHT REPORT: That map is for another Metro test, this Thursday. Backstory: After weeks of complaints about sluggish travel for buses on 1st Avenue S. during the southbound weekday commute, Metro tried a reroute last Thursday. County Executive Dow Constantine said, as reported here, that the county hoped the test would yield “new information that offers better solutions.” Metro spokesperson Travis Shofner told WSB on Friday that while they were still awaiting that data, with “mixed” reviews so far, “Metro and SDOT teams met to assess technical needs with various pathways, including what impacts reroutes would have on other routes downtown.” So tonight, there’s word of another test this Thursday. Metro spokesperson Torie Rynning sent word of …

… a one-day service revision this Thursday [August 15th] all day, outbound only, and associated bus stop move.

This one-day revision is only for southbound service heading to West Seattle, for the entire service day. Northbound service heading into downtown Seattle is not affected and will operate via regular routes and stops. This one-day revision will allow Metro to evaluate alternate routing designed to save time for West Seattle bus riders while still providing a Pioneer Square area bus stop.

On Thursday, this will affect southbound Routes 21 Express, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 125
and RapidRide C Line. The full details are here (PDF).

ADDED TUESDAY: As JCW notes in a comment below, Metro has changed the link for that information. Go here instead.

25 Replies to "SLOW BUSES: Metro announces another reroute test"

  • J.O. August 12, 2019 (7:46 pm)

    This is a good reroute alternative. I routinely use that route outbound when I need to drive.

  • J.L. August 12, 2019 (8:11 pm)

    It’s nice to see that the city and Metro are finally taking months of complaints seriously. Hope this pans out but I wish they did this months ago.

  • AMD August 12, 2019 (10:41 pm)

    Has anyone at Metro explained why they are so committed to having a Pioneer Square stop when none of those buses had a stop in Pioneer Square when they used the viaduct and none will have a Pioneer Square stop when they move to Alaskan Way?  The stop is a huge issue because it prevents buses from rerouting when things are unreasonably bad.

    • Elton August 12, 2019 (10:58 pm)

      I have been wondering the same thing for weeks now and thought maybe I was missing something obvious. It does seem to get a good bit of usage, but I don’t know why they decided that it was necessary.     

      • markinthedark August 13, 2019 (9:19 am)

        I believe quite a few people advocating with Metro to get the stop added since they were routing through their workplaces in pioneer square anyway. I did. I’ll be advocating for a stop on Alaskan Way adjacent to Pioneer Square when they do the permanent route as well.

        • BPK August 14, 2019 (2:50 pm)

          Amen to that!  I work in Pioneer Square and I will continue to advocate for a stop in Pioneer Square.  The stop at First and Railroad Ave is working just fine.  Just because a few folks had some bad days doesn’t mean it’s a failure.  My buses have been running very close to on-time all week.  Once it can get put out on Alaskan Way it will be a direct shot onto 99.

    • Peter August 12, 2019 (11:34 pm)

      They’re not. It’s a temporary stop to begin with. The stop is there because of the touting, the routing is not because of that stop. 

      • newnative August 13, 2019 (8:46 am)

        As I have seen it unfold, the buses were rerouted through Pioneer Square without stopping, a lot of passengers complained that they were having to backtrack to Pioneer Square. There may have been a vote or petition. Then they added the stop officially. It was fine until about a month ago when 1st ave started getting back ups. Now there are people who believe the Pioneer Square stop is what prevents the West Seattle-bound buses from rerouting. Though Metro has stated there are a variety of reasons why they can’t reroute on a regular basis.  As far as the (C)rapidride goes,  there is something else slowing it down because I have ridden it through downtown only to see it passed by other West Seattle-bound buses. Sometimes the drivers don’t leave a stop and keep picking people up. I have seen them arrive three in a row and one is picking up tons of people and the others are not full. 

        • AMD August 13, 2019 (6:14 pm)

          Just to be clear, I’m making the assumption that buses do not have the option to reroute because of the stop because that’s what a bus driver told us, not an official statement so  I could be erroneous in that assumption.  

    • Paul Krueger August 13, 2019 (8:27 am)

      There will be a Pioneer Square stop on Alaskan Way when buses move to the permanent route.

  • M August 12, 2019 (10:43 pm)

    Although I don’t take the bus, Rolling Stones are at the Clink on Wednesday. May be another rough afternoon commute.

  • Kyle August 13, 2019 (6:04 am)

    Why can’t we paint a temporary bus lane for the afternoon hours only on one of these streets? All the streets are jammed. I think it’s okay to prioritize transit on one street, so that buses (and the hundreds of cars they take off the street) can exit downtown in a reasonable amount of time.

  • Calvin August 13, 2019 (6:33 am)

    I’m curious why they choose to go west on Columbia, and then south on 2nd Ave, instead of continuing down 3rd the same way the 21, 116, 118, 119 etc all go? During the reroute for the Seahawks game last Wednesday, that stretch to get to 2nd and down a few blocks was a huge mess. 

    • Leslie August 13, 2019 (8:46 am)

      Agreed! That’s the obvious choice. A couple Fridays ago when 3rd Avenue was a parking lot, they let buses continue on 3rd. 

    • Brayton August 13, 2019 (5:22 pm)

      The test will be interesting, but I have to say the evening commute Monday and today (Tuesday) has been excellent. 

    • CAM August 14, 2019 (10:27 am)

      There are so many buses already trying to move through a one lane two block corridor on 3rd between James and Main that it can create 3 block backups as it is now. I occasionally catch buses there and they are always late and on the days I have to drive to work I have to drive through that 2 blocks and it is a massive headache. I don’t think you’d enjoy that as a solution. 

  • 120rider August 13, 2019 (8:21 am)

    i give this idea a wait and see.  east side riders got a bus lane painted just for them just saying 

  • Jenny August 13, 2019 (8:55 am)

    I have the same question as Calvin. It was a major bottleneck! Any chance WSB can ask about this in a follow up to this announcement?

  • JCW August 13, 2019 (1:51 pm)

    WSB – the pdf link is currently broken at the bottom of the post. It looks like Metro split the alert into two different versions (with new URLs) and the 113 (along with 121, 122, and 123) have an alternative-to-the-alternative routing now.https://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/pdf/sa-21e-37-55-56-57-120-125-rridecline-1-av-s-congestion-routing-aug15.pdfhttps://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/pdf/sa-113-121-122-123-1-av-s-congestion-routing-aug15.pdf

  • Delridge Resident August 13, 2019 (2:52 pm)

    I, too, am a West Seattle resident who works in Pioneer Square, and I expressed frustrations to Metro about the route before a stop was added in Pioneer Square. We would spend 15-20 minutes stopped in traffic until we arrived at the first stop on 3rd, only to take a 15 minute walk back to my place of work in Pioneer Square (where the bus had already been sitting, stuck in traffic).Clearly the recent backups are a problem, but as another said these stops were not a problem until recently. It was also a logistical problem to carry people further into downtown, despite being capable of opening the bus doors much sooner.

  • Paul August 13, 2019 (5:37 pm)

    No backup at all on 1st in Pioneer Square tonight at 5:30.

  • JCW August 14, 2019 (1:56 pm)

    Thanks for confirming the official one! I know there aren’t too many of us that take the 113, but if you’re headed to the south edge of West Seattle along Roxbury, it’s a great express bus!

  • daPuffin August 15, 2019 (3:45 pm)

    And… 21x driver didn’t take the reroute.  Didnt know???Got through Pioneer Square quickly today, though.   

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