FOLLOWUP: Which West Seattle bus stops are staying and which are going

<(WSB photo, November 2019)

A reader tip about that bus-stop sign back in November led to the discovery that Metro was proposing seven stops for removal in an effort to “rebalance” Route 50. They asked for input – though there was no wide announcement before our story – and promised an update when the final decisions were in. Today, we got that update. Metro plans to remove 5 stops – including one that was not on the original list – and keep 3. The ones that are staying:

-Both stops at California/Stevens (31900, 31940), both with the same reason to keep: “Feedback regarding adjacent PCC grocery store supports keeping this stop”

-Westbound stop at Admiral/Waite (15570), three reasons to keep:

-Feedback regarding adjacent assisted living facility supports keeping this stop
-Stop is adjacent to an intersection with crosswalks
-Stop has clear, newly constructed sidewalk to enter and exit bus

Here are the ones that Metro will remove – for all routes that use them, not just 50:

-Both stops at California/Charlestown (31861, 31980), reasons to remove:

-Other stops available one block to the north and south.
-Stop to the north at SW Spokane St has a bench.
-Stop to the north at SW Spokane St has 75% more riders.

-Both stops at California/Dakota (31840, 320000), reasons to remove:

-Other stops available one block to the north and south.
-Stops to the north and south have similar, but higher ridership.

-Westbound stop at Admiral/46th (15560, not on original list), reasons to remove:

-Other stop available one block to the west
-Stop to the west is adjacent to an intersection with crosswalks

The removals will take effect with Metro’s March 21st “service change.” The bus system’s other planned changes for this cycle will be announced in about a week and a half.

34 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Which West Seattle bus stops are staying and which are going"

  • Kyle February 27, 2020 (6:42 pm)

    Did they do this when they changed the 125’s downtown loop stops? I sure do miss being able to catch either the 120/125 home in the evenings. I emailed metro about their lack of community engagement and heard nothing back.

    • WSB February 27, 2020 (6:52 pm)

      If someone hadn’t tipped me and I hadn’t contacted Metro, resulting in a story, their SOP was apparently just to post notices at the bus stops. So I hope they at least posted those stops! It’s like many other things we only find out about because someone tipped/asked us about signs, crews, etc…. public agencies often just notify those they believe are DIRECTLY affected, but especially with transportation projects, the effects are much wider and there should be broader notice.-TR

      • Kyle February 27, 2020 (9:08 pm)

        Super happy with all that WSB does! The comment was more about the clawing that is needed from Metro. We’d be even more in the dark without all that you do!

        • WSB February 27, 2020 (9:32 pm)

          I make the case frequently to government agencies that notice should be given more widely and would encourage others to do the same. Thanks yet again to everyone who lets us know when they see a notice, get a notice, see a sign… standards for “notice” are often stuck in the past (like the classic “public notices” that governments are still required to publish in small type, at high costs, in places no one ever sees them, but I digress…)

          • Metro February 28, 2020 (9:07 am)

            Happy to chime in — The strategy to engage riders with signs at affected stops was intentional. Metro is committed to being as equitable as possible and we are aware that those with the loudest voices often aren’t the ones directly impacted. There are many times where we engage an entire community for feedback but in this case we wanted to specifically promote feedback at just the stops to make sure we were hearing from folks most impacted. In addition to signs in multiple languages, we also had multi-lingual street teams at stops and interacted with Lighthouse for the Blind. With this targeted approach, there’s always a chance someone will have missed their opportunity to chime in and that’s certainly not our intent. We received extremely helpful feedback that resulted in us changing our plan. Two stops are being left open that provide unique advantages to riders we weren’t aware of. A third stop recommended to be closed will also be left open, thanks to riders’ feedback, and instead an adjacent stop will close. Now that the plan is finalized, there will be a host of other outreach activities, including rider alerts, maps at stops, and additional street teaming. Riders along Route 50 and other routes along those stops will enjoy a smoother, more reliable ride. If any of these changes do not meet your needs, I’d be happy to connect you with a trip planner who can help map out a customized plan. You can send me an email at 

          • WSRez February 29, 2020 (1:14 am)

            The California/Charlestown stops should remain, because they are at a controlled intersection which is MUCH safer for crossing than 1 block North. It’s especially important for vision impaired residents and youth who rely on that intersection to safely cross. 

    • Tired Feet February 27, 2020 (7:17 pm)

      I miss it too.  Given the choice between the 120 and 125, I’d choose the latter.  I’ve even waited longer just to catch the 125 when it ran on 3rd Ave.  You know what I miss also?  Is seats.  The new 120 buses have less seats.  The last thing I want to do when I’ve been on my feet all day is stand in the bus.  It seems like the new buses gave up seats to accommodate more standing and an extra door in the middle.  What’s up with that.  The back seats is so squished, you have to climb over people’s laps just to get out. 

    • AMD February 27, 2020 (8:54 pm)

      They had signs up at the 125 bus stops for a couple weeks before the shift to Alaskan, explaining what the new stops would be (almost…  didn’t mention the 3rd & Pike stop on the signs I saw).  You can still catch the 120 and 125 at the same stop if you wait at Columbia and Alaskan Way.  The next best thing is waiting at the 3rd & Seneca stop for the 125.  You can see the 120 coming and hop across the street to catch it.  I used to try to wait at the one stop and lie to myself and saying I would catch whichever one came next.  In reality the 120 always came first but half the time I let it go by and waited for the 125 anyway.  So really, at least for me, having them at the same stop never actually made a difference in which bus I took home.  It just cut out the part where I pretended I hadn’t already decided.  

  • Yma February 27, 2020 (6:58 pm)

    You want me to take the bus – but keep cutting bus service. Thanks

    • WSB February 27, 2020 (7:05 pm)

      They’re not cutting service. Removing stops. Route, schedule, etc., continuing.

      • NotOnHolden February 27, 2020 (9:10 pm)

        This is deja vu, lol.  Also, I get that they’re not doing full on route cuts but when stops are removed it is a cut of service to the folks that use those stops.

        • Daniel Heppner February 28, 2020 (12:07 am)

          Cutting stops that are too close together can make buses a lot more useful. Having a stop every block is not useful. Stops should be spaced far enough apart that the bus isn’t having to stop all the time, which makes it slow, but not so far that it’s too far to walk.

          • West Seattle since 1979 March 5, 2020 (3:54 pm)

            It might be too far to walk for people with mobility issues or people carrying children or packages.

  • Jon Wright February 27, 2020 (7:37 pm)

    Very pleased they were responsive to feedback to maintain the stop at Stevens in front of PCC. Taking the time to give governmnet agencies input isn’t always in vain!

  • Carole February 27, 2020 (7:40 pm)

    California/Charleston has a 4 way light and a sound activated signal. It is used by a blind person and middle schoolers.  Dakota has a blinking light activated crosswalk. Despite a bench at Spokane, that is a dangerous corner to cross, with parked cars blocking views of cars approaching both north and south and is poorly lit at night.  The Charleston and Dakota removals will increase danger to pedestrians. When Metro was contacted the response was an auto reply which had absolutely no relationship to the comment, asking for more info re: bus number, route and time of travel. Very poor customer relations.

    • Michael February 27, 2020 (10:45 pm)

      I completely agree with you. The removal of those two stops doesn’t make sense. Good luck to anyone trying to cross California at Spokane or Andover.

    • Just wondering February 27, 2020 (11:05 pm)

      There is a  blind women that used the bus stops at Charleston and California.  Who will tell her?

      • Can'tWalkThenRun February 28, 2020 (1:10 am)

        I lived on that block and that poor blind lady went through absolute hell during the ~3 years when most of the small apartment complexes between Charlestown and Avalon were razed and turned into townhouses.  I helped her around the obstacles when I’d see her struggling, but I don’t know how she keeps going.   (I’m just waiting for one of the rabidly pro-transit/density commenters to suggest that the disabled move to the suburbs along with people who drive.)

        • KM February 28, 2020 (8:22 am)

          The whole point of adding transit and housing  to the city is to accommodate more people of ALL abilities and incomes, not just people the city has focused on serving previously (like me, a non-disabled white single-family home-owning car-owning driver). Despite comments here, we aren’t all developers. Personally, I am middle class, don’t work in real estate, and most importantly, I am sib to two with ID who cannot drive and have limited incomes, and I want those who can’t afford single family homes or aren’t able to drive to have an accessible, welcoming city.  It’s a bummer to have old, affordable housing torn down for likely expensive new housing, I agree. I can’t wave a wand and fix our housing crisis in a country that relies heavily on the rising cost of real estate to indicate a “healthy” economy and stock market, and when multi-family development is banned in most of the city. In regards to accessible walkways and transit, the city should create and enforce regulations that require construction workers to keep pathways open for those walking and rolling. Adding temporary ramps and remove parking or traffic lanes on the street to keep a walkable/rollable pathway, adding scaffolding when appropriate, audio guidance, etc. are some examples of requirements constructions crews should have to provide our community while building. The city has a horrible track record of keeping our sidewalks accessible (i.e. sidewalk ramp ADA lawsuit), and builders can afford to create and maintain accessible sidewalks. Time to make something seriously happen.

          • miws February 29, 2020 (6:57 am)

            KM, Thank You… —Mike

    • MK February 28, 2020 (8:13 am)

      I agree with Carole. Removing the stops at Charlestown and Dakota will increase risky pedestrian crossings. Charlestown, with its 4- way light and audible signal, seems like a particularly ill-advised removal. 

      • Kathy March 1, 2020 (12:37 pm)

        Let me get this straight. The stops  on California at Charlestown and Dakota will still remain, correct? They will still serve the 128 route but not the 50?  I guess if it’s too far to walk you could wait for the 128 to hook you up with another stop that serves both routes.  That means extra waiting time to transfer, though. I agree all intersections with bus stops should have enhanced pedestrian amenities such as pedestrian activated rapid flashing beacons. This would be a good idea to submit to  Your Voice Your Choice if you are concerned about those intersections.

        • Dddd March 12, 2020 (8:33 pm)

          Is it true that the other two routes will continue to serve Dakota and California??

  • Meyer February 27, 2020 (8:08 pm)

    Good. There are far too many bus stops along that stretch of California that slows the bus down and burns unnecessary gas.

    • Twp February 28, 2020 (1:30 am)

      Bus system is horrible, and consistently inconsistent.  Yep will continue to drive my gas guzzling car which I know is reliable and will get me where I need to be.  Tired of a broken system that is unresponsive and does not respond to feedback from communityuntill then I will drive, my wife will drive and soon our son, make a system reliable, timely and affordable (maybe light rail?) but until then  we will be in our car

  • KayK February 27, 2020 (8:38 pm)

    With you Kyle and I’ve also written to Metro. Moving the 125 to 2nd outbound is a real reduction in our service options. Encourage others to contact them as well.

    • AMD February 28, 2020 (6:27 am)

      You can still catch it outbound on 3rd.  You’ll just be at the beginning of the loop instead of the end.  It stops at 3rd & Marion, 3rd & Seneca, and 3rd & Pike.  It actually stops MORE on 3rd after the latest change, not less, so if I were Metro I’d be pretty confused by feedback from someone saying they have fewer options.  For Metro to take feedback into consideration with changes, that feedback needs to jive with reality.  

      • Kyle February 28, 2020 (8:41 am)

        AMD, It travels in the opposite direction on 3rd. You try crossing the street during rush hour to change which stop your waiting at when you see your bus coming. The 120/125 should use the same stops in the same direction on 3rd for outbound. The meta point was Metro changed it without much community input, and the only recourse now is comments to their customer service reps that never get above that level.

        • AMD February 28, 2020 (1:00 pm)

          Kyle, I’m aware it travels the opposite direction on 3rd.  It’s a loop; the bus is still going to West Seattle when you catch it on 3rd.  The current routing is much more similar to the routing when the viaduct existed than that last re-route.  The way it was the first avenue stops were pretty superfluous.  Now it makes stops on 3rd so folks like us can catch it on the road we like AND on 2nd where far more people are using the stops.  As for community input, my input during the Columbia street construction/viaduct demolition was “make it like it used to be where it comes further north again” and they did that.  The route is far more useful now than it has been for the last year, even if you’re trying to game the buses to have the choice of two at one stop.  

          • Kyle February 28, 2020 (2:21 pm)

            AMD, How do you know far more people are using the stops on 2nd? Just your opinion? I’m assuming no data. Who are the “folks like us can catch it on the street we like”? Assuming again this is just your opinion, or maybe anecdotal people you’ve talked to. I’m a bus rider, and I prefer the old loop choices to the new loop. How did you give metro your input on the changes to the 125? Sounds like you’re just happy with the changes they made, not that they actually had a dialog with you. My point still is, you (or I) might be in the minority on the “best loop”, we just don’t know because Metro made these changes without any more outreach than a few posted signs stating it was happening anyways.

      • EditorSue February 29, 2020 (1:49 pm)

        AMD, you wanted to say jibe, not jive. Jive means either a type of music or loose, meaningless chatter. Jibe means to be in accord; agree. 

  • Sarah McCaghren February 27, 2020 (8:58 pm)

    I did respond to Metro about keeping more of the stops.  I’m glad some are staying. 

    I understand Metro’s reasoning to streamline travel times for the majority, but I wish we could keep some really local bus routes with LOTS of stops so that it’s possible to travel with as little walking as possible.  

    I’ve done bus travel on crutches, post-op, and with ongoing orthopedic issues, and I see others with similar issues. Fewer stops makes travel harder for older folks, permanently or temporarily disabled folks, and anyone lugging heavy shopping or heavy laptops/lunchbags/workout gear.

  • Julie March 13, 2020 (12:09 am)

    Absolutely agree.  When I get off at Charleston, there is often a blind woman who gets off with me.  She crosses safely because there is a light.  That would not be true a block earlier or later.  

    • Kathy March 13, 2020 (8:43 am)

      Julie, If you believe the bus stops earlier or later than Charlestown St. should be safer for pedestrians, you have a chance to suggest a project through the Your Voice Your Choice idea collection process. Choose the category “Pedestrian Crossing” and type in the intersection and describe why a safer pedestrian crossing is needed. A rapid flashing beacon plus curb bulbs could be helpful. You would be doing your blind friend a great service. The deadline for submitting ideas is March 18th. Here is the website link:

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