BUSES: Metro announces upcoming service changes, new safety additions

Metro‘s September “service change” is now 2 1/2 weeks away, so today the transit service officially announced what’s changing, as well as new safety features.

CHANGES: Saturday, September 19th, is this fall’s “service change” date; all the changes – including continued suspensions – are listed here. A West Seattle highlight: “Almost all service” will be restored on Routes 55, 56, and 57. You can follow those links for new timetables, or, Metro suggests, ” Riders can use Metro’s online trip planner and enter a date of Sept. 19 or later to see options.”

SAFETY: Also in today’s announcement:

Metro is now installing safety partitions to allow front-door boarding in preparation for restoring fares, targeted for Oct. 1, although a firm date has yet to be announced.

The plexiglass safety partitions will swing into position when a driver opens the front door, minimizing interaction between boarding passengers and the driver. The partition also can be opened manually by the driver to allow them to leave their seat to assist passengers, including those who use mobility devices. …

Each automated partition is estimated to cost $3,200, about half the $6,000 cost for a comparable manual-only door from an outside vendor. Metro is using CARES Act funds to help pay for the equipment.

Metro has more than 1,000 barriers out of 1,444 produced today, and expected to have all partitions installed by October.

The new partitions were “designed, engineered, and fabricated by Metro’s in-house vehicle maintenance staff,” the announcement says, along with this:

Alongside new safety partitions, Metro is installing mask dispensers on 102 buses this month, starting with RapidRide buses on the A and F lines in south King county and 60-foot trolley buses on routes 7, 36, 43, 44, and 49 in Seattle. Metro intends to install more dispensers on other high-ridership routes in the future.

Each dispenser holds about 150 masks, and Metro will monitor demand and refill them as needed. The King County Council designated funds to purchase and make available masks on public transportation.

Metro says it sampled mask compliance on four high-ridership routes recently and it ranged from 72 percent to 85 percent. Ridership, meantime, is less than 40 percent of what it was last year (on weekdays).

12 Replies to "BUSES: Metro announces upcoming service changes, new safety additions"

  • Mark Schletty September 2, 2020 (8:09 pm)

    Hey Jort and Tsurly. Do something worthwhile and get us our 22 bus back.  A large part of West Seattle still has no bus service. You both say Herbold responds to you, so see if you can help us out. Thanks.

    • Erithan September 2, 2020 (10:33 pm)

      And maybe the “West Seattle shuttle too” I miss the 51!  😢 

    • Peter September 3, 2020 (7:32 am)

      Metro is a county service, not a city service, so a city council member who is ineffective at best is not a good option for addressing this. Joe McDermott is the county council member representing District 8 (West Seattle and Vashon), and Dow Constantine, also a West Seattleite, are the best bets. Regardless of that, the 22 was likely going to be eliminated even without the pandemic. At best it might be replaced with DART service, but that’s usually only done for suburban and rural areas. 

  • Gracie September 2, 2020 (8:23 pm)

    Thankful for the masks for those in need, but sincerely hoping these don’t lead to more cross contamination. Imagining those reaching for the dispenser with unwashed hands in public places. 

    • MercyMoi September 3, 2020 (5:48 am)

      Exactly! I would like to see how these dispensers are designed to prevent Covid-spread. I can’t imagine taking anything from a public dispenser and putting it onto my face. 

  • Anne September 2, 2020 (9:09 pm)

    Ugh-just thought is unsettling.

  • anonyme September 3, 2020 (7:10 am)

    Route 22 is an ‘essential’ route as there is no other bus alternative for Arbor Heights or large parts of Gatewood.   It is a poor decision by Metro to completely strand large portions of a city while adding service to areas already well covered.  Metro has treated Arbor Heights like the poor stepchild ever since I moved here 15 years ago.  BRING BACK THE 22!!!!!!!

  • anonyme September 3, 2020 (7:23 am)

    And another thing – why is mask compliance only 72- 85%?  Mask wearing should be mandatory, and at 100%.  Just like no shirt/no shoes, no service, riding Metro should be no mask, no ride.  Part of the problem is that drivers are often themselves not in compliance.  The other part of the problem is the Seattle tradition of not enforcing anything.  Absolutely ridiculous.  Does Metro really not see a connection between low ridership and their dangerously lax policies?

  • anonyme September 3, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    Route 22 is an ‘essential’ route as there is no other bus alternative
    for Arbor Heights or large parts of Gatewood.   It is a poor decision by Metro to completely strand large portions of a city while adding service to areas already well covered.  Metro has treated Arbor Heights like the poor stepchild ever since I moved here 15 years ago.  BRING
    BACK THE 22!!!!!!! And another thing – why is mask compliance only 72- 85%?  Mask wearing should be mandatory, and at 100%.  Just like no shirt/no shoes, no service, riding Metro should be no mask, no ride.  Part of the problem is that drivers are often themselves not in compliance.  The other part of the problem is the Seattle tradition of not enforcing anything. 
    Absolutely ridiculous.  Does Metro really not see a connection between low ridership and their dangerously lax policies? 

  • Thomas M Morningstar September 3, 2020 (7:07 pm)

    Just happy to see the buses returning.  This whole “West Seattle the deserted island” crap is getting old.  Oh… yeah… Went to West Seattle Blog Sponsor Rad Power Bikes and pre-ordered a Rad City Power Bike.   Cannot wait.  Freedom!

  • Pigeon Point RN September 4, 2020 (12:54 pm)

    I really wish they’d bump up the frequency of the commuter busses, since they are still restricting the numbers of passengers.  I take the 120 or 125 (whichever comes first) to work, and several times a week I’m passed by with a ‘bus full’ sign flashing.  One particular driver sees my hospital scrubs and stops for me and lets me on the front door when she’s full, which is very nice, but I know there are others who are not visibly healthcare workers who also need to get to work and are being passed by.

  • Noelle September 14, 2020 (9:03 am)

    Agree on the 22.  How about a petition?  Re Rad Power Bikes— please stay off the sidewalks with your motorized vehicle.  

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