About those bus-stop bags on Alki

We took that photo along Alki Avenue SW after a reader tip that those yellow bags had appeared on multiple bus stops that served Route 37, suspended since March. Do they represent a permanent shroud for the route? We asked Metro. Spokesperson Jeff Switzer says sign-covering started last weekend and is part of a bigger project:

Countywide, we have 7,800 bus stops. Beginning with the September service change we planned a several-fold approach for handling stop level information for suspended routes.

*At suspended stops with bus stop information holders, we have replaced the stop schedule strips with a suspended route information strip.

*At large information kiosks with suspended routes, we have installed a large information strip with suspended route information.

*At suspended stops without information holders, but with more than one route, but only one suspended route, we have installed a decal on the post indicating one or more routes at this stop are suspended (this work is about 85% complete.

*At suspended route stops serving only one route, we have begun covering the flag with a “suspended” cover. Facilities crews began to install them over the past weekend. As of Tuesday morning 200 have been installed out of about 800 planned locations. The work will be ongoing.

While we realize most customers were able to figure out their route was suspended using other tools and information between March and September 2020, we decided to take this additional step to inform customers under the assumption that we potentially would see rider demand grow back over time.

So if you see these at other stops solely serving suspended routes, that’s why. The suspended routes’ ultimate future has yet to be determined. (Here’s a September recap of which routes countywide remain shelved.)

8 Replies to "About those bus-stop bags on Alki"

  • James Patrick Herrmann December 16, 2020 (1:12 pm)

    If a stop has a bag on it, are the spaces now available for resident parking?

  • Bob Hull December 16, 2020 (3:39 pm)

    Very good question about parking. I’m interested in the answer.

  • Flivver December 16, 2020 (4:15 pm)

    My bet is yes, you can park there.

    • WSB December 16, 2020 (10:40 pm)

      My bet is no. But I have the question out to the city and will post here when I hear back.

  • Smg December 16, 2020 (7:51 pm)

    I’ve been wondering about route 57. I pass the busses nightly and they’re always empty. 

    • TRUsam December 24, 2020 (8:52 am)

      My understanding is that Metro kept West Seattle routes 21x, 55, 56, and 57 in service, even while most other rush hour commuter express routes elsewhere in the county were suspended, to mitigate the loss of the W Seattle Bridge. But due to low ridership, they are likely to suspend them upon the March service change.

  • seascorpio82 December 27, 2020 (1:09 pm)

    That’s going to be a big, obvious “no.” If there doesn’t appear to be any handicapped people around, does that mean you can take a handicapped spot? No. The municipality had determined the bus stop to be a “no parking zone” and for use by the transit authority for it’s use whenever it wants, regardless of frequency, and not for use by anyone else. The public cannot be left to be the judge of if/when the stop will be used again by a bus in service, a bus out of service, a garbage truck collecting garbage at the bus stop, a facilities worker maintaining/dismantling/etc the stop, etc etc etc. A bus stop is a bus stop until it is not. 

    • WSB December 27, 2020 (1:46 pm)

      I did finally hear back from SDOT and indeed the answer was “no” – until and unless Metro declares the bus stop to be never again needed, which hasn’t happened.

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