“We’re in the enviable position where people want more transit. But – we’re unable to give it to them.”
So said Metro‘s general manager Michelle Allison toward the end of a just-concluded media briefing with early warning of route suspensions planned for the next twice-yearly “service change,” on September 2nd.
One West Seattle route is on the list – Route 55, which is scheduled for only six trips a day now, five in the morning, one in the afternoon (its schedule was officially reduced last September). “Scheduled” is the key word here – as riders know, Metro has been frequently canceling trips. Allison said the point of suspending more routes – 32 of the current 156 system-wide – is to improve reliability so that by the time they get to September, “the schedule IS the service,” not just an aspirational plan.
Here’s the full list of what they’re planning now for a September 2nd change. And needless to say, currently suspended routes aren’t in the plan for restoration – that would include long-suspended West Seattle Route 37. We asked how they can be certain that this round of suspensions will put them on the road to reliability. Allison, who took over as Metro GM earlier this year, said they believe they’ve done enough analysis and “daylighting” of personnel and supply-chain reality, that they have an accurate picture of what they can reliably deliver. She added that what’s on the schedule starting September 2nd is roughly equal to what, with ongoing trip cancellations, they’re actually delivering now.
Again, the changes announced today – and other forthcoming adjustments – won’t officially be part of the schedule as of September 2nd – so until then, Route 55 is still, technically, operational.