FOLLOWUP: Here’s why Metro is proposing closing bus stops in south West Seattle. And it’s not the only change they’re considering

Last weekend, reader Juan tipped us to notices on some Metro bus stops in Highland Park/South Delridge, saying Metro is considering closing them and requesting feedback. No information was available online, so we published this and then, right after the holiday weekend, we asked Metro for the overview of which stops are on the chopping block, and why. This afternoon we finally got the details – and, says Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer, there’s more to it than just a stop-closing plan. First, the stops proposed for closure – note that the list includes one that’s not on 16th:

Now, the big picture – including an extension of time to comment on the proposed stop closures/relocation (they’ve fixed the emailbox problems):

Metro is working on ways to improve travel times for West Seattle riders, upgrade bus stop amenities, and help riders make better connections.

There are 56 bus stops on route 125. Metro staff are currently evaluating proposals to improve up to 14 bus stops, remove up to five stops, and relocate one bus stop. The section of 16th Avenue SW between SW Holden Street and SW Henderson Street is the only portion of the route with consecutive bus stops located 500 to 700 feet apart. These short distances are about half the desired stop spacing distance, as defined in Metro’s Service Guidelines.

At the same time, Metro has been working with Seattle Department of Transportation staff to consider how the Seattle Transit Measure could be used to fund improvements for Route 125. This will likely include funding approximately 4,000 additional service hours focused on improving evening and weekend service, starting in fall of 2024. The City of Seattle and King County are also considering locations along Routes 125 and 128 in Delridge, Riverview, and Highland Park where there is the opportunity to improve bus stop safety and accessibility by building improvements such as sidewalk extensions and benches.

In mid-February, Metro staff posted hardcopy notices asking for feedback regarding the proposals to close the bus stops [on 16th] at SW Kenyon Street, SW Thistle Street, and SW Trenton Street. Metro is considering closing these five bus stops to improve the travel times and reliability for routes 125 and 128. By consolidating ridership at fewer stops, it also makes it possible to provide higher quality amenities (like shelters) at the remaining stops. Metro staff also posted a rider alert at the eastbound bus stop on SW Barton Street at 22nd Avenue SW asking riders for feedback about the possibility of relocating the stop to Delridge Way SW to improve the transfer between Route 125 and the RapidRide H Line.

No decisions have been made on whether any stops will be closed or relocated. We want to hear from riders about their priorities and how they use these stops. The feedback gathered this month will help us refine the project scope. We are extending the window for initial comments through March 14 and welcome any feedback regarding the proposed stop rebalancing, proposed bus stop modifications, or any other comments regarding route 125. Feedback can be submitted to Additional information regarding these improvements will be shared in the coming months, once the project team can review the feedback, follow-up with community members, and refine the project scope.

20 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's why Metro is proposing closing bus stops in south West Seattle. And it's not the only change they're considering"

  • KayK February 22, 2024 (6:32 pm)

    Metro is working to have a rep at the HPAC meeting on 2/28(we’ll be on Zoom this month).

  • Kyle February 22, 2024 (8:33 pm)

    Love the idea of additional hours! Would be great to use the 125 for events downtown on Sundays too. I’m not sure bigger, more built bus stops are needed on that stretch of 16th? Seems like a solution in search of a problem. I doubt removing those stops would save much time and they provide convenience/incentive for residents to use the bus. 

  • Donovan February 22, 2024 (8:49 pm)

    *Excitement*. I take the 125 from the beginning to the end almost every workday. Fewers stops would be on par with making this a rapid ride. They should add one more stop at 3rd and Virginia (they turn around there anyway), to allow for better transfers.

  • Connor February 22, 2024 (9:00 pm)

    I understand the sentiment. The 125 is underutilized so consolidation seems like a logical step. However, I like that the 125 is a West Seattle lifeline for us in the lower part of the peninsula. I’d like to keep it convenient. I’d rather see some attention given to the 60 line? It’s a complete mess with terrible delays.

  • DC February 22, 2024 (10:21 pm)

    This is great new! The worst part of the 125 is the constant stopping for only one person to get off at many stops. I’d gladly walk a few extra blocks for a quicker, more efficient ride. And shelters and increased services hours means the comfort and reliability to use it for more than just my commute! 

  • Jim P. February 22, 2024 (11:03 pm)

    Nothing slows down a bus route more than pesky passengers expecting to be picked up and dropped off conveniently without having to walk a quarter mile each way.

    • JumboJim February 23, 2024 (8:41 am)

      Yeah, well, it’s also annoying when someone gets off the bus and the moment the bus starts another person pulls the stop requested signal. I always get off the bus if someone else stops the bus a stop or two from mine. I get it if it’s an elderly person, but most i see “yanking the chain” to get off aren’t. 

      • anonyme February 24, 2024 (10:00 am)

        You have no idea how much farther that person has to walk from the bus stop to get to their final destination, and several blocks can make a big difference – especially if that individual has a job that requires them to be on their feet all day, or is carrying groceries.  I’m a senior, and on weekends I have to walk almost a mile from the bus stop to home due to Arbor Heights having zero bus service on weekends.  I’m with Jim P. on this one; taking the bus should not be an arduous journey; it’s transit, not a hiking exercise.

    • Stephen February 23, 2024 (7:44 pm)

      Pesky passengers? People are literally using the route the way it is currently set up. The last time I checked buses pick people up at stops and drop them off at stops. 

  • Chris February 23, 2024 (10:08 am)

    Metro has successfully done stop consolidation on many routes in West Seattle. Most recently on the conversion of the Route 120 to the H Line and along 35th for the Route 21. By spacing out stops, Metro can keep buses on time and avoid bus bunching. Bus bunching is when the lead bus stops frequently to pick up riders and the next bus scheduled on the route catches up. Most people find the improved speed and reliability a good trade off for walking a block or two to a stop. This is even true of seniors like me. 

  • WiseWoman February 23, 2024 (1:18 pm)

    The more Metro say they improve the worse service gets. They closed Charlestown the busiest stop and closest for a blind lady. Metro truly has this upside down. They need to do better at timing their buses and have security so drivers do not have to be Social workers. And did you know you cannot buy a bus pass after the 14th of any month. Yet in some cases its cheaper for the rider but they wont sell it. Utter BS. Drivers are fed up riders are fed up. Someone other than Metro should be proposing changes!

  • PDiddy February 23, 2024 (1:34 pm)

    Speaking of whats with all the closed bus stops on beach drive all the way to Lincoln Park? That has been like that a long time and as far as I know there is no longer any service there. I think it used to be route 37?

    • WSB February 23, 2024 (1:49 pm)

      Yes, those were the Route 37 stops. Returning the route hasn’t been formally fully ruled out, yet, so the covered signs stay for now. (Route closures do get reversed – the 22, for example, was suspended, with covered signs, then reinstated.)

  • Forest February 23, 2024 (3:48 pm)

    Not sure how it relates to stop closures, but SDOT’s director has final say on where Metro stops can be placed within the city. WSB might want to solicit a comment from its contacts at Seattle City  Hall. For example, is there a plan for converting the closed stops to street parking?

  • Stephen February 23, 2024 (7:29 pm)

    Out of the stops mentioned, I’d keep Thistle. I’d also remove Webster because it’s just as close to Holden. Henderson and Holden are major enough streets that connect people to 16th. Why are stops in Puget Ridge not being considered? Does there need to be three stops at South Seattle College going Northbound? 

    • Foop February 25, 2024 (9:08 am)

      I agree! Keep thistle, it’s easier to walk along than some of the other nearby cross streets and the beg button / flashing crosswalk already makes it a safer option for crossing 16th which is yet another dangerous road for cyclists and pedestrians due to limited sight lines from parking and speeding cars. The new houses just built there also don’t have driveways along 16th, they’re behind the units, so there’s no worried about future construction issues or blocking someone in.

  • Smh February 23, 2024 (9:25 pm)

    As if having to rely on metro to get around isn’t difficult enough for individuals like myself who are confined by health problems making even the shortest distance to walk to the busstop very painful especially in these colder months. Highland Park is already pretty much cut off from any real access to the metro transit system. And being boxed in by all hills and stairs to even get into the heart of highland park makes mobility near impossible. From 16th Ave sw to 9th Ave sw there is no routes what so ever forcing those who live in between to walk quite a distance as is to get to a stop for a route that really puts you no where on any mainline. Traveling anywhere within West Seattle from Highland Park is strenuous and time consuming with the inevitable likelihood that not just one transfer between routes but two just to get close to where one needs to go. This was a pain in the neck when I was young and spry but now with failing health and diminished mobility it’s a absolute nightmare and has even resulted in me having to call for medics before even reaching the actual bus stop from 14Th Ave sw. Now your telling me these stops are slated for closure putting my walking distance even further. Well there goes all means of mobility for myself and those alike. There is no public transit between 16th and Delridge either. Cutting thousands off from accessing any routes. Not everyone has the health and mobility it takes to walk from within these neighborhoods to the nearest mainstream street. West Seattle use to be a gem a wonderful place to live grow and raise our families. But these days I can say with ease it’s not the crime that’s killing this place it’s the gentrification. 

  • Peace maker February 23, 2024 (9:43 pm)

    Ummm hello we need those bus stops they actually serve the community quite well idk why they would want to discard them.. have you ever tried to run an excess of two blocks trying to catch a bus on time or missed a bus and ended up late for work. Besides they are connecting routes for south Seattle college. And also that area is difficult to get to get around already so why would shutting down bus stops be a solution?

  • Admiral-2009 February 24, 2024 (2:08 pm)

    Consolidating bus stops will improve travel times for system users and reduce operating costs. This Metro proposal makes sense and should be implemented ASAP.

  • KB1000 February 28, 2024 (9:44 am)

    Terrible idea and once again it’s Highland Park (a lower income area) that has to take the hit. The 125 is mentioned a lot here. How about the 128 which uses the same stops and is the ONLY way for kids in this area to get to WSHS? Once again, Metro shows it is the exact opposite of what it claims to be: an equitable transit service. 

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