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September 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm #604993
Chaos has already begun on the Route #21. After boarding the Express around 8:13 am this morning as usual, the driver announced he was scheduled to go to Westwood for a layover and, despite vociferous protest, kicked everyone off the bus at 35th & Roxbury. All the Express #21 buses go downtown during peak hours. LOTS of mad customers.
While on that bus – however briefly – I picked up the new #21 bus schedule. It’s very difficult to decipher, but even so, there are some shockers on there. First of all, many of the peak trips (which are the only ones serving Arbor Heights) are gone. There is only one Arbor Heights run past 8 am, and there’s more than a half hour wait for it. So service will not even cover the entire peak period, let alone off-peak. Stops for Arbor Heights are not even listed on the schedule; the starting and stopping points are given as 29th & Barton. There are no times available for stops near enough to Arbor Heights to be able to guess when the bus will arrive in any given AH location.
Wait – there’s more. If I’m interpreting this cryptic schedule correctly, the peak trips with a designation of “EGH” are the only ones to serve Arbor Heights. The “H” definition indicates that there will be NO service on Nov. 12, Nov. 23, Dec. 24-28, Dec. 31, and Jan. 21. In other words, if you have a job and commute from Arbor Heights, you are (insert expletive). Does Metro seriously think it’s OK to make people walk (if able) from 106th & California to Westwood Village? I had a bad feeling that this was going to be even worse than I feared (hence the secrecy) and this schedule seems to confirm it.September 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm #772159September 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm #772160
I’m making a trip to White Center tomorrow because I know I can get there on the 54 right now.
After Friday? Who knows?
Westwood is currently a fiasco of bus stops galore, and it impossible to know which bus stops where. The northbound 54 stop in front of Rite Aid has a route 120 and no 54 sign, and a posted notice for 22 riders (the 22 has never stopped there), I’ve waited there only to watch the northbound 54 pull away from the rapid ride stop down the street and miss me completely.
Last week another rider and I were so confused about which bus stopped where, we hiked with all our heavy bags up 26th almost to Roxbury, the next 54 bus stop. That stop was signed for the 54/22 and lo and behold, the 21 stopped to pick up. What was the 21 doing there?
Westwood is a big old mess. I expect it to get worse.September 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm #772161
Driving looks better all the time…sorry you have this problem, bus service seems to be less about service than it used to be.September 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm #772162
So, I NEVER take the bus. I had a couple really scary experiences on Joe Metro here in West Seattle and Downtown as a kid/teenager and that completely turned me off to public transportation in Seattle all together. The thing is, I have jury duty this week and the idea of paying more than I’ll even make for parking is really lame. So, to all you Metro regulars…are the buses pretty packed heading downtown from 35th around 7:25am? Are they usually pretty on time? I really just don’t know what to expect and want to make sure I get there on time!September 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm #772163
During peak hours the northbound buses are usually pretty much on time. Southbound, off-peak has always been another story. However, with all the radical changes starting Saturday, who knows what to expect next week? If it were me, I’d allow an hour and a half just to be safe.September 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm #772164
I originally didn’t think it would be this bad. Thought it would be easy for me to catch the express in arbor heights and then just transfer to the local on 35th at either Barton or Morgan (or anywhere along route). But of course the schedule has the express arrive about 2 minutes after the local has gone by. Every single time.September 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm #772165
Now I see that the code “J” at 35th & Morgan stop indicates that is the time the bus “arrives/leaves 35th & Roxbury after completing Arbor Heights loop” So it is not even the time it will be at Morgan. Couldn’t they just put freaking 35th & Roxbury on the schedule?September 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm #772166
JEM, that’s how it is now in the afternoon. By the time a local makes the loop, the connecting #21 continuing downtown has just left. Every time – as you say.
What Metro has steadfastly refused to look at is the reason why ridership suffers in the loop. I’ve spoken with many, many neighbors who say they tried taking the bus to work, but it was just too unreliable. Unless you work banker’s hours, and even then coming back south is a crapshoot. Metro, instead of listening to customers, then cuts the service rather than improve it – using low ridership as the excuse. You just can’t win.September 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm #772167
MB, besides the token amount of money paid for jury duty, isn’t a parking pass provided as well? (Although from my own experiences of being a potential juror, and not having had a car, I don’t know/recall if the pass would pay for a full day’s parking.)
And anonyme is spot on with allowing extra, extra time.
With such major changes, everyone is going to be confused, including the Drivers, even if they’ve been extensively briefed (oxymoron?) on these changes. (Please remember to be kind to them!) :-)
I currently have the “luxury” of not having many time sensitive commitments, (and am temporarily out of WS), so have the extra time to study new scheds and maps and try to figure out this confounded, new-fangled, bus system! ;-)
But, yeah, all of you seriously have my sympathy. And I think especially the Arbor Heights folks.
The walking distance that many AH folks will have would be a pain in the butt if it was all flat. But it ain’t, and I know that I for one wouldn’t be able to hike those hills with the ease that I could, 37 years ago, after they extended the distance of no school bus service to/from Sealth, and we had to walk to/from there, and 33rd & 102nd everyday.
MikeSeptember 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm #772168
I really fail to see what this new ‘RapidRide’ system does to help anyone? We’re right at California & Admiral and what ‘used to be’ a great location for someone who 100% depends on public transit so far this looks like a lose – lose situation for me!
I’m currently job hunting and an added bonus for me is trying to figure out if I can even access a potential workplace via transit… Using the ‘trip planner’ on metro online, it looks like after Saturday I’ll have to take a #50 and go up and around the Junction to get downtown? Please help me out if I’m missing something :|September 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm #772169
Lisa, I think you would take the #50 to the Junction, then hop off and do RapidRide in to downtown–if it works as claimed (every 10 mins etc) it should be smooth but who knows. The other way that might work for you is to take the 55 from the stop on Calif. and Admiral instead (it’s on CA, by Circa, Mud Bay, etc.)–that goes straight downtown, albeit thru the Junction as well. Hope that helps; I’m curious as to how this will all work/not work once it settles out…September 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm #772170
Hi Niki, TY for the reply. We’ve actually lived here for almost 5 years and I’m used to taking the #55 (and hope the route will still exist in the future). Right now when I try to plan a trip for next week, the #55 doesn’t even come into play. It just tells me to take the #50 then transfer to another bus.
It’s my understanding the #56 as we know it will no longer exist and yet when I look at metro online info it just states that the schedule is valid until 09/28 … UGH…
… and I have to laugh in spite of the situation… anyone who uses the term ‘Hop on’ a bus… cannot (in my wildest imagination) rely on public transit very often ;)September 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm #772171September 25, 2012 at 11:50 pm #772172
You’d think that maybe Metro could have posted both pre and post 9/29 schedules online. Not that it helps much – the new schedules are gibberish as well.
JEM, did you also notice the contradictory information on the schedule re: when the bus leaves from 35th & Roxbury? Both the G and the J are described under the ‘Timetable Symbols” as N/S departure times from 35th & Roxbury, using the times listed under the columns for either 35th & Morgan, or 29th & Barton. Excuse me, but the bus can’t be in two places at once, and this alters the time by 10 minutes or more. Totally confusing, and totally effing crazy. You’ll need a secret code book just to read the damn schedule. And yes, I’m swearing more, but it’s nothing compared to what you’ll hear next week.September 26, 2012 at 1:09 am #772173
JanSParticipantSeptember 26, 2012 at 1:39 am #772174September 26, 2012 at 1:50 am #772175September 26, 2012 at 2:39 am #772176
I’m not seeing on the trip planner how the 56 is no longer going downtown?
I put in for Oct. 1st ( after the change) that I need to be at the Space Needle by 8:30 am from Admiral and it told me to take the 56 to 4th and bell as it always done.
What am I missing?September 26, 2012 at 2:41 am #772177
found my own answer
During the peak periods, Route 56 Express will continue to operate between the Admiral District and downtown Seattle. Route 50 provides alternative service between Alki and SODO during the off-peak periods where transfers can be made to the RapidRide C Line or Route 21, routes operating northbound on the SODO Busway or Link light rail to downtown Seattle.September 26, 2012 at 5:00 am #772178
Ug, bummer on the 55 being on a more limited schedule, I haven’t had a chance to look at that yet, thanks for the heads up.
Lisa, you know, I’m as hesitant about the new schedule as everyone else; in fact I do rely on the bus almost exclusively to get to SoDo and downtown (my primary regular destinations), during somewhat irregular hours, which turns out to be even more of a pain in W. Seattle (generally) than riding for a typical 9-5 schedule. So, yanno…next time I will be sure to choose my words more carefully so as to “seem” more like a real live bus rider when I try to help out–dang.
Admiralmom, thanks for further puzzling out some of the gaps!September 26, 2012 at 6:09 am #772179
Niki S. – I’m as frustrated as everyone else. Its not really ME who has to get to the Space Needle by 8:30 am its my 15 year old son who goes to school at a very little know but awesome highschool located in the Center House. He *JUST* finally mastered how to get there on his own after two weeks of us riding every posible combo of routes including water taxi. So this is VERY frustrating for our family to have it all change!September 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm #772180
Niki :) Ooops… didn’t mean to offend!! I think I’ve just been frustrated too many times by those who don’t rely on public transit… not getting why ‘hopping’ on a bus… can be more like ‘jumping’ over a volcano ;)September 27, 2012 at 12:19 am #772181
Metro originally wanted to cut ALL service to Arbor Heights. Personally, I think the so-called concessions made to preserve a modicum of service are designed with the original goal in mind. The reason ridership is low in Arbor Heights is because the service has always been poor. Now Metro is making it much, much more difficult for residents of our neighborhood to use the public transportation paid for with their taxes. Ridership will almost certainly plummet once the cuts go into effect on Saturday. Mark my words, Metro will then make further cuts, citing the even lower ridership levels as an excuse, perhaps even returning to their original plan to eliminate service entirely. I know it sounds cynical, but unfortunately this seems to be how it works. I’ve never owned a car in my 62 years, but it may soon become a necessity. Listening, Mr. McGinn?September 27, 2012 at 1:15 am #772182
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