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August 26, 2008 at 9:12 pm #587888
As a not car owner I have a great interest in the bus service here. I was riding today, and a lady told me that she had received notice in the mail of expanded/more frequent bus service coming to west Seattle soon.
Wunderbar! But is it true? Anybody have any information on this alleged improvement to the bus schedules in west Seattle?August 26, 2008 at 9:44 pm #635703
Maybe they’re talking about the “Rapid Ride”?
Metro’s quarterly service changes are to be made in September (and that’s generally when they make significant Ones. Watch Metros web site for the announcements.
This is where they’s show up (with about 2 days notice).August 26, 2008 at 11:06 pm #635704August 26, 2008 at 11:10 pm #635705
Rapid Ride, which we have covered extensively in the news section here, is the only new bus service currently in the cards for WS, although there is talk of a Delridge Rapid Ride route further down the line. Rapid Ride is currently not slated to start until 2011. I would be interested in what else the mailer said, as the first wave of public outreach on this is already past – I’ll have to check with Metro on whether they’re planning another one – TRAugust 26, 2008 at 11:43 pm #635706
The mailer I received from Metro was all Rapidride. There was nothing new to glean from what WSB has already led us to.
My ride home on the #21 can be downright scary some days because the bus is so full.August 27, 2008 at 2:05 am #635707
I was taking the bus, but the ridership has increased so much that the bus was not comfortable anymore. The bus was packed way beyond capacity and sometimes wouldn’t stop because of that fact. I decided my car was a better choice, even though I am back to paying for gas again.August 27, 2008 at 2:08 am #635708August 27, 2008 at 2:11 am #635709
My bus route was the 120 in the Delridge area and it was terrible. Come on Metro beef up the buses in the areas where the bus is the main form of transportation.August 27, 2008 at 7:34 pm #635710
They are planning to increase buses in transit-dependent areas per TransitNow, however, funding is difficult right now. As the Times reported this morning, they may need to increase fares.
I don’t know if most riders realize, but fares only cover 1/5 of the funding for Metro. Metro relies heavily on sales tax funding, which is down this year. Also, the federal funding picture for transportation is fairly dismal.
It is unfortunate that all this is hitting just when people are needing public transit more than everAugust 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm #635711
I don’t know what the answer is but clogging the roads with more buses just doesn’t seem to be the solution IMO.August 28, 2008 at 4:15 am #635712
MissK, I was surprised to hear about your experience on the 120 – that was one of the routes affected by a previous TransitNow initiative and had significant increases in service. I lived on that route for about 1-1/2 years and was impressed by the route. However, that was admittedly over a year ago since I’ve lived on that route, and things obviously could’ve changed.August 28, 2008 at 4:28 am #635713
You’re right Sue, things have changed. The price of a gallon of gas. Ridership is up proportionately to the increase in fuel prices and the cost of parking downtown. New people are riding the bus; and that’s a good thing. And it challenges Metro to keep up with the changes. The 120 did have some significant uplifting a year or two ago but the need has outpaced what was put in place.
As much as I dislike standing on a moving bus all the way to West Seattle, I would still rather do that than drive downtown in my own car.August 28, 2008 at 4:49 am #635714
Things have REALLY changed for the 120. I can get to downtown quicker and safer than in an over-capacity smelly bus. I was really jazzed when i first was riding the bus, but the lack of seats and/or safety really put me off.August 28, 2008 at 6:04 am #635715
The 120 used to be the 136 route. Admiral district and Alki beach area’s is horrible with Metro bus service. It’s non-existant. And you wonder why there are so many cars down there?.August 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm #635716
Gotta thank city planning and DOT for all this. If they would of thought of growth…. say back in the early 90s? Perhaps, we would have other options than just the bus or our cars.August 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm #635717
I think we had other options offered to us over the years and voters didn’t like those. DOT gets their budget from the City Council all of whom are elected officials.August 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm #635718
True true! I have lived here all my life, so I am open to any options that build up Seattle. If you are a transplant (generally speaking)you’re not as open to alternate transportation nor feel that strong connection towards Seattle.August 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm #635719
That would be a trend that needs to be changed. There are, I would guess, more transplants who are voters than there are natives. Many of those transplants have come from cities with mass transit more extensive than Seattle’s.
I too thought that those who wanted to keep the viaduct were natives; but I have no evidence to back that up. Interesting thoughts MissK! ThanksAugust 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm #635720
Voters who depend on the 21 (or would if there was room) need to start contacting elected officials.
Metro is under the control of King County so our rep is:
Council District: 8
Councilmember: Dow Constantine
Phone number: (206) 296-1008
Web site: http://www.kingcounty.gov/constantine
A couple of members of his staff have been known to post here and our newest State Representative from the 34th district also seems to still be his chief of staff. (Sharon Nelson)
Last I heard (or read here) was that the next ridership re-evaluation for the 21 was scheduled for sometime in the next decade.
We have to get that time moved up a bit it seems.
Also Ron Sims seems to be interested in bus issues if his web site is any indication.August 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm #635721
this transplant votes for public transportation wherever she lives…
though it hasn’t passed anywhere i lived except in Portland.August 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm #635722
It did pass here–3 times! But the opponents got Mayor Gridlock to keep us voting until they got the result they wanted….August 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm #635723
P.S. You’d have been riding it by now; it would have opened last December. Imagine–public transit without being stuck in traffic on a crowded bus! Instead, we get to wait until 2011 to get more buses, which will be crowded and stuck in traffic. That’s better, isn’t it?August 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm #635724
I just wish they would come up with some sort of Ell train that can run from far as Everett to as far south as Olympia. However, that is a pipe dream in these parts. One thing I have noticed living here all my life is that govt meets and meets and meets and talks and talks and talks about things too much. There is too much of that and not enough of doing.August 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm #635725
Thanks for the reminder Ken that its County Council, not City nor DOT who have much say over Metro busses. I knew that… and forgot!August 28, 2008 at 5:04 pm #635726
One correction – WSDOT does not get their budget from the City Council – WSDOT gets their budget from the feds. The City has little to do with transit. It is kind of long, but this document from King County details how decisions are made and where the money comes from http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/tp/subareas/orientation/Jan8FinalTransportation101.pdf
For the record, I am a transplant, but from Western communities with far worse or non-existent public transportation. However, I have come to love using it and use it more than my Seattle native boyfriend (in his defense, his job keeps him from it).
I live in the Admiral District and feel I have a nice selection of choices to get to the Junction or to my job downtown. They could be better, however – and the commute for a friend in the southern part of West Seattle is insane. She has few options and crazy times.
I do agree that there is a lot of talk and not enough action. There is a saying that the good choices often get lost in the search for the perfect – and I think that is an ongoing problem with transportation.
The bad news – it takes a lot of money to get this going. Unfortunately, federal transportation funding will probably be cut next year and current taxation structures are hurting locally.
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