More bus service for west Seattle?

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  • #587888

    transplantella
    Participant

    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?

    #635703

    JohnM
    Member

    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).

    http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/scvchange.html

    #635704

    Here is the link to Transit Now – the initiative passed in 2006 to increase transit in the region, including West Seattle.

    http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/transitnow/

    There have been some intense debates on the forums about where it will run in West Seattle.

    #635705

    WSB
    Keymaster

    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 – TR

    #635706

    flowerpetal
    Member

    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.

    #635707

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #635708

    MrJT
    Member

    A dependable 55 to West Seattle would be a really great thing to start with.

    #635709

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #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 ever

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008140719_metrobus27m.html

    #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.

    #635712

    Sue
    Participant

    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.

    #635713

    flowerpetal
    Member

    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.

    #635714

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #635715

    Jiggers
    Member

    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?.

    #635716

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #635717

    flowerpetal
    Member

    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.

    #635718

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #635719

    flowerpetal
    Member

    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! Thanks

    #635720

    Ken
    Participant

    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

    E-mail: Dow.Constantine@kingcounty.gov

    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)

    http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/members/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.

    http://your.kingcounty.gov/exec/

    #635721

    JoB
    Participant

    this transplant votes for public transportation wherever she lives…

    though it hasn’t passed anywhere i lived except in Portland.

    #635722

    Julie
    Member

    It did pass here–3 times! But the opponents got Mayor Gridlock to keep us voting until they got the result they wanted….

    #635723

    Julie
    Member

    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?

    #635724

    MissK
    Member

    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.

    #635725

    flowerpetal
    Member

    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!

    #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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