Some big changes are coming to King County Metro service starting Saturday, March 10—and for many, that means more trips.
As ridership on the Seattle area’s public transit skyrockets, many buses end up at capacity or reliability ends up suffering, especially during peak commute times. In response, many buses are getting additional service during peak times, notably the Rapidride lines C, D, and E, but also including the 3, 4, 5, and 70, among several others. In service adjustments, Metro paid extra attention to buses that serve South Lake Union to address overcrowding for those tech-sector commutes.
In addition to peak times, Metro expanded evening service to a few routes, ideally making transit a more viable option at all times of day. The 31, which runs between Magnolia and the University District via Fremont and Wallingford, is getting expanded evening service—an attempt to head off overcrowding as more people travel to the University District.
Service will also get more frequent in the evenings on routes 75, 240, and the F Line. All together, according to Metro, spring service changes add more than 60,000 hours for new service. (Side note: Metro is also hiring drivers.)
Not all changes result in more service, per se; some are more logistical changes. For example, many buses that run through Sodo—specifically, the 21, 37, 50, 116, 118 and 119—are getting rerouted to make way for construction of an overpass on South Lander Street. Metro has also officially put a complete stop to 43 trips turning into the 44 at UW station with the new service revisions. Route 101 will begin at the South Renton Park and Ride instead of the Renton Transit Center.
And for one route, service will end completely—the downtown shuttle route 99, originally meant to replace the waterfront trolley and redundantly rerouted to the bus corridor on Third Avenue to accommodate waterfront construction, will be axed as of March 10. Metro notes that during peak times route 29 will run on First Avenue between Virginia and Broad streets for those that need an option on First.
Find out if your route is subject to any major changes on Metro’s website. Some smaller adjustments, like minute-to-minute arrival times, might not be listed on the service changes page, but will be available soon online and in physical green schedules.