News from Metro's General Manager
September 29, 2011
Service changes starting Saturday will keep people moving
We just learned that the Puget Sound area ranks 10th in the nation for percentage of workers who commute by transit, so I am especially pleased that Metro will be making it easier for people to get to their jobs — and elsewhere — when we roll out big service changes this weekend.
The RapidRide B Line will debut, improvements to the Eastside transit network will take effect, and we’ll adjust some service in Seattle to ease travel during Alaskan Way Viaduct construction.
B Line will be fast, frequent
If you’ve been in Bellevue or Redmond recently, you might have seen new RapidRide bus shelters featuring real-time bus arrival signs, ORCA readers that let riders pay before boarding, and nighttime lighting.
On Oct. 1, red and yellow RapidRide buses will begin providing fast, frequent, easy-to-use service most of the day, every day. Traveling between the Bellevue and downtown Redmond transit centers via NE Eighth Street, 156th Avenue NE and 148th Avenue NE, the B Line will serve major destinations and make frequent connections to buses traveling beyond.
I expect the B Line to be very popular, like the A Line, which began service on Pacific Highway South a year ago. After the A Line replaced Route 174, customer satisfaction shot up by 32 percentage points. In August, ridership was 51 percent higher than it was in August 2010.
Rides on the B Line are free this Saturday and Sunday — give it a try!
Network effectiveness will improve
Also starting Saturday, many Eastside bus routes will change to improve the effectiveness of the transit network and complement the B Line. Three new routes will begin, others will have revised routing, and a number of routes will be discontinued to avoid duplication of service and let us add trips to more heavily used corridors. We considered both performance data and public input in making these changes.
Added service will ease viaduct construction delays
In Seattle, Metro will increase service on Route 54 between West Seattle and downtown to help reduce delays as Alaskan Way Viaduct construction ramps up. The higher service level will be similar to what the RapidRide C Line will offer when it replaces Route 54 a year from now. We’ll also add peak-hour trips to three other routes in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, and adjust bus routing through the SODO area.
When the viaduct is closed for nine days later this month (Oct. 21-31), Metro will move 11 routes from the viaduct to Fourth Avenue South. After the viaduct reopens, those routes will begin using the new viaduct bypass.
Metro, WSDOT, Sound Transit and the City of Seattle are actively urging people to help ease congestion by traveling by bus, King County Water Taxi, vanpool, carpool, or bike. The region’s major roadway construction projects mean that more than ever, public transportation is a great way to go.
Kevin Desmond, General Manager
King County Metro Transit
General Manager, King County Metro Transit
If you live in King County, Metro is your public transit system. I want you to know about our performance, the issues we face, and the innovations we are bringing your way.
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