Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Bus service in southeast Seattle may change

Metro Transit and Sound Transit want to hear what you think about potential changes

This information and the questionnaire are available in traditional Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. To request materials in these languages, contact 206-205-9185 or sarah.luthens@kingcounty.gov

King County Metro Transit is planning possible changes to bus routes serving Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley and Skyway-West Hill. The changes would be made in several phases after Sound Transit’s Link light rail service begins in the summer of 2009. Link will provide frequent, fast, and reliable service between southeast Seattle, downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport.

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Why are Metro and Sound Transit considering changes?

Metro is considering bus service changes for several reasons:

To connect neighborhoods to Link light rail stations. Metro wants to help you get to Link for fast, reliable trips to the airport and downtown Seattle.

To avoid duplication. Metro and Sound Transit are working together to create an efficient, coordinated transit system that will serve as many people as possible. By discontinuing bus routes that duplicate Link service, Metro might be able to improve service on other routes.

To improve bus service in southeast Seattle. The upcoming start of Link light rail service gives Metro, Sound Transit and the community an opportunity to take a fresh look at transit service in southeast Seattle. How can the future network of bus routes be set up to best serve the community?

Some changes are possible by using new funding. Transit Now, the initiative to expand transit service that voters approved in 2006, will help fund the extension of Route 36 trolley bus service between Beacon Hill and the Link light rail Othello Station. Other possible bus service improvements described in this newsletter could be made only by redesigning or replacing existing bus routes.

Metro is facing financial challenges that could affect its ability to make all the changes suggested in this newsletter. Metro is paying higher fuel costs and receiving far less sales tax revenue than expected, creating a strain on its budget. Metro is committed to making the best use of its funds so it can meet the growing demand for bus service.

Metro developed the options in this newsletter after considering potential changes in riders’ travel patterns when Link light rail service begins. Metro also considered requests from southeast Seattle customers and community organizations. Metro heard that people want more east-west service, improved connections within the southeast Seattle area, more frequent service, and longer hours of operation.

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What changes do you think make sense?

You can help Metro decide what changes to make. The options in this newsletter are a starting point for conversation with the community — Metro wants to hear what you think.

The options outlined in this newsletter include the following:

  • Changes to routes 7, 8, 9 Express, 14, 36, 38, 48, 60, 106, and 107
  • Discontinuation of routes 7 Express, 32, 34, 35, 39, 42, 42 Express, 126, and 194
  • Creation of new routes or revision of existing routes serving Mount Baker, Rainier Beach, Seward Park, Skyway, SODO, West Hill, and West Seattle.

Changes are also being considered for the following bus routes in southwest King County: Metro Transit routes 128, 140, 154, 170, 174, 175, 180, 190, and 191, and Sound Transit Express routes 574 and 594. These potential changes are described in a separate newsletter that you can view online. To request a printed copy, please contact Ellen Hansen, community relations planner, at 206-263-6477, TTY Relay 711, or ellen.hansen@kingcounty.gov

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Community discussion schedule

Metro Transit and Sound Transit invite you to participate in a community discussion to learn more about the potential changes and express your views directly to transit staff and community sounding board members.

Community discussion format:*

6:30-7 p.m. – Informal discussions with transit staff members
7-7:15 p.m. – Introductions and overview
7:15-8 p.m. – Small-group discussions
8-8:30 p.m. – Summaries, next steps, and evaluations
* The afternoon meeting on Oct. 21 will have the same structure, but will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 16, 6:30- 8:30 p.m., Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S, Seattle, (Columbia City neighborhood). Served by Metro Transit routes 7 and 39.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m., New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave S, Seattle. Served by Metro Transit routes 42, 48 and 106.

Thursday, Oct. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Fire District #20 Training Facility, 12424 76th Ave S, Seattle (Skyway-West Hill area). Served by Metro Transit Route 106.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave S, Seattle. Served by Metro Transit Route 36.

If you need disabilities accommodations or an interpreter for American Sign Language or another language at one of these events, please request this service at least five business days before the event by contacting Sarah Luthens, King County community relations planner, at 206-684-1146, TTY Relay 711, or sarah.luthens@kingcounty.gov

Ways to comment on the options

The comment period is over; responses were due by Nov. 6, 2008

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What happens next?

Metro Transit and Sound Transit will review all comments on service options with help from a community advisory board, called the Southeast Seattle Transit Connections Sounding Board. This board is made up of 24 people who live or work in Southeast Seattle. (A similar board has been formed for the southwest King County area. The two boards will coordinate their work.)

Metro Transit staff will develop proposed Metro bus service changes based on community comments. In January 2009, Metro will mail information about these proposals to everyone in the community and will invite the public to comment.

After considering public comments about the proposals affecting southeast Seattle, the sounding board and Metro staff will develop recommendations for King County Executive Ron Sims to consider. Executive Sims will then send a proposed ordinance to the Metropolitan King County Council for review and a decision in April or May 2009.

Approved bus service changes will be phased in, with the first changes occurring when Link begins service and others happening as part of Metro’s regularly scheduled service changes in 2009 and 2010.

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Oct. 3, 2008