Expanded Metro bus service will help relieve overcrowding in Seattle

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 1, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — King County Metro on Saturday will begin providing additional transit service that will reduce overcrowding, In Seattle, where voters approved Proposition 1 in November, there will be an additional 110,000 hours of bus service on 53 routes, followed by another 113,000 hours in September. In Burien and Mercer Island, new flexible shuttle service will meet the specific needs of local communities.

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Better, more reliable bus service that also addresses overcrowding will hit the streets starting June 6, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced today.

The improvements are part of King County Metro Transit’s regular June service change and include expanded transit service under a new contract with the city of Seattle. Also starting in early June are new community shuttles created to better serve Burien and Mercer Island, and general schedule improvements and long-term service revisions during major construction projects.

“In Seattle, Mercer Island, and Burien, we’re creating innovative partnerships and making new investments to meet the needs of riders,” said Executive Constantine. “Thanks to voters in Seattle, expanded service there will reduce crowding while helping buses stay more reliably on schedule.”

Bus service totaling 110,000 hours funded by the City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 approved by voters last November is planned to be added in 53 routes in the city, followed by another 113,000 hours in September. Through the Executive’s Community Mobility Contract with the City of Seattle, riders will enjoy added bus trips on routes throughout the city that will begin to address overcrowding and reliability challenges that have been building in recent years, due to record levels of ridership and the region’s growing economy.

“The voters of Seattle are funding the largest increase in Metro service in our city in 40 years,” said Mayor Murray. “We will now enjoy more frequent service to some of our most crowded bus lines and improved reliability throughout the system. I look forward to even more expanded service in September that will help people get to work and school more quickly and easily.”

Further service improvements are on the horizon as the transit network grows and more people realize there’s a better, cheaper way to travel than driving alone.

Seattle’s Prop 1 also includes provisions to support lower-income families, including a $20 rebate of the Vehicle Licensing Fee and funding to support the ORCA Lift reduced fare.

Route and schedule changes
Visit Metro Online for complete details about route changes. Metro makes service adjustments three times a year, revising some routes and schedules to operate more efficiently, improve travel times and better match bus service to ridership demand within available budgets.

New blue printed route timetables will be available soon, and electronic schedules will be posted online Friday, June 5. Until then, using a travel date of June 6 or later, riders can plan trips online in order to preview updated schedule information.

Detailed route revisions for dozens of routes and new community shuttle routes 630 in Mercer Island and 631 in Burien are posted online (in button format or list format).

Seattle routes with added, restored or revised service, or adjustments to improve on-time reliability: 1, 2, 5, 5E, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15E, 16, 17E, 18E, 19, 21, 21E, 24, 25, 26, 26E, 27, 28, 28E, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 55, 56, 57, 60, 64E, 66E, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74E, 76, 83 Night Owl, 99, 120, 125 and the RapidRide C and D lines.

Customized community shuttles in Burien: Route 631

As part of Metro’s Alternative Services Program, created by Executive Constantine and expanded by the County Council, Metro is teaming up with the city of Burien to launch a new shuttle that restores weekday local service from the Burien Transit Center to destinations such as Gregory Heights and Seahurst.

The new Burien Community Shuttle Route 631 replaces service in the area previously served by Route 139, but was canceled last September due to low ridership. With this service, riders will experience a new customized benefit – a flexible area where riders can call ahead to schedule off-route service.

Customized community shuttle in Mercer Island: Route 630

Also under the Alternative Services program, a new Route 630 shuttle debuts June 8 to make commuting to work between Mercer Island and First Hill/downtown Seattle easier and more convenient. The shuttle is the product of an innovative partnership between Metro Transit, Mercer Island, and the City of Seattle to fund a two-year demonstration to help offset the loss of commuter transit service canceled last fall due to low ridership. Half of the cost will be funded by the Seattle Prop 1 Regional Partnership program, and the shuttle will operate weekday peak-only service between Southeast 46th Street/Island Crest Way and downtown Seattle via First Hill and will include a key connection to the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride.

Construction changes (Routes 4, 8, and 48)

During City of Seattle construction on 23rd Avenue, there will be temporary revisions to Metro routes 4, 8, and 48 in the Judkins Park area for about eight months. Route 4 will travel south of East Jefferson Street only on weekends; Routes 8 and 48 will shift to Martin Luther King Jr Way south of Cherry Street to avoid construction. Route 8 will not operate on South Jackson Street, 23rd Avenue and East Yesler Way for about eight months and instead will serve temporary stops on MLK Jr. Way.

Other service and schedule adjustments

Other Metro routes with various service and schedule adjustments include: 64, 73, 111, 114, 118, 119, 167, 200, 238, 245, 246, 303, 312, and the RapidRide F Line.

University of Washington summer reductions
When the University of Washington is not in session, Routes 31, 32, 48, 65, 67, 68, 75, 167, 197, 271, 277, 372, and 373 will have designated trips suspended from Monday, June 15 through Thursday, July 2; Monday, July 6 through Friday, Sept. 4; and Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Sept. 25. Route 331, which operates between Lake City and Shoreline Community College, will also have trips suspended on these dates.

Quotes

In Seattle, Mercer Island, and Burien, we’re creating innovative partnerships and making new investments to meet the needs of riders. Thanks to voters in Seattle, expanded service there will reduce crowding while helping buses stay more reliably on schedule.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

The voters of Seattle are funding the largest increase in Metro service in our city in 40 years. We will now enjoy more frequent service to some of our most crowded bus lines and improved reliability throughout the system. I look forward to even more expanded service in September that will help people get to work and school more quickly and easily.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Rochelle Ogershok, King County Department of Transportation, 206-477-3838

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