Without new funding, Metro draws up plans for more cuts — Here’s the Capitol Hill list

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.27.32 AMHere’s a chance for the new mayor-elect to put his collaborative mettle to the test and wade into a regional problem to help forge a Seattle-friendly solution. Without action in Olympia, King County Metro — in a process now familiar to Seattle public transit riders — is drawing up a list of potential service cuts including reductions in routes that serve Capitol Hill.

While the release of the proposed cutbacks is part political ploy to help spur our Olympian leadership to do the right thing, it also reveals Metro planning’s take on what the agency should prioritize and what it should sacrifice. You’ll also note that the proposed changes affect almost every route. On Capitol Hill, for example, only the 10 would escape snipping in this set of proposals.Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.26.52 AM

For Capitol Hill in this round, the biggest changes would impact residents and workers along the east edge of the neighborhood as planners would shut down service on the 43 an hour earlier around midnight and severely truncate Route 12 so that the bus terminated at 15th and Madison instead of continuing on its jog up 19th Ave. Meanwhile, Route 25 would be eliminated — Metro says it’s “one of the lower performing routes in Metro’s system.” The map shows 47 serving Bellevue and Summit also on the “eliminated” roster but the route doesn’t show up on other lists. We’ll check into what that means for the loop that connects to downtown via I-5 Shores.

You can provide feedback on the cutbacks to community.relations@kingcounty.gov. A meeting will be held December 10th in downtown Seattle to discuss the cuts.

Downtown Seattle Service Reduction Public Meeting
Tue, December 10, 12pm – 2pm
Where: Union Station, 401 S Jackson Street, Seattle
Created by kcmetrofuture@gmail.com
Description:  Come talk with Metro staff about the service reduction proposal. The meeting will be an open house format – with the option to participate in a short, interactive presentation and small group discussion from 1-1:30 pm.

You can also provide feedback via Metro’s service survey.

Details on the proposed cuts for our area are below. You can see the entirety of the cutback plan once shortterm funding dries up next June, here.



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25 thoughts on “Without new funding, Metro draws up plans for more cuts — Here’s the Capitol Hill list

  1. Actually … route 12 becomes peak-commuter bus only from the Ferry to 15th
    Also … The 2 will be moved from Seneca/Union to Madison in it’s place.
    9X becomes commuter peak-route only
    60 no longer goes north of Beacon Hill
    49 stops near 1am not 2am like now

    • Here comes another shitstorm. They tried to do this with the #2 last time around and Madrona/CD riders went ballistic, so Metro gave up on it. Here comes another war.

      • The question is whether the resulting NEW shitstorm will be enough to keep the 2/13 routes essentially unchanged; my suspicion is that it’ll take even more negative input from riders to preserve it this time around, and even then, some rerouting & service changes are probably inevitable.

        Moving the 2’s downtown route a couple of blocks over from Seneca to Madison doesn’t seem so bad, since it’ll still provide access to First Hill medical facilities, but people are going to really hate having to transfer downtown to continue from 3rd up to QA and vice-versa. And reducing evening service hours is going to be a real pain given that the 2 already runs through the very heart of one of the City’s most popular late-night entertainment districts, but cuts off service well before closing time, thus forcing residents in the CD/Madrona in particular to resort to driving (bad idea), or to use far more expensive taxi services.

      • But if the shitstorm IS large enough, and the cuts to the #2 don’t happen, it just means some other route gets screwed. What bugged me with all the outrage about the #2’s proposed cuts last time was this presumption by #2 riders that it wasn’t happening to other routes. Or if it was, those neighborhoods weren’t as important. Yeah, we escaped unscathed. If that happens again, somebody else will get screwed.

  2. The changes to the 12 are super odd…and I can only think that Metro wants an uproar.
    *the 12 is not just a “commuter” bus. It is used all day by people going up to Pill Hill. And, a great number of people living on the hill work at all times of the day and night.
    *they have totally eliminated service to 19th. Which not only has Country Doctor and the community center,, but is also home to a number of both old and very new apartment buildings.
    *the 15th bus stop sucks. Even though it is close to Central Coop, most people would rather get off at 17th and walk down the hill, with just one crosswalk, instead of two.

    • You can start with whoever represents you in Olympia and ask them why they adjourned without voting on any measures that would adress identifying funding sources. The problem with these recurring changes is that everyone squawks when service is about to be cut, but nobody wants to pay for it. Metro is most definitely grandstanding here but the underlying issue is the same. Without funding they can’t pay for it. The levy that delayed these cuts expired already. The money is drying up.

  3. I have a great idea. Let’s pack thousands more people into Capitol Hill. Don’t build any new parking because eliminating parking spaces means everyone will take the bus. Then let’s cut the bus service.

      • I think your anger is misplaced. If I understand correctly, the problem is King County and Seattle lack the ability under existing WA law to impose local-option taxes to sufficiently fund Metro. And the state hasn’t appropriated enough tax $$ for Metro to maintain service. Something like that. It’s not an evil parking vs. density master plan.

      • Out of curiosity, I pulled up the Seattle Metro funding link and evidently, the vast majority of funding comes from sales taxes and fare increases.

      • Precisely. Transit funding shouldn’t be coming from sales taxes. Mass transit should have specific taxes or at least a budget that can met the needs. Fares rev. will help, but too high a cost for riding will only encourage the affordable to ride.. which they don’t need to since they all have cars.

  4. I already have a full-on panic attack taking the 8 to work in the morning it’s so hot and crowded. I can’t imagine cramming more people onto that bus–it’s not unusual for it to be too full to pick anyone up between Broadway and Amazon.

  5. Re the proposed changes for Route 8, it’s about time they made this obviously necessary improvement (for the many).

    The 8 runs between Seattle Center and Rainer Beach. During weekday commutes the bus is basically an overcrowded shuttle from Capitol Hill to north Belltown / south Queen Anne. Acknowledging this can only lead to improved service through fewer delays on the now meandering path.

    • The problem is the huge chunk of the #8 they cut out in the Central District. They mention the 106 at 23rd and Jackson. That still leaves a stretch of MLK from Madison to Jackson with no bus service at all.

  6. Neighbor’s post is well put. Add to that a huge push to eliminate drunk driving while cutting the primary way for drunks to avoid driving. Stop the 43 an hour earlier at night and you will add that many more drunks to the road.

  7. OK, this list looks just like it did the last two times they threatened to cut if they didn’t get this increase or that increase. Then Metro gets the increase and they come around with this BS list again.

    I sincerely hope the 47 and 49 are left alone, but I don’t trust anybody in power at Metro any further than I could throw an elephant.

    Just what IS King County Metro doing with the funding they have? Ridership is up, fares are up, trips are down. It don’t cost any more to run. What’s up?

    • They didn’t get an increase last time around. The special levy that funded them for a couple of yrs is not ongoing and hasn’t been renewed. Last time they sounded the alarm that if no new funding was identified, cuts would have to happen. The legislature failed to act, and money runs out next year.

      • Exactly – this is not KC Metro crying wolf. Previously they sounded the alarm in connection with Seattle and the county trying to get the state to approve a request by Seattle and the county to implement a self-taxing authority to replace the funding being lost due to the expiration of the old levy. It was supported locally by county Democrats AND Republicans. It was also a completely local self-taxing authority. No one else in the state was going to have to pay for it.

        It passed the state House easily. But the GOP-controlled Senate would not approve it. And then the legislative session ended.

        So, without this funding source, KC Metro is now left with implementing the service cuts they warned us about previously. This isn’t crying wolf – this is getting EXACTLY what was predicted if Olympia didn’t act.

        We’re 1/3 the state’s population in KC (with 1/10 the entire state’s population living in Seattle alone) – and the economic engine for the entire state. But some Yahoos in Yakima don’t want none of that them thar gubmint, so we get to be screwed instead.

  8. It’s about time the 25 gets eliminated. I used to ride that bus off and on. Not because I needed to, but just because it meandered near my place and it was there by chance when I was getting to the stop. It wasn’t a quick route, but a means to an end. There was NEVER a soul on that bus. Best route ever for a driver I’m sure. No one to pick up, or drop off or kick off for bad behavior. That was over 10 years ago and I can’t believe it’s still running.

  9. Pingback: Transit notes: King Co’s ‘Plan B’ for Metro cuts, Capitol Hill Station light rail in January 2016? | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle