If the 8 is Capitol Hill’s workhorse bus route, the 60 might be more of its platypus.
Riding the 60, which — in theory — connects Broadway to Beacon Hill and South Park by way of First Hill, it appears that most of its riders use the 60 for short trips, say from Broadway to Harborview or from South Park to Westwood Village. I hardly ever saw anyone stay on the bus for more than 10 stops. In other words, the 60 is a lot of bus routes stitching North and South Seattle together.
On a recent evening, I met regular 60 rider Jerry, heading to Beacon Hill from First Hill. He told me that he depends on the bus to get around but if the 60 weren’t running in his neighborhood, “It would slow me down, but it wouldn’t keep me at home.”
The opening of the First Hill streetcar and the impending service cuts to Metro mean change is clearly in the air for the 60, at least on Capitol Hill. The current plan, in February of next year, is to keep the 60 running in Georgetown and South Park, but terminate the route at Othello Light Rail Station rather than running it through Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill. This means that current riders in our neighborhood could lose their one-seat ride to Georgetown, though once Capitol Hill’s light rail station is complete a connection at Othello would not be hard to make.
After years of 60 buses laying over (taking a break) at 10th Ave E and Mercer Street behind the Brix apartments, apartment residents in the new building there pressured Metro to move the 60’s layover space. The 60 now spends its dwell time on Broadway in front of India Express and the now-shuttered Broadway Video. The 60 driver taking his lunch there didn’t want to be interviewed for this story, though he did offer some thoughts on the cuts: “No one is happy about them.” You can say that again.
My recommendation is, if you’d like an interesting trip that may not be around much longer, catch the 60 on Broadway and savor one of Capitol Hill’s most interesting bus routes. Perhaps you can get off at Beacon Hill station and transfer from Seattle’s transit present to its future. Sometimes, it’s worth it to linger, just to take in what’s around you.
Previously on Bus Stop