Bus Stop | The 60

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

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

7 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The 60

  1. I use the 60 to get to my Docs at the VA. It’s nice as it is a one seat ride from home to the VA and back. I also have a buddy who lives right by Cleveland H.S. so I’d ride the 60 when we hang at his place. With the coming changes I’ll still be able to get where I need to go but I’ll have to make transfers.

    Changes to this line don’t surprise me as I have long thought it too long and unwieldy. It actually goes all the way to Westwood Village near the southern border of Seattle city limits. That’s a long slow ride from up here on the hill.

  2. It is a long route, often 10 or 15 minutes late reaching Harborview. But it’s the main connection from First Hill to Capitol Hill. The street car won’t be convenient where I am, and I’m going to have to do my shopping somewhere else.

  3. After U-Link opens in 2016, I’d love to see the 49 eliminated and the current 36 and 60 consolidated into one route running between Othello, Beacon Hill, Little Saigon, Capitol Hill, and the U-District. The trolley wire is already there to make this an electric route, and the city has already called this a high priority corridor (“Corridor 3”) in the Transit Master Plan.

  4. I’ve been telling friends since the 1st hill street car and broadway extension plans hit the drawing board, the 60 will be the first route to fall victim to the street car, the 9x will be the second. Hard to justify either of them when they run along the same route as the street car for something like 2 miles on a traffic constrained road.

    The othello terminus seems a little short though, jackson would make more sense for connectivity.

  5. I ride the 60 regularly, as the 9 does not run on weekends (and is also slated for demise or reduction?) as I am often going between my apt and the International District. The 60 is a weird, rambling, indirect ride but it’s a fascinating slice of Seattle that doesn’t happen on the other routes I frequent. The street car will take a different rambling route, but still won’t be a direct link between Cap Hill and the ID, and I have my doubts that it will shave off any time on the commute.

  6. Pingback: Bus Stop | The 49 | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  7. Pingback: Bus Stop | The 9X | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle