Some Seattle bus routes are ubiquitous, and some are iconic. The 2 falls into the latter category. Serving Queen Anne, Belltown, Downtown, First Hill, Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madrona, the 2 is one of Metro’s legacy routes that Seattle could not function without. It only crosses the borders of Capitol Hill for a short stretch of its huge domain, but it makes a big impact on the lives of Hill residents.
On a recent Thursday evening, I met Marilyn waiting for the 2 at Seneca and Harvard Avenue. When I told her I was writing about the bus line, she told me “I love the 2…it’s always on time.” She glanced up the street at the almost-due bus, adding, “Almost always.”
“And another thing,” she said. “The drivers are always courteous.” And with that her trolley bus chariot arrived to carry her downtown to do her shopping for the day. Recently I rode the 2 to Madrona Park, to one of the most beautiful bus layover spaces in the city overlooking Lake Washington, and watched the sun go down on another beautiful Seattle summer evening. On my way back I was greeted by Everett Minard, Metro’s oldest bus driver, who drives the 2 like clockwork.
In February 2015, unless a funding source is secured for Metro, changes are going into effect for the route 2. The Queen Anne portion of the route will be entirely discontinued, to be replaced with more trips on the 13. The First Hill portion of the route will switch from Seneca Street to Madison, combining service there with what is left of the route 12 during peak hours.
Service will also end earlier in the evening (we visited a 2 stop at Broadway/Union on a night this winter), with the frequency between buses late at night increasing to an hour at times.
Whether combining service onto Madison from two parallel streets will improve service for all Metro riders by creating a more efficient system, or that Seneca will be the worse for losing service that it has had for decades, is up for debate. Now is a time for hard choices to be made by Metro. One thing is clear though: The 2 is more or less sticking around.
Previously on Bus Stop