Bus Stop | The 47’s Last Run

15371673582_f960e8682d_zWhat could easily have passed without any note or ceremony was made special by a small group of residents of the Summit Slope and other well-wishers Friday night as they came together to bid farewell, at least for now, to a small but well-loved Capitol Hill bus route.15371675562_581b7c5aa5_z

Melvin, the driver of the last 47 coach to leave Capitol Hill, departing at 10:30 PM from Bellevue Ave E & Bellevue Pl E, has been driving Metro buses for 15 years, and reminisced about driving the 14 all the way from Mount Baker to Summit Ave.

It was a celebration of the 47, but the night was tinged with sadness as some people recounted the hardships their lives will now face with this bus no longer serving the western slope of Capitol Hill. Bus Stop talked to Brian, who recently moved to Bellevue Avenue to deal with a disability in part because it was served by a bus right outside his door. Many talked about their elderly neighbors who will have trouble walking to Broadway to catch a 49.

47, we will miss you. Perhaps we’ll see you again someday soon.


Previously on Bus Stop



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13 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The 47’s Last Run

  1. Metro service cutbacks are just bad, not much else to say about that. Haven’t seen (or missed) how many Metro employees, drivers & non-drivers will be without a job. Was info made public on that? What happens to all the buses not being used anymore?

    • “Metro service cutbacks are just bad..”
      – Agreed.

      “..Haven’t seen (or missed) how many Metro employees, drivers & non-drivers will be without a job..”
      – None, if any will be without a job due to the voters not increasing Metro’s funding. The Unions won’t allow it.

      “..What happens to all the buses not being used anymore?”
      – They sit in the bus yard and get redeployed on other routs along with the drivers.

  2. The route on Summit / Bellevue exactly replicated the old streetcar route dating from 1909, meaning there’s no public transit on this street pair for the first time in over a century. It’s certainly near-empty much of the day, but you could sit at Top Pot or the Summit Pub in the evening and watch the waves of people disembarking after work. It seems like it was a candidate to only run during peak commuting hours, rather than being eliminated altogether.

  3. I did get a chance to ride the 47 home on Friday, shortly after 4pm. So sad to see it go, really. Summit Ave E is certainly quiet today :( I agree, it was a sure candidate for evening rush hour instead of an all day run. I despise the 8 and the 49 and 43 will be packed, standing room only. Great. Time for more rain gear. I always wondered if it would have been busier if the route went down Roy, over Lakeview Drive then down Eastlake into downtown. Plenty of walkers in the morning, including myself.

  4. I’ve been on the 47 on a weeknight around 9pm with many of the seats occupied. It’s too bad that this route has been cut, especially for older and not so able-bodied folks who were regular riders, and for those of us who live in the neighborhood who attend other activities downtown in the evening/night, including jobs that are not typical 9-5 hours. Oh well, these points were made many times already. Onward we go.

  5. Besides self-immolation of all of the politicians involved in NOT funding transit I have a small suggestion. Re-route the north end of the 60 (which now just terminates at Republican and Broadway) to go left on Denny, then right on Summit and terminate at the old 47 stop. The 60 would then cover Bellevue to Denny to Broadway and then onward. Summitonians such as my self could then ride up the hill to the light rail station, board ST for the U or downtown and have a decent bus service for little added cost to Metro. Too simple?

      • Considering that the northernmost stop of the 60 is only a few blocks north of Denny, I think it is a stretch to say this idea would bypass anything. Also, while I don’t dispute there are jobs and trips on the northern end of Broadway, I thinks it’s a bit of an exaggeration to call it a “major employment center”. I like this idea a lot, and have often thought this this would be a more productive way to end the 60’s northern stretch. If this extension used Olive instead of Denny, there would literally only be 1 single stop missed on Broadway and it would only be 2-3 blocks away.

      • I see that I probably misread that and that you were talking about how this route would bypass Downtown Seattle. Sorry about that. Although it would bypass the CBD, it would provide a direct connection to the major employment center that is First Hill. I would not be at all surprised if Summit housed many that are employed on First HiIl. I also wonder if connecting Summit to other parts of the Capitol Hill and First Hill might actually provide it a more stable base of off-peak riders that the now defunct route 47 to the CBD.

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