Bus Stop | The 9X


m009_0The 9X is a secret weapon in a Capitol Hill bus rider’s toolkit. It’s not an incredibly well-known route, but it can come in handy.

On Broadway, and needing to catch the 550 to Bellevue? Coming home from an early happy hour in Columbia City after work? The 9X is here for you. It’s a direct route between Capitol Hill and the Rainier Valley and it runs in both directions, all morning and afternoon, on weekdays only. And it’s an express, so it doesn’t make as many stops as say, the 8, getting to Columbia City and the Rainier Valley.

I will not only sing this route’s praises; the limited hours do make using it tricky at times. The 9X stops running at 6:00 from the Rainier Valley and its last trip down that way leaves Broadway at 7:00 PM.


Metro’s February service change plan, finalized last week takes aim at the 9X as well as quite a few other Hill and Near-Hill bus routes. The 9X will turn into a peak-only route running in the Capitol Hill direction in the morning and away at night. Further limiting the 9X’s utility to a all-day Capitol Hill transit user.

There is some good news for Capitol Hill, relatively speaking, in the February service change announcement for a few of the neighborhood’s most frequently used routes:

The deletion of the part of the route 60 that gets anywhere near Capitol Hill that I wrote about in this column is no longer on the table. The 60 will instead simply see a reduction in service levels overall.

The route 8 is also experiencing a paring back of the drastic service cuts planned for February. While the original plan was to end the 8 at Group Health on 16th, service will continue to Madison Valley and end at 21st Ave and Jefferson Street near Garfield High School. There will still be no transfer point between the 8 and the revised 106 which will serve the Rainier Valley as the 8 does today.

Meanwhile, the clock clicks down toward the service cuts taking effect on September 27 and the demise of route 47.

On September 26, folks are meeting at the Hideout bar to catch the last 47 bus to downtown at 10:30 as this historic bus route leaves the Hill for the foreseeable future. More details on that to come.

Previously on Bus Stop

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15 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The 9X

  1. I probably do not know enough about the 9X to ask but why when the regular route 9 was discontinued and the 9X came into being is the route all diesel. The regular 9 was a electric ‘trolley’ route.

  2. The 9X would be my favorite bus to get from Capitol Hill to First Hill with groceries if it didn’t only operate on non-holiday weekdays. That being said, the First Hill Streetcar will more than make-up for it’s cancellation (more or less) when the streetcar starts actually running.

    • Hopefully once the Streetcar starts running, they will reevaluate the bus lines and maybe design some new routes or modify existing ones to connect into the Streetcar. At least that’s one good thing about the Streetcar– once it’s built they can’t f*** with the route.

  3. I’m really happy to hear that the 60 isn’t going to terminate at Beacon Hill station after all! I thought my days of easy access to Georgetown were numbered.

  4. It would be great if we could get the latest lowdown on the 47, will the ballot measure save it? Will the wires stay up? How could service return in the future? Given the line is so short seemed ideal to link it with another line from the sputh like the 14 as it used to be. Heard from the #47 drivers that there will be some real hardships for many passengers who have difficulty walking and cant manage the hills. This is a historic line with fixed infrastructure in one of the densest census tracts on the west coast, so this is the exact place someone wpuld choose to live and expect transit service. Very interested in this ceremonial last run.

    • I agree. It seems especially sad considering that the 9x will keep going as the 47 dies…I actually see people on the 47 as opposed to the lightly used 9x (at least when I see it on Broadway), which will be completely redundant once the Capitol HIll Station opens. The 47 serves the densest blocks of the densest neighborhood, seemingly taylor made for a transit line. I guess my nostalgia for the trolley lines also makes this deletion extra bitter.

      • The 9X is PACKED during the school year with students going to Seattle U and SCCC. perhaps you don’t see so many people on the northern part of Broadway, as many riders disembark by Pine St, but trust me, this is a highly used route during peak hours.

        Unfortunately for me, my biggest needs for this route do not conform to the upcoming shift, which means more car travel on Rainier, as I go back and forth between Capitol Hill and Hillman City frequently and am not inclined to take slow transit to 14th/Jackson (I can walk faster than the street car will get there, with its meandering route), only to board the world’s slowest bus, the 7 local.

        The south end needs more rapid and direct transit options to connect it to the rest of the city, not fewer routes.

  5. Pingback: Bus Stop | The 47′s Last Run | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle