Earlier this week, CHS reported that the agency’s planning is pointing at a March 2016 opening for light rail service through Capitol Hill Station — though Sound Transit is still officially saying only that they’re planning for the first quarter of the year. CHS reported last fall that part of ramping up for the new transit option would be a plan to optimize Metro bus routes around the city in anticipation of the new service.
This week, Metro has rolled out two alternative plans for changing service on Capitol Hill and beyond when U-Link extension is fired up at the beginning of 2016. Here is Metro’s project page for the “Link Connections” planning.
As the Urbanist site reported earlier this week in a preview of the announcement, Metro’s “Link Connections” Alternative 1 is the more aggressive of the plans while Alternative 2 represents an incremental approach. If past optimization exercises with the county are any indication, you can expect Alternative 1 to be held up as a kind of marker at the edge of possibility while the second alternative ends up being closest to the final plan.
Some key details on the proposals for Capitol Hill and Central Seattle are below. Please let us know what we missed and what others should be aware of.
You should also be aware of opportunities to provide feedback on the new plans — save the 12? cheer for improved 8? plead for the 43? — both online and in person:
After exploring the two alternative concepts for changing transit service in affected areas after Link comes to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, please tell us what you think. Please take our survey or attend one of our outreach events (our calendar will be updated as new outreach events are scheduled). Your comments will be used to help shape a proposal that will be ready for public review in May.
This round of comments will close March 31, 2015.
The Capitol Hill meetings on the proposals are scheduled for later this month:
- 3/19/15 6 to 8 PM: Link Connections Open House – Capitol Hill and Central Area – Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue
- 3/24/15 8 to 10 AM: Link Connections Presentation – Capitol Hill Chamber – 12th Ave Arts Building, 1620 12th Ave, Pike/Pine Room
By the way, neither alternative includes route 47 or any of the lines cut in recent service revisions that might be restored as part of the new Seattle Transportation Benefits District.
Alternative 1 key points
- “Aims to create a consolidated, frequent network of service”
- “Consolidates service into fewer routes on major streets where ridership is highest, for more productivity and efficiency”
- “All places where service remains would have service frequencies of 15 minutes or better”
- 8 and 11: “Combine with Route 11 between Capitol Hill and downtown Seattle to reduce duplication. Improve weekday and weekend frequency.”
- 9x: “Revise to operate on E John Street between Broadway and 15th Avenue E”
- 12: “Delete to reduce duplication”
- 43: “Delete to reduce duplication”
- 48: “Replaced by new Route 45 between Loyal Heights and the University District. Continue as Route 67 to maintain connections to the University District and Roosevelt.”
- 49: “Revise to use Madison Street to reach downtown Seattle (reducing duplication). Improve frequency during peak periods and midday on weekdays and in the evenings on weekdays and weekends”
- 545: “Keep existing alignment and convert span to two-way extended peak-period-only service. Improve service frequency in peak periods by adding several trips in each direction. Delete weekend service and replace with ST 542 and Link light rail.”
Alternative 2 key points
- “Involves more modest changes. It assumes that riders will switch to Link light rail only where the travel time benefit is greatest, but still responds to shifts in the transit market”
- “Maintains more geographic coverage. For the most part, riders could reach transit the same way they do today, without having to travel farther.”
- “Service would be less frequent, and wait times for transfers would be longer”
- Under Alternative 2, Metro will also “put a stick in your eye.” Just kidding. Metro didn’t say that.
- 8: no change
- 9x: no change
- 12: no change
- 43: “Reduce frequency on weekdays and weekends to reduce duplication”
- 48: no change
- 49: no change
- 545: “Add new service pattern with turn-back trips at Overlake Transit Center during peak periods to increase service frequency”