King County Metro asked and the people responded: Change is coming to the 10. After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback in a recent public survey, Metro’s decision to reroute the popular Capitol Hill bus comes as part of its preparations for the start of light rail service to Capitol Hill Station next year. Under the change, slated to go in effect in March, the 10 will scrap its E Pine and 15th Ave to E John sections to travel up the Hill on E Olive Way to serve the Broadway station.
With the 43 set to drastically reduce its service, the E Olive Way/E John Street corridor would have only had the notoriously unreliable 8 connecting it with the light rail station. Metro retreated from its proposal to reroute the 11 up E Olive Way and E Thomas to get to Madison Park, citing problems with turning at 19th Ave and E Madison.
The 11 will continue to serve E Pine, but a handful of 15th Ave blocks between E Pine and E John will be left without service. Here’s how Metro explained its decision:
Despite concerns, we think this change would better meet ridership demand along East John Street and in the Summit neighborhood, where there are nearly 1,000 bus boardings every day (940 people getting on and 1,300 getting off buses) on current Route 43. The Summit neighborhood and Olive corridor are the densest parts of Capitol Hill. Residents in this part of Capitol Hill face a steep climb to the light rail station. While the Route 43 will continue to operate in the peak periods, making this change avoids a significant net reduction of service at other times of day.
45% of 1,269 respondents approved of the changes (PDF) in the survey Metro put out earlier this month. The revamped 10 would also provide easy connections from the light rail station to Group Health, the 15th Avenue retail core, and Volunteer Park. To address concerns over bus capacity on the 11, Metro says it will use 60-foot-long articulated coaches during peak hours.