Bus Stop | What’s ahead in Capitol Hill transit in 2016

Streetcar Safety Day - 11 of 21One year ago we looked at things to come in 2015. One of those things we’re still waiting on, but most of them came to pass and improved what it meant to get around on Capitol Hill by public transit.

Let’s look ahead at what’s to come this year, which promises to be even bigger:

  • Capitol Hill Station opens: Okay, you knew this was coming. But a 3-minute trip to Husky Stadium or Westlake? This will be the biggest game changer Capitol Hill has seen in years. Look for service to begin in mid-March. And the next stops on the Link light rail extension plan, University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate, are only 5 years away at that. If you recall Twice Sold Tales getting the boot for Capitol Hill station, you know how fast that time can fly.
  • Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.40.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.40.33 PMChanges in the bus system: After most of the ideas to improve bus service on Capitol Hill by reducing duplication with light rail and attempting to better serve the station were pretty much all but destroyed, for good or for bad, there are a few changes coming to bus service in late March. The 43 will see its service reduced by quite a bit, to peak only, peak direction, and the new route 10 will take over for it between Bellevue Ave and 15th Ave. That being said, almost every single bus on Capitol Hill right now is running more frequently thanks to Seattle voters who passed Prop 1 in November 2014. Service is pretty dang frequent on the 49, 48, and 10 even if all of those routes don’t quite connect in the way that would benefit the neighborhood in the long term.
  • 24184154675_1d0615f078Pronto bike share begins a new phase of expansion: After being taken over by the city’s transportation department, the 2016 city budget includes $5 million to expand the system. Some of this expansion will likely take place in 2016 but expect more to follow. Currently the system covers most of Capitol Hill, but there are some notable gaps. An area ripe for seeing expansion: the Central District and North Capitol Hill. With so many bus routes not quite getting to Capitol Hill station, Pronto can be great last-mile booster and we’ll be covering how well it is integrated as a full-fledged transit mode. The Move Seattle levy voters passed last November will also pay for several new bike lanes and neighborhood greenway corridors that will make getting around by bike more of an option for a wider range of people.
  • (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

    (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

    Oh yeah… the First Hill Streetcar: With a slew of improvements being put in right now to improve its sister streetcar, the South Lake Union Line, and a possible center city connector on the way that could merge them into one line, soon enough the delays in construction will be forgotten and the dim sum express will be ready to pick you up.

As Capitol Hill grows and the options for public transit also expand, we’ll continue to report on what’s being done to make our neighborhood accessible for all who live here and those who visit. Cheers to a good 2016, Capitol Hill transit riders.

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8 thoughts on “Bus Stop | What’s ahead in Capitol Hill transit in 2016

  1. Watched the Sound Transit video while stuck in traffic, on the 49, which was 14 minutes late to begin with. The stank of unwashed body and bad weed heavy in the air.
    Felt like a kid at Christmas.
    What I have been doing for so many years and for the most part loathing is about to come to an end.
    I need a tissue.

    • Here here!!!!!! No more 49 for me! I’m so sick of taking the bus to Westlake. (I commute from Broadway and John to 1st and Yesler) Even sicker of standing around at 4th and Pine waiting…waiting…waiting… in the rain… with 50 other people… for the 49. It takes me 40 minutes to get home sometimes just waiting for the 49 or 43 to show up. Much improved over the hell-8-ous trip up and down Denny I used to have to do daily.

      • Oh, I don’t know about that..have you been on the subway in Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc? Works well enough to move millions of people around a day.

        I highly doubt more damage would be caused making a subway then allowing millions of additional car trips.

  2. Ryan, the University stop is scheduled to open this year. The Northgate stop is scheduled to open in about five years. Please consider running a correction.

    • Max – The University of Washington Husky Stadium station is going to open in March along with the Capitol Hill station, but the University District station at 45th & Brooklyn is part of the expansion to Northgate, which is scheduled for about 5 years out.