After enjoying our first week of light rail service to Capitol Hill Station, on Saturday it’s King County Metro’s turn to undergo a big reorientation to better serve the station. Here’s a user’s guide to the new schedules and route changes on all of the routes affected by the biggest service change for Capitol Hill buses in quite some time. With this change should come a network that quickly allows riders to transfer to Link, even if the bus does go downtown on its own anyway after it drops you off.
- Route 10: On March 26, this bus will start serving Olive Way instead of Pine Street. Departure times for all stops will remain the same, except for the last bus of the night leaving Volunteer Park for downtown, which will leave 5 minutes earlier. Moving the 10 to Olive will provide more service between those areas and downtown than the 43 currently does, including 15-minute service until midnight where there is currently 30-minute service.
- Route 43: Enjoy your last few days of full 43 service. When King County Counci lmember Rod Dembowski added service back to this route as the changes to bus service were being passed by the King County Council, it was peak-only service he was preserving. The trips that are sticking around between downtown and the U-District via Montlake are pretty scant. The frequency is approximately every 30 minutes during peak hours. Caveat: these times are subject to change and are only intended to give an idea of the span of service levels that are coming to the route 43.
But because of how the 43 operates with the 44, both trolleybus routes, there are actually going to be more 43 buses travelling between Capitol Hill station and Montlake than the trips above that go entirely downtown. These trips are currently operating- everybody’s been on the 43 at least once when it took a turn on Broadway that they didn’t realize was coming. But with the span of service of the 43 decreasing so dramatically, these trips will become increasingly useful to residents between 15th Avenue and the Montlake Bridge. Rather than go to Pine Street via Olive, these trips turn at Broadway- the last stop passengers can utilize is Boren Avenue and Yesler Way.
As you can see, these almost-43 trips run pretty late at night and might provide invaluable connections when the alternative would be transferring to a 48 from an 8 or 11.
- Route 8: After March 26, the route 8 will terminate at Mount Baker Transit Center. This should improve reliability somewhat though getting through Denny does not have a solution quite yet. Service will also be added at most times of day. Most notably, evening service after 8:00pm will increase from 30 minute to 20 minute frequency. After your next Seattle Center event you will be happy the restructure happened. Riders continuing on to points south in the Rainier Valley can pick up the new route 38.Any reliability gains might be negated by the introduction of transit lanes in South Lake Union which, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s data, will increase traffic on Denny and lead to 8 delays of up to 15%.
- Route 48: The route 48 will also be split in two, with the new route 45 taking over the segment of the route north of the U District. With the split comes increased frequency (also handy in case you do happen to miss that 43).
- Route 25: will be no more.
To see exactly how your trips might change after Saturday, use Metro’s Trip Planner and enter a date after the change would have occurred, or check Metro’s website on Friday when timetables will be available there.