CHS Re:Take | The 10 on Pine and other forgotten buses of Capitol Hill

Blend of 1970 and 2016 at 15th and Pine

10 or 11 on 15th and Pine, 1970 and 2016

It’s been five months since Link’s Capitol Hill Station opened. Can you feel the difference? Everyone is walking towards the station. Bus stops around it seem emptier in the morning. Train cars keep getting more full.

We’re so caught up learning to dodge bicycle tires and stay upright on swaying trains, perhaps some of us already forgot that the 10 used to run to Pine Street on 15th. The 10’s reroute is linked to the return of rail service to Broadway for the rest of time.

This view below from 1970 strains to look back to the end of Capitol Hill’s original rail service. The coach pictured here was Seattle Transit #615. That bus was purchased in 1940, the year after Seattle Municipal Railway was rechristened Seattle Transit and embarked on the destruction of the streetcar system. Seattle Transit purchased 100 coaches from local company Pacific Car and Foundry (now PACCAR) and 135 from Twin Coach.

#615 Route 10 Capitol Hill outbound 15th & Pine Jul 19 1970

Coach #615 on Route 10 Capitol Hill headed to Volunteer Park, 15th & Pine. Jul 19, 1970

By 1970 there were fewer than 35 of the Twin Coach coaches left. This was one. It likely was scrapped, but it may be one of three now remaining at transit museums. After an astounding 38 years of service the last of the Twin Coaches were retired in 1978.

Bus route changes are perplexing. If you were a very careful writer of historical fiction it would be maddening to try and figure out what buses served a particular place at a particular time. Case in point, Capitol Hill bus service between now and 1948.

Capitol Hill buses 1948

Capitol Hill buses 1948. (Map by Newman-Burrows.)

Montlake was served by the #4, not the #43, which approached from Madison.

19th was served by the #13, not the #12. It came from downtown on Pike not Madison.

Broadway was traveled by the #9, which came from downtown on Pine and continued on to the University of Washington.

The #14 was the same as it is today, although it has been renamed #47.

The #11 traveled from downtown on Pike. That continued until about ten years ago.

Back in 1948, the #25 ended at Montlake. Later it was extended to Laurelhurst. Until it was deleted in March.

I happen to have a 1967 map lying around too. #13 had become #8, still not yet #12. The #25 has been extended. #48 has appeared.

Some of you lived through the changes in buses and changes in routes. What was it like? Were the changes all for the better, or were any of them upsetting or challenging?

Capitol Hill in 1967

Capitol Hill buses 1967 (Kroll Map)

In both the 1948 and 1967 maps, you see the #10 was as we knew it. It continued until March. It was completely unchanged from the time of its creation in 1940. For three-quarters of a century it was the go-to transit route for residents at 15th and Pine.

The #10 bus replaced a streetcar in 1940, though, the original Capitol Hill line. That streetcar started running from downtown to Volunteer Park (then City Park) in 1901.

In March we witnessed the end of 115 years of transit service to those blocks of 15th south of John. Meanwhile we’re connected to other neighborhoods more directly and more quickly than ever before. Streetcars, buses, freeway, and now light rail. Historians will remember it as another turning point that changed our neighborhood.

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2 thoughts on “CHS Re:Take | The 10 on Pine and other forgotten buses of Capitol Hill

  1. I miss the 10 on Pine (and the southern portion of 15th) so much. Now only the 11 serves my area, and it is constantly late. I wait downtown for ages watching multiple buses go by that will basically take the same route as the Light Rail up to the underground stop on Capitol Hill. I realize there must be a lot of planning and reasoning as to why the 10 changed its route, but it’s one of the most frustrating things to deal with in my daily commute since the Light Rail basically doesn’t help me at all.