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The case of the skipped bus stops

Neighbor yancy asked CHS the other day,  “Do you know anything about the Broadway #43 stop being closed? like, how long is it going to last, etc.?”  We have heard from a few of you now that Metro Routes 8 and 43 are now routinely skipping stops between Summit and 12th Avenue on East Olive / East John.  

We contacted Linda Thielke, King County Public Affairs Specialist, to decipher the when and the where of the skipped stops.  She explained that the Broadway/East John stop will be closed for two years due to light rail construction.  The reason for Metro skipping the East Olive/Boylston stop, however, is that Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) requested that Metro cease service at that stop while they construct a median island and other pedestrian safety improvements at East Olive/Boylston.  We then contacted Virginia Coffman at SDOT, who is a manager for the crosswalk project, and she informed us that Metro looked at the usage for the East Olive/Boylston(both Eastbound and Westbound) and East Olive/Howell(Eastbound only) stops and determined that eliminating those stops would increase reliability.

Linda Thielke informed us that Metro is exploring the feasability of a temporary stop (for the two years that the Broadway/East John stop is closed)  at East Olive and Harvard.  However, this stop will only become possible once Sound Transit’s truck hauling phasing ceases.  Sound Transit initially projected the truck hauling phase to be complete by 2012, and we have a call in to find out if this is still the expected date.

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Beth
Beth
11 years ago

Great timing on this piece — I was stood up by the eastbound #8 for the first time this morning at Olive/Boylston; yesterday (and every day before that), that’s where I got on. This morning, the driver just waved and kept going. Only after I //sprinted// after the bus to the Broadway/John stop (sorry to all the people driving on Broadway this morning) did he finally stop and let me on. There have been no signs, no notices, and the Metro website still lists the Olive/Boylston stop as active. I’ve called and emailed Metro, with no response. So which part of this is “increasing reliability” for the passengers?

Dave W
Dave W
11 years ago

It’s quite unbelievable – Eastbound half the bus always got off on the Broadway stop – now it’s at least three blocks from the next closest stop in either direction! The bus driver said nothing recently, even though more than one passenger was yelling for a stop. And this is to go on for two more years? HELLO, temporary stop please.

Vics
Vics
11 years ago

The bus driver on the #8 I take home has announced the skipped stops for the past 2 days, but usually people who are yelling “Why didn’t you stop?!” are wearing headphones/earbuds and probably didn’t/couldn’t hear his announcements. I agree though that this needs to be publicized on the Metro Transit website, or at the very least, rider alert emails should be sent out (I subscribe to the 8, 10, 11 rider alerts and received nothing about these skipped stops)

Punkateer
Punkateer
11 years ago

I no longer use the bus as I can’t stand the urine, but when I did (7 then the 49) it made stopped on virtually every block on Broadway. Worse, it made 3 T-H-R-E-E!! effing stops for the intellectuals at the community college. Two stops on Broadway and then after sitting on the same block for several light changes it would hang a right and make another stop less than 30 yards from the previous stop. On my way home, I would regularly jump off at the Egyptian and walk all the way to the 1100 block of Federal at virtually the same speed as the bus. On several occasions, I would miss the bus downtown and get home after walking -just 5 minutes later than if I caught the bus.

wes kirkman
wes kirkman
11 years ago

I agree; I did an informal study of the 49 for a transportation planning class I took a number of years ago (damn those intellectuals!) where I timed all the locations and reasons for the bus not moving. Each stop adds a lot of time to the bus, beyond just loading passengers (slowing and accelerating, waiting for cars to let the bus back in), and does not need to be on every block. They could put up a notice before making changes though.

Your comment about urine is hogwash, however. I rarely come across urine in this city and even then it is only in alleys, not on the bus.

CoryJohnson
CoryJohnson
11 years ago

I was just listening to Metro’s radio traffic and overheard a #43 operator calling in to report some very unhappy customers. She mentioned that there’s nowhere to stop between Summit and 12th and wasn’t even notified herself. The driver said, “I didn’t see anything about this on the board this morning” and the person on the other end said, “We’ll send this up to [dcom?] and see if we can find a solution.”

Meara
Meara
11 years ago

Good grief, if it doesn’t stop at those stops eastbound thenPupillary distance 59 total where the heck are you supposed to get off? Guess next time I’m on the bus I’ll be sure to hop a 49 and not a 43. But if I need to get on an 8 I’d be peeved if it rolled by me and there wasn’t a stop for blocks and blocked because they’re all mysteriously closed without notice!

Mike with curls
Mike with curls
11 years ago

Metro sucks.

Give up your car.

Just walk you silly fare-payer fool.

Riders rights? It is time.

jonglix
jonglix
11 years ago

Wow, I usually give Metro the benefit of the doubt but this seems incredibly stupid.

Joseph Singer
Joseph Singer
11 years ago

I guess this means that having the construction of the University Link is going to be a PITA in as many ways as possible.

Joseph Singer
Joseph Singer
11 years ago

Metro takes your email address but they do no answer email inquiries. If you really require any response from Metro contact Kevin Desmond the Metro GM at [email protected]

scoville
scoville
11 years ago

Wes, No urine in this city? Seriously? Either you’re being very sarcastic or you’ve grown accustomed to the smell. 80% of the time I ride the bus, I smell urine.

Mike with curls
Mike with curls
11 years ago

Once in five years has it been a puddle …

I think you are fixated.

Dog or cat piss maybe?

LE
LE
11 years ago

The bus driver on the 43 I rode yesterday said that the decision to close that stop was made by the City of Seattle. She recommended calling them about it.

Erika
Erika
11 years ago

Are you sure that’s not mold you smell? Mold is present on pretty much every bus in Seattle as far as I can tell. It has a disturbingly sweet smell, not unlike the retch-worthy reek emanating from any alley.

scoville
scoville
11 years ago

I used to work in group homes for people with developmental disabilities. I know what human urine smells like.

gap
gap
11 years ago

Did I miss something or are they essentially saying that they may be able to open a temporary stop @ Olive/Harvard in 2 years (after hauling stops or changes) even though the stop @ Broadway/John that it is replacing will only need to be closed for the next 2 years….

Skeets
Skeets
11 years ago

To far to travel additional 1-1/2 block walk from 11th to get to Broadway from 11th – really??? Sure, metro could have given more notice but i saw the ‘Rider Alerts’ at the bus zones last week… Besides, sounds like it’s the City and Sound Transit driving the bus zone closings

wtlrn
wtlrn
11 years ago

They did mention in January that the stop just east of Broadway on John would shift one block east during the construction. That seemed silly at the time since there is another stop just east of there between 11th & 12th.

Jon
Jon
11 years ago

Did anyone see this supposed rider alert posted on 2/18? I get off at this stop almost every day and I never saw a thing. There was also not an alert on the website on 3/2. If there ever was an online alert, it should at least stay active for a couple weeks after it is effective.

Following is an email I got from Metro:

————-

Hello and thank you for contacting King County Metro Transit.

A Rider Alert posted at the stop on 2/18/10 stated: Beginning Monday,
March 1, this stop will be permanently closed due to a street crossing
improvement project near this location.

For further information, please contact Metro Transit’s Customer
Information Office at (206) 553-3000 or toll free at (800)542-7876 and
press “0” to speak with a Specialist. You may also use the online trip
planner at: http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/.

Again, thank you for contacting Metro Transit and have a great day.

A Rider Alert posted at the stop states: Beginning Monday, March 1,
this stop will be permanently closed due to a street crossing
improvement project near this location.

—–Original Message—–
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 6:15 PM
To: Comments, Customer
Subject: Metro Feedback Form

The following is the contents of a form submitted on 02-Mar-10 at 06:14 PM:

ROUTE: 43

DIRECTION: Eastbound

LOCATION: Olive Way at Boylston/Harvard

COMMENTS: Why is this stop closed? The stop and all signage is gone. I
didn’t see a rider alert at the stop or on the 43, and there isn’t an
alert the website. This is particularly inconvenient with the John St
stop also closed for construction.

Ignatz Ratzkewatzke
Ignatz Ratzkewatzke
11 years ago

It is awfully nice that they’re dealing with the pedestrian deathtrap that is that intersection.

Jeff Welch
Jeff Welch
11 years ago

I drove the 43 earlier this week and found out about these stop closures the same way that many passengers found out – by seeing that the stops had been removed and reading the laminated temporary stop closure signs put up. Normally when there’s a stop closure (short or long term), there is a bulletin put up at the base on a board that all drivers review before heading out on their runs. I have seen no bulletins on these stop closures, and have been as in the dark as passengers as to the reason for them, location of temporary stops (if any), etc.

The closure at Broadway and John is especially painful for thsoe with mobility issues as the next stop in either direction is almost 2 blocks away from Broadway. These “mercy stops” (see image on this article) are great – but can create problems for drivers for “breaking the rules” as well as confusing customers about expectations if they get a different driver unwilling to make such a stop.

JonSM99
JonSM99
11 years ago

Kevin Desmond may or may not answer your emails. What has worked for me is to email County Councilman Larry Phillips ([email protected]), and he will fwd your message to Desmond asking him to answer you. Bureaucrats may ignore citizens/voters/riders, but elected officials can’t afford to ignore us, and bureaucrats can’t afford to ignore them. Ron Sims was never any use to me; Constantine may be better.

I can’t believe the lack of notice or community consultation on these changes. I’m on the Metro email lists for the 8 and 43 and got nothing on stop closures either. Before the last service change, I was told in advance that several stops on the 16 were being removed. Metro HAS the infrastructure to do this, and they didn’t. FAIL.

I’ve only smelled pee on a bus once, on the 41. Much more in Pioneer Square.

Another reason why more stops slow down buses are the slow, cantankerous lifts Metro uses. I’ve never seen wheelchair lifts in another city that are so cumbersome and take so long to deploy as the ones we have here. It should improve as more of Metro’s fleet is low-floor kneeling buses. DC’s lifts were much better.

If you want the really failsafe way not to get passed by the bus, step in front of it. I’ve done it, though rarely in Seattle.