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Bus Stop | The 43

14857992744_f5c8d0513d_cEveryone has a favorite bus route, and mine is by far The 43.

As with most loves, it is complicated. My love for this bus has nothing to do with speed; while on the schedule a trip from downtown to the Ave takes approximately the same amount of time on the schedule as the University Bridge-bound 49, around 25 minutes, we all know that this doesn’t always play out in reality. The Montlake Bridge and traffic on Montlake Boulevard can frequently lead to long stretches sitting on this bus.

It has nothing to do with comfort. There are fewer streets in need of resurfacing as much as 23rd Avenue. The corridor project planned to overhaul it will not include any portion of the 43’s route north of John Street, so relief in this area is not in sight.

14860118922_623e08c67c_cPerhaps the reason I love the 43 is because rather than heading straight through Capitol Hill via Broadway like the 49, it takes a more ambling route connecting the Hill’s neighborhoods from Olive Way and Summit Slope, to Broadway, up to the more affluent areas around 15th Ave and 19th Ave, and then onto 23rd Ave and out Capitol Hill’s backdoor into sleepy Montlake.

The main reason the 43 is my favorite bus, however, is the people on it. Everyone rides the 43: people of every socioeconomic stripe and variation. I met Rita, above, waiting for a 43 on Bellevue Ave near City Market. She told me that she has found the 43 to be very dependable recently as opposed to in the past, when it has not come on schedule. She asked us to only use her photo if she looked good in it, and we think she looks lovely.

Another reason I like the 43: There are no planned service cuts coming to this route. The 43 will likely take over quite a few 47 riders after that route is deleted in September and will become the only route serving Olive Way from Downtown. For one of the densest neighborhoods in Seattle, this is a big task. With new trolleybuses for routes like this coming next year, at least all of the buses will have air conditioning. The future looks breezy for the 43.

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12 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The 43

  1. It’s interesting your going on about the 43 as one of your faves since it’s one of the routes that Metro *threatened* to cut the last time they had a financial crisis and basically blackmailed us that unless they got the (temporary) $20 for licensing they would cut the route. Personally, I think that tactic was more to scare than it was of actually cutting the route.

      • I’m just telling you what happened two years ago when Metro threatened that they would cut the 43 unless they got money from the vehicle licensing add-on. That’s what I addressed. If you have other issues I can’t comment on that.

      • It’s the same budget mess. The county council gave Metro a temporary reprieve with the car tabs, and the cuts were put off until now. The revenue from sales taxes never materialized,

      • Nothing new there. I just made the comment in my original comment that Metro made the threat that they were going to cut the 43 unless they got the temporary $20 add-on to car registration. I made my original comment as a comment on the author of this article on the route 43 and his praise of it and just nothing that with the last threat of a cut which had a reprieve with the temporary $20 assessment. At the time when it happened it felt to me like Metro was blackmailing the public saying that this line would be cut unless they got the $20 they were after.

    • It IS interesting that the 43 was going to be cut, and is not on the list any longer. With U-Link opening, we will see what happens to the 43 ridership. I suspect it will remain strong, perhaps even grow with the light rail access.

  2. Buses cost money to run. You don’t get the money, you can’t run the bus. If you go to buy groceries at Safeway and they expect you to pay for them before they give you the groceries, is that blackmailing? You can backpedal all you want, but when you characterize something as “blackmailing” most people would infer some element of unfairness implicit in your statement.

    • I’m not sure what you want. I’m only commenting on the 43. That’s all I’m referring to. KC Metro said that they would cut the 43 two years ago. As those of us who use the 43 regularly it matters a lot to us. I am making a comment about what Metro said that the would do to route 43.

  3. Also great: half of them turn into the 44, so you can stay on and go to Wallingford or Ballard – AFAIK the only way to do so from Capitol Hill without a transfer.

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