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Bus Stop | The 25

17140300270_da8e4b8608_cThe 25 is probably the most infrequent bus to run through Capitol Hill during daylight hours, and is also very likely the one with the best views of Lake Union and the Olympic mountains.

Never heard of the 25? It runs between downtown and northeast Seattle, and it takes a meandering route between there and Eastlake Avenue via Lakeview Boulevard and very north Capitol Hill. It runs every hour, until early evening, 12 times per weekday.

With only 8 trips per day, the 25 doesn’t have a very high ridership, only about 25 people per trip will hop on for any amount of time along its route. This low ridership makes it an easy target for Metro in their upcoming restructure proposals: Alternative 1, which Bus Stop wrote about last month, would delete the 25 entirely and Alternative 2, a more modest restructure idea, would split it in two with a separate bus route continuing between the U District and Laurelhurst.

“Who rides the 25?” was the question I set about to answer on an afternoon this week, heading into rush hour.

The bulk of ridership appears to be between Children’s Hospital and the University District, but Bus Stop did run into a rider boarding the 25 along Lakeview Boulevard. Brandon, a house painter by trade, was finishing up a job on the Hill and checked his phone for the fastest bus to get him down to SoDo, to watch the NFL draft with some friends. The once-an-hour timing of the 25 just happened to work with his schedule, so off he went.


If the same house needs painting next year, he might need a different bus. Whether the edge of Capitol Hill the 25 serves will be worse off is a harder question to answer.17141622759_7fb9265bec_c

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5 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The 25

  1. My office is in the south end of Downtown. I’m sometimes sent to a satellite office near the UW Medical Center. The 25 has been the only one-bus option from office to office. My other choices are to walk across campus and catch the 70, or catch the 43 and transfer at Westlake.

    Once the UW Link station opens, I’ll no longer be using the 25.

  2. The 25 stops 1/2 block from my house, and goes to a number of locations I visit frequently: downtown, my gym, REI, and friends/businesses around U Village. I would take it all the time if it ran more often – the only reason I don’t is because of incredibly infrequent service. And then I’m back in my car.

    • I’ve thought the same thing MANY times.

      back in 1997 the 25 saved my ass one day. I was downtown trying to get to work on Eastlake Avenue on President’s Day. I hopped the 25 downtown and got as far as Boylston and hoofed it to work from there. At that point in time, much of downtown had construction and no street signs and no bus stops and such.

      I’d miss the 25 if it was gone.

  3. Pingback: Bus Stop | Metro releases less ambitious plan to restructure routes as light rail comes to Capitol Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle