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Bus Stop | Planning Ahead — The 3/26 Metro realignment

(Image: Ryan Packer)

(Image: Ryan Packer)

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.

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16 thoughts on “Bus Stop | Planning Ahead — The 3/26 Metro realignment

    • Yes, I agree. I do not understand. Explain further. I have to assume that perhaps some transit lane is pushing traffic onto Denny and Denny is not where the transit lanes are being added. if so, it is terrible planning.

    • That’s correct- because SDOT decided to not divert traffic to I-5 via a route other than Denny & Westlake (such as Lenora), their data suggests we will be seeing 8 delays.

    • Improvements to benefit the 40, C and SLU Streetcar on Westlake.

      The 8 is already so unreliable whats another 15% worse if it at least makes 3 routes better

  1. I was shocked at how heavy the cut backs are on the 43. I was expecting normal rush hour service in AM/PM (based on info released by King Metro) but we’re left with a completely gutted schedule. Why no rush hour trips in the evening? Who gets out of work at 2PM?

    I live near the “top” of capitol hill and my options to get home now are awful. I just had to take 3 modes of transit to get home (light rail->street car->11) vs. just getting on the 43. It takes longer too. At least I’m getting a decent enough tax return to afford a cheap car.

    • Starting on Saturday the re-routed 10 will more than make up for the reduced 43 service between downtown and the top of the hill.

    • Yup, the 43 cutbacks are awful. I use the current 43 all the time to/from Montlake. My non-43 options all involve multiple waits/changes/walks, which increase my travel time significantly. I’m hoping that when this starts affecting people’s lives next week, there’ll be enough outrage that real 43 service will be restored.

    • Rich – where are you normally traveling to/from? The 48 mirrors all the stops the 43 currently makes on 23rd/24th/Montlake and if you’re going to/from Cap Hill then it seems like light rail with a transfer to the 48 (or walking from Husky Stadium if you’re close enough) would be fairly quick. There is definitely a no man’s land along John where it’s too far to walk to either Cap Hill Station or 23rd Ave so you’re now stuck taking the 8 and then transferring, but I mostly just see a handful of riders on that stretch, primarily at 15th and Miller Playfield. It sounds like you’re upset at losing a one seat ride, which, given Metro’s track record on providing seamless transfers, it very understandable. I just wonder if the inclusion of Link and its 3 minute trip between Cap Hill and Husky Stadium changes the equation a bit this time.

  2. Remember folks, your mayor crammed $60 in additional car tab fees down your throats to prevent Metro from gutting your service. Hey look, they did it anyway and you’re still out the $60

    • It’s all a matter of perspective. If you’re coming from the airport and waiting at Mt. Baker at 8pm, waiting 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes for the #8 looks like a pretty big improvement. Ditto for all the night-time trips added to the #2 last September. Lots of service expansion already happened 7 months ago. And– shockingly– Metro doesn’t just serve Capitol Hill.

    • They’re increasing service and improving reliability, how is that “gutting” service? Maybe you should do some research before commenting publicly.

  3. The 43 cutbacks are beyond awful. The current service seemed to barely hold up rush hour (5-7pm) from Montlake to the hill. With the proposed times, there’s no way… Awful.

  4. Indeed. Route 43 cuts are awful. Route 10 route changes offer mixed-benefits at best. Conversations about more service and reliability are really focused only around the Capitol Hill train station. From my perspective service is actually reduced within the neighborhood and connections to the UW are severed for practical transit users. Don’t get me started about the boondoogle of BRT on Madison St.