Bad Changes

I remembered to check the 47 schedule before I left for work this morning. Metro Transit’s service changes took effect this past weekend.

The 47 still exists. That’s good. The schedule hasn’t changed, which is good because it doesn’t affect my morning commute. The schedule is still highly irregular, which is not so good. At peak hours it runs every 16-23 minutes. At off-peak, it runs every 35 minutes. It’s impossible to memorize the schedule.

The 43, once a workhorse of Capitol Hill (it and the 49 were the only two Capitol Hill routes with 60-foot buses), has been cut back to peak-hour-only runs. There are only a few scattered trips on weekends, now. (I predict that Metro will eventually kill the 43 altogether.)

Route 10 has been re-routed to Olive Way, to make up for the cuts to the 43. (I’m still scratching my head over that: Cut back trips on one route, and add another route to make up for the service cuts on the first route.)

The 49 is running more frequently, and the route hasn’t changed. There is some good news. Maybe, someday, Metro will start putting buses less than 20 years old on the 49.

The 25 is no more. I’ve been seeing this coming for years. The schedule had been cut back so much that ridership went down, and since ridership is down, the route gets cut. It doesn’t effect me anymore, but I loved the 25. I am sad to see it go. The Montlake and Portage Bay neighborhoods, and folks living along Lakeview Boulevard, are now without transit service.

I don’t think the 60 has changed much, if at all. That’s good.

I’ve read that ridership on Link light rail has increased a whole lot faster than anyone anticipated. Starting today, Sound Transit is alternating 2- and 3-car trains on Link. This, I think, has nothing to do with Metro Transit’s service changes. I just missed a 2-car Link train this morning. A 3-car train arrived a few minutes later.

This is the city I live in: When light rail improves, bus service gets worse.

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6 thoughts on “Bad Changes

  1. I live in part of Madison Valley that’s on the fringe of Capitol Hill, not so close to East Madison (and the 11) so which relies heavily on the 43 and these reductions to peak hours are one thing. But if Metro were to eliminate the 43 completely, I’m basically looking at a commute to/from downtown on two buses in excess of 45 minutes, depending on timing. Until all the dust-up about reductions to the 43 started happening, I had visions of zooming up to Capitol Hill on the train and catching a short bus ride to home. Now a potential reality is waiting around a congested downtown for a slog home on two buses. Do you really think the 43 could be slashed all the way? I’ve tried following issues like this on the excellent Seattle Transit Blog but I get very sandbagged by the at-times wonky debate on there.

    • I get frustrated with Seattle Transit Blog, myself.

      I’ve seen the pattern with other routes, like the 25, that get cut back so much that few people ride them, and then the route is eliminated because few people ride them.

      • I suppose I should add that Metro’s public policy with regards to Link is: You don’t need a bus if light rail goes there, too. We don’t need the 43 going to the U District, because light rail will get you there faster.

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