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Metro Transit responds to high demand by adding more buses on key routes

Posted on 16 April 2016 by admin

Metro 2

SEATTLE – Starting Monday, April 11, King County Metro Transit is adding bus trips at key times on routes 28X and 62 to help ease crowding at peak commute times and offer a new earlier morning trip on Route 373 to better connect riders with the University District and Link light rail at UW Station.

The changes draw on service hours Metro set aside as part of the major restructure of bus service March 26, which improved frequency and reliability on dozens of Metro routes serving Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill and improved connections for riders to access new Link light rail stations at UW and Capitol Hill.

Metro has been monitoring service since the changes were implemented, including having staff in the field to count passengers and observe trips as well as listening to feedback from customers. These additional bus trips are the first in our ongoing effort to fine-tune service as needed within available resources to respond to ridership demand.

“We’re delivering more bus service to keep up with the growing demand for transit that connects to high-capacity light rail,” said Executive Constantine, who is also Chair of the Sound Transit Board of Directors. “By tracking ridership data and listening to passengers, we will add trips that reduce crowding and increase reliability.”

“Tens of thousands of riders are using the new, revised transit network to commute, travel between neighborhoods and make connections to Link light rail every day,” said Rob Gannon, Metro Transit Interim General Manager. “After launching these changes, we are closely monitoring how the service is working for our customers, and based on feedback from riders and planners, adding targeted trips to help ease crowding and make for a better rider experience. We’ll continue to monitor and listen to customer feedback, and fully expect ridership to continue to grow.”

The changes will account for about one-third of the hours set aside for adjusting service. More adjustments will be considered in the coming weeks. 

Route 28X, adding two morning trips, one afternoon trip on weekdays

Since the service change, Metro heard the most customer comments regarding weekday crowding on Route 28X.  Route 28 and 28X were combined, and Route 28X now provides two-way, all day service via Aurora Avenue and North 39th Street in Fremont. Though it was scheduled with 10-minute service from 7-8 a.m. on weekdays, transitioning to 15-minute service at 8 a.m., rider demand shows it needs additional trips to serve riders trying to arrive in downtown Seattle in the weekday morning rush hours. New morning trips will be targeted between 7 and 9 a.m. to serve the portion of the route south of Holman Road.

Due to high weekday rider demand in the 5 p.m. travel window, when trips were scheduled 10 minutes apart, Metro is moving to add one trip and group together three trips to leave about 6 to 7 minutes apart. 

Route 62, adding two morning trips

Metro received a large amount of feedback from weekday riders on the new Route 62, which travels in Northeast Seattle and replaces part of the deleted Route 16, traveling between Green Lake and Downtown Seattle via Wallingford, Fremont and South Lake Union. Though scheduled every 10 minutes until about 8 a.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter, crowding is apparent – especially on the southern half of the route. To address this, Metro will add two weekday morning peak trips serving the part of the route west of I-5 during the 7-8 a.m. window to help ease crowding. 

Route 373, adding a 5:45 a.m. trip to better connect to Link

Metro received complaints from Route 373 riders who were not able to connect with Link light rail at UW Station earlier in the morning, and staff have seen standing loads on all morning Route 373 trips. To help riders better make this connection, Metro will add a trip departing Aurora Village Transit Center at 5:45 a.m. weekdays – 15 minutes earlier than the previously scheduled 6 a.m. start of service. Schedulers will work to even out the time between weekday morning trips so they are closer to every 20 minutes instead of 25 minutes. 

Route 73, earlier northbound trip

Because of changes to the Route 373, the northbound route 73 also will have a new earlier trip because the two trips use the same bus. This means the first northbound Route 73 trip will be scheduled to leave University of Washington Station at about 6:30 a.m.

Next steps, trip planning help for riders

In addition to the routes identified for changes, Metro also is monitoring performance in the field and analyzing reports from riders about crowding and delays at various times of the day on routes we’re hearing concerns from customers. We’re particularly focused on Northeast Seattle commuter routes as rider patterns and behavior are changing as they become accustomed to new options. Metro will consider targeted improvements within available resources, once consistent crowding or reliability issues have been confirmed.

Riders seeking help to understand and use the new transit network in their communities can visit Metro online or contact Metro customer service at 206-553-3000. Transit customers can also visit the Puget Sound Trip Planner App which helps riders plan their trips and see next bus departures for nearby stops.

 

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Metro

More frequent, reliable bus service will soon connect more riders to congestion-free light rail

Posted on 22 March 2016 by admin

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Tens of thousands of people across Seattle and King County will soon benefit from better integration of Metro and Sound Transit service that connects more riders to expanded light-rail service. Metro will also implement the third phase of service expansion approved by Seattle voters in November 2014 that will deliver more reliable and frequent service for Seattle neighborhoods.

The service improvements will go into effect March 26, a week after the new University Link light-rail stations at Capitol Hill and the University of Washington open on March 19. The additional service in Seattle will provide more routes connecting commuters to South Lake Union.

“We will soon deliver more frequent bus service to more neighborhoods, connecting riders to fast, reliable, high-capacity light rail,” said Executive Constantine, who is also Chair of the Sound Transit Board of Directors. “It’s an example of how Metro and Sound Transit are working together to create a more convenient, seamless transportation network.”

“Thanks to voters, we now have completed the largest expansion of bus transit in Seattle since Metro was founded,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Now West Seattle commuters can ride the C Line straight to South Lake Union without changing buses. And in neighborhoods all over the city, frequent transit service is only a short walk away.”

For more please visit at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/up/scvchange.html

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Transit agencies testing collision avoidance system

Posted on 05 February 2016 by admin

Mobileye_warning_KingCountyPhoto (2)UW to analyze results as eight transit agencies partner together to reduce collisions with pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles

Eight transit agencies across Washington are working together on a pilot project to test and analyze a collision avoidance system that could help bus drivers reduce the number and severity of collisions with pedestrian, cyclists and vehicles.

 The driver assistance technology, called Mobileye Shield+ by Rosco Vision Systems, uses four bus-mounted vision sensors to identify and alert bus drivers when pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles are in close proximity to a bus, and warn them in time to take action to prevent a possible collision. The system will be deployed on 38 buses statewide, with three buses in operation for Metro Transit, and five buses each for Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Intercity Transit, C-Tran, Kitsap, Ben Franklin and Spokane Transit.

 The pilot project is jointly funded by the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool, its member transit agencies, King County Risk Management, and insurance companies serving the transit industry. Also, the Transportation Research Board through an Innovation Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) grant is funding the cost of the pilot program evaluation.

“By working together, we will have a stronger understanding and analysis of how well collision avoidance technology can work for transit agencies – and find ways to continue to reduce the number and seriousness of pedestrian collisions,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond.

 “WSTIP and its members look forward to partnering with King County Metro to pilot and evaluate the Mobileye Shield + collision warning system which may potentially mitigate the frequency and severity of collisions with pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles,” said WSTIP Executive Director Al Hatten.

 Each of the buses used in this test are 40 feet long and outfitted with four vision sensors, which trigger warning alerts to drivers. The system scans for pedestrians and bicyclists, and visual displays and an audio warning alerts drivers of imminent collisions before they occur, providing the driver time to take evasive action. The system also monitors following distance, warns drivers of an imminent rear-end collision, alerts drivers if their bus strays from its lane of without an active turn signal, and notifies drivers if the bus exceeds the posted speed limit.

 Data collected from the four-month test period will be evaluated and analyzed by STAR Lab (Smart Transportation Applications and Research) an ITS research program that is part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. Feedback from transit operators will be part of the evaluation.

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travel2

Metro bus service will help ease crowding, improve reliability

Posted on 10 June 2015 by admin

Seattle transit service agreement on June 6, new shuttles in Burien, Mercer Island on June 8

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Starting Saturday, June 6, better, more reliable King County Metro bus service will hit the streets. Riders can preview online how service will change on their route or by picking up a printed orange Rider Alert brochure.

New blue timetables also are available on buses and at Metro customer service offices. Detailed route revisions are posted online in button format and list format. Electronic schedules will be posted online Friday, June 5. Until then, using a travel date of June 6 or later, riders can plan trips online in order to preview updated schedule information.

“We are adding transit service our customers have needed for some time as the region’s economy has grown and we’ve experienced record ridership,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “More is needed and we will continue to deliver with this round and future rounds of improvements.”

The changes are part of King County Metro’s regular June service change and include expanded transit service under a new contract with the city of Seattle. Also starting June 8 are new community shuttles created to better serve Burien and Mercer Island, and general schedule improvements and long-term service revisions during major construction projects.

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Bus service totaling 110,000 hours funded by the City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 approved by voters last November is planned to be added in 53 routes in the city, followed by another 113,000 hours in September. Through Executive Constantine’s Community Mobility Contract with the City of Seattle, riders will enjoy added bus trips on routes throughout the city that will begin to address overcrowding and reliability challenges that have been building in recent years, due to record levels of ridership and the region’s growing economy.

Further service improvements are on the horizon as the transit network grows and more people realize there’s a better, cheaper way to travel than driving alone.

Seattle’s Prop 1 also includes provisions to support lower-income families, including a $20 rebate of the Vehicle Licensing Fee and funding to support the ORCA Lift reduced fare.

Route and schedule changes
Visit Metro Online for complete details about route changes. Metro will make service adjustments three times this year, revising some routes and schedules to operate more efficiently, improve travel times and better match bus service to ridership demand within available budgets.

Seattle routes with added, restored or revised service, or adjustments to improve on-time reliability: 1, 2, 5, 5E, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15E, 16, 17E, 18E, 19, 21, 21E, 24, 25, 26, 26E, 27, 28, 28E, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 55, 56, 57, 60, 64E, 66E, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74E, 76, 83 Night Owl, 99, 120, 125 and the RapidRide C & D lines.

Customized community shuttles in Burien: Route 631

As part of Metro’s Alternative Services Program, created by County Executive Dow Constantine and expanded by the County Council, Metro is teaming up with the city of Burien to launch a new shuttle that restores weekday local service from the Burien Transit Center to destinations such as Gregory Heights and Seahurst.

 

The new Burien Community Shuttle Route 631 replaces service in the area previously served by Route 139, but was canceled last September due to low ridership. With this demonstration service, riders will experience a new customized benefit – a flexible area where riders can call ahead to schedule off-route service.

 

Customized community shuttle in Mercer Island: Route 630

Also under the Alternative Services program, a new Route 630 shuttle debuts June 8 to make commuting to work between Mercer Island and First Hill/downtown Seattle easier and more convenient. The shuttle is the product of an innovative partnership between Metro Transit, Mercer Island and the city of Seattle to fund a two-year demonstration to help offset the loss of commuter transit service canceled last fall due to low ridership. The shuttle will operate weekday peak-only service between Southeast 46thStreet/Island Crest Way and downtown Seattle via First Hill, provides a new flexible service area for residents on the east side of the island, and includes a key connection to the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride.

 

Construction changes (Route 4, 8 and 48)

During city of Seattle construction on 23rd Avenue, there will be temporary revisions to Metro routes 4, 8 and 48 in the Judkins Park area for about eight months. Route 4 will travel south of East Jefferson Street only on weekends; Routes 8 and 48 will shift to Martin Luther King Jr Way south of Cherry Street to avoid construction. Route 8 will not operate on South Jackson Street, 23rd Avenue and East Yesler Way for about eight months and instead will serve temporary stops on MLK Jr. Way.

 

Other service and schedule adjustments

Other Metro routes with various service and schedule adjustments: 64, 73, 111, 114, 118, 119, 167, 200, 238, 245, 246, 303, 312 and the RapidRide F Line.

 

University of Washington summer reductions

When the UW is not in session, Routes 31, 32, 48, 65, 67, 68, 75, 167, 197, 271, 277, 372 and 373 will have designated trips suspended from Monday, June 15, through Thursday, July 2; Monday, July 6 through Friday, Sept. 4 and Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Friday, Sept. 25. Route 331, which operates between Lake City and Shoreline Community College, will also have trips suspended on these dates.

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AMTRAK CASCADES ADDS TRAINS FOR BUSY THANKSGIVING TRAVEL WEEK

AMTRAK CASCADES ADDS TRAINS FOR BUSY THANKSGIVING TRAVEL WEEK

Posted on 06 November 2013 by admin

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 SEATTLE – To accommodate travel demand during the Thanksgiving holiday week, Amtrak will add four trains

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