Metro Reduced Holiday Service Begins Monday

Heads up if you rely on Metro for commuting or are planning on downtown trips for some last minute holiday shopping – King County Metro Transit will be operating on holiday and reduced weekday schedules all next week and the beginning of the following week (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).

According to Metro:

“Using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January is estimated to save Metro about $1 million each year. These are planned reductions for holiday periods when Metro has historically seen a reduction in the number of weekday riders – estimated to be 15 percent or more systemwide.”

Sunday schedules will be in effect on the following holidays:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 25 – Christmas
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

The reduced weekday schedule will be in effect on:

  • Monday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
  • Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 26-28  – winter holiday period
  • Monday, Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve
  • Monday, Jan. 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Queen Anne routes with reduced weekday schedules include: 2, 3, 4, 13. A list of additional route service impacts are online.

King County Metro meeting on bus service changes

Public input from nearly 10,000 transit customers has helped shape the final September 2012 plan being submitted to the Metropolitan King County Council next week. This plan is aimed at being equitable, fair, and balanced regionally using the limited resources available.

Most of the final recommendations support the launch of the RapidRide C and D lines that will connect downtown Seattle to Ballard and West Seattle starting on Sept. 29. For that reason, the changes primarily affect service in Seattle and adjacent communities. Some of the revisions, such as the recommended changes to the routes 10, 11, 12, 123, and 125 will also improve the flow of buses through downtown Seattle, which will produce significant efficiencies for Metro’s overall system.

Not all of the changes originally proposed for this September will be part of the final plan. Some are being postponed for now, but could happen in the future. Several ideas needed further review and analysis.

The following list highlights changes that have been made to the original proposals:

1. Postponing all routing changes to the 2 (north and south parts), 4 (north and south parts), 13, 14 (south part), 16, 24, 27, and 33;

2. Considering small changes to frequency and spans of service for routes 14 (north and south parts), 24,  27, and 124 to better align service with ridership during the evening hours;

3. Providing service to 32nd Ave NW and North Beach via a new Route 61;

4. Retaining  weekday and Saturday service on Route 125;

5. Providing service to Nickerson Street on Queen Anne by revising Route 2 Express to provide peak service from Nickerson Street to downtown Seattle, and retaining Route 17 during weekday peak periods to provide service from downtown Seattle to the Ballard business district (northbound in the morning and southbound in the afternoon, with trips timed to meet Sounder Commuter Rail trips to/from Tacoma);

6. Retaining service to the VA hospital on Beacon Hill with the new Route 50 and proposed Route 60;

7. Revising new Route 50 to serve Alaska Junction and the North Delridge neighborhood; and

8. Revising Route 156 to maintain service on S 216th Street and 8th Avenue S between 200th and Des Moines Memorial Drive S.

To learn more about the final plan, visit:

People will have an opportunity to comment on the final September transit service plan at a scheduled public hearing of the King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee on Monday, April 16, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Sound Transit’s Board Room at Union Station (401 S. Jackson Street, Seattle).

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and to testify concerning the recommended service changes. There will be an open house at 6:00 pm, presentation at 6:30 pm, and opportunity to provide public testimony at 7:00 pm. To request a language interpreter or accommodations for persons with disabilities, please contact Paul Carlson, Council staff, at (206) 296-1673 by April 9. You may also submit comments to the King County Council email address for this topic at

King County Council considering cuts to Metro Transit service in Queen Anne

King County Regional Transit Committee has a scenario on the table that would cut existing bus services to Queen Anne.

In anticipation of a possible budget shortfall, the RTC is discussing the “600,000 Service Hour Reduction Scenario” issued to the committee as part of the debate over the King County Metro Transit Strategic Plan. Routes affected in the scenario include Queen Anne’s Route 2, which would be re-routed from its typical turnaround at the top of the hill to continue down Third Avenue West past Seattle Pacific University, and Route 45, which would be eliminated entirely.

The RTC is expected to pass the strategic plan in mid-June, said King County Department of Transportation spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershok.

“At that point, the full King County Council will pick it up for debate, so that’s where we’re at, still in the context of discussion,” said Ogershok. “It’s too early to tell how that’s all going to unfold and what the specifics of any reductions would be.”

The scenarios, as part of the strategic plan’s service guidelines, are designed to give the RTC and county council members a sense of how the guidelines would play out, but there’s a lot to be discussed and done before any such measures could be approved, said Ogershok. Assuming the strategic plan and the corresponding guidelines get approved, a separate move to make the actual cuts to the Metro Transit would have to be made.

“Right now these are planning examples, but at some point if we had to make cuts it would play out as part of the budget process and then there would be a separate proposal for actual service cuts that would need to be adopted by the council,” said Ogershok.

Also at play is a $20 car license fee to help fund Metro Transit that was passed by both houses of the state Legislature in April, signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire Monday, and is currently waiting to be approved by the county council.

“This new revenue tool could postpone the need for reductions,” said Ogershok. “It all comes down to the revenue situation.”

The measure would only be a temporary solution while King County continues to work on new options, like “a broader, statewide permanent fix for transit,” said Ogershok. A council decision on the legislation is expected to occur later this summer.

Snow turns to slush in time for morning commute

As predicted, the snow has turned to rain, making for a slushy mess on the roads.

Things to know before you go:

Seattle Public Schools are running two hours late. Schools that had previously scheduled early dismissal (McClure Middle School) will release students at the regular time.

King County Metro Transit is updating this site with changes to bus service.
King Count Metro (@kcmetrobus) tweeted this alert:

Most Metro service on snow routes Wed AM thru 9 AM due to snowy/slushy roads. Expect some delays. Dress warm.