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Final Prop 1 Contract and Seattle Bus Improvements

By David Lawson


These riders will be very happy in September. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.

We (well, at least incorrigible transit nerds) have been waiting with bated breath since the passage of Seattle’s Proposition 1 in November to see the contract between the City of Seattle and King County Metro which is required under the text of Prop 1. It’s finally here, posted to the King County Council’s website as an attachment to the ordinance through which the Council will most likely approve it.

There are all sorts of interesting details in the contract language which we will probably poke at in future posts.  But for now we wanted to share the good stuff: specific service improvements.  The improvements affect most routes in the city of Seattle.  About half of them will be implemented in June, and the other half in September.  Many of the June improvements are subtle schedule changes to improve reliability (mostly increasing run time and recovery time), while the September improvements are a bit more visible.

The City of Seattle chose the improvements in two ways.  First, all of the reliability and overcrowding improvements identified as necessary in Metro’s 2014 Service Guidelines Report were included.  Second, once those needs were taken care of, city staff selected improvements after analysis applying the county’s Service Guidelines, the city’s Transit Master Plan, and Metro route performance data.  Broadly, the improvements fit into two categories: 1) reliability improvements on existing service, and 2) new trips on existing routes, including both peak and off-peak frequency improvements.  There are no restructures in this initial round of improvements, for obvious reasons of speed and ease of implementation.  Nevertheless, these improvements will make the system significantly easier to use, especially nights and weekends.  They should also relieve some dysfunction during rush hours.  Specifics below the jump.

Reliability Improvements

The following routes will see schedule changes to improve reliability, nearly all in June: C Line, D Line, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 21X, 24, 25, 26, 26X, 27, 28, 28X, 29, 31, 32, 33, 37, 40, 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 55, 56, 57, 60, 64, 66, 70, 71, 72, 74, 76, 83, 99.

A larger reliability improvement will come to riders of Routes 7, 43, 44, and 49.  These routes are currently through-routed evenings, nights, and Sundays (7 with 49, and 43 with 44).  Both through-routes will be broken evenings and Sundays, and will remain in place only at night after 10 p.m.

Frequency Improvements

The following are the frequency improvements included, listed by route.  In general, “evenings” means 7:00 to 10:00 p.m, while “nights” means after 10:00 p.m, generally through midnight or 1:00 a.m.

C Line and D Line (June): This is the costliest, most substantial improvement in the whole package.  Peak frequency to 7-8 minutes.  Weekday midday and weekend daytime to 12 minutes.  Weekday and weekend nights to 15 minutes.

Route 2S (September): Weekday and Saturday evenings to 15 minutes.

Routes 3/4 (September): Weekend nights and early mornings to 30 minutes.

Route 5: Weekday and Saturday evenings to 15 minutes in June.  Sunday evenings to 15 minutes in September.

Route 5X: 4 new peak trips in both directions.

Route 7 (September): 2 new peak trips in both directions. Weekend daytime to 12 minutes.

Route 8: 1 new peak trip in both directions in June.  Longer span of 15-minute service on Saturdays in September.  Weekend late nights to 30 minutes in September.

Route 9 (September): Peak frequency to 20 minutes.

Route 10 (June): Weekday late nights/early mornings, weekend evenings, and Sunday daytime all to 15 minutes.

Route 11 (September): Weekday midday and Saturday daytime to 15 minutes.

Route 12 (September): Weekday and Saturday evenings to 15 minutes.

Route 14 (September): Weekday nights to 30 minutes.

Route 15 (June): 2 new peak trips in both directions.

Route 16: 3 new afternoon peak trips in June. Weekday and weekend evenings and Sunday daytime to 20 minutes in September.

Route 17 (June): 1 new afternoon peak trip.

Route 18 (June): 1 new morning peak trip.

Route 19 (June): Restored, with 5 morning and 6 afternoon trips.

Route 24 (June): 1 new afternoon peak trip.  Weekday evenings to 30 minutes.

Route 25 (September): Peak frequency to 30 minutes.

Route 27 (June): Weekday midday and evening service restored at 30-minute frequency.

Route 28 (June): 1 new morning peak trip.

Route 30 (September): 2 additional hours of span extending toward the midday.  This should result in morning service until about 10:00 and afternoon service starting around 2:00.

Routes 31/32 (September): Weekday nights to 30 minutes.

Route 33 (September): 2 new peak trips in both directions.  Weekday evenings and weekend daytime to 30 minutes.

Route 40: An unspecified number of new peak trips in June.  Weekday and Saturday evenings to 15 minutes in June.  Sunday daytime to 15 minutes in September.

Route 41: 1 new peak trip in both directions in June. Weekday evenings to 15 minutes and weekday nights to 30 minutes in June.  Sunday daytime to 15 minutes in September.

Route 43 (September): Saturday daytime to 15 minutes.

Route 44: Weekday middays to 12 minutes in June.  Peak frequency to 10 minutes and Saturday daytime to 12 minutes in September.

Route 47 (June): Restored, with 30-minute peak and 45-minute midday frequency, weekdays only.

Route 48: 1 new peak trip in both directions in June.  Sunday daytime and Saturday evenings to 15 minutes in September.

Route 49 (September): Weekday nights to 15 minutes.

Route 55 (June): 4 new peak trips in both directions.

Route 60 (June): Weekday evenings to 30 minutes.

Routes 66/67 (September): Saturday daytime to 15 minutes (presumably by operating Route 67 on Saturday).  Weekday night service on Route 66 to 30 minutes.

Route 68 (September): Saturday 30-minute daytime service over a longer span.  New Sunday daytime 30-minute service.

Route 70 (September): 1 new morning peak trip.  New 15-minute service Sundays, evenings, and nights (in conjunction with all 71/72/73 trips being converted to express trips).

Route 71: 1 new afternoon peak trip in June.  All local trips converted to express in September.

Route 72: 1 new afternoon peak trip in June. All nights and Sundays to 30 minutes in September.  All local trips converted to express in September.

Route 73 (September): All nights and Sundays to 30 minutes.  All local trips converted to express.

Route 74 (June): 1 new morning peak trip.

Route 120 (June): 3 new morning peak trips originating at White Center.

Route 125 (June): Weekend daytime to 30 minutes, including restored Sunday service.

Full Weekday Service: The City of Seattle will pay for Metro not to implement “Reduced Weekday” schedules on Seattle routes.  The “Reduced Weekday” schedule is typically operated on inconsistently observed holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Veterans Day.  It cancels selected trips on high-ridership routes, and has typically resulted in large schedule gaps, overcrowded trips, and lots of inconvenienced riders.




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the guy that stole my UPS package at my house

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: A North Tacoma homeowner turned to Facebook to ask for help. Share her video and help catch this package thief.

Beth Winkler

Here is the guy that stole my UPS package at my house.

We live in North Tacoma, does anyone recognize him?



IKEA recalls crib mattresses



Customers leave an Ikea AB store in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi province, South Korea, on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. Ikea, the world’s largest home-furnishings retailer, opened its first store in South Korea. Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

IKEA is recalling about 169,000 infant mattresses, according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission.

The agency says the Swedish furniture retailer has received two reports of infants becoming trapped between the mattress and the crib. No injuries were reported.


A gap between the mattress and crib ends larger

than two finger width is an indication of the defective mattress.


Transportation Choices Coalition


Transportation Choices Coalition

Kicking off the 2015 Legislative session with a blog post from the front lines…/2015-legislative-session (spoiler alert: the crystal ball hasn’t gotten any clearer over the last month).


And so it begins. The 2015 Legislative Session.

Posted by Andrew Austin at Jan 13, 2015 12:15 PM | Permalink

Will #WALEG get moving?

Yesterday was the official first day of the 2015 legislative session. What does the future for transportation in legislature hold?

Here’s what we’ll be working on.

Last month, we tried to look into the crystal ball to predict how this legislative session would unfold. Not much has changed since December except more details and discussions potential if funding proposals have emerged. Education and the non-transportation operating budget will still likely be the major focus of debate but the momentum for a transportation funding package has been picking up some steam.

The Governor proposed a transportation funding package that is directly connected to to his carbon cap and trade legislation. The package contains a lots of great stuff including local options for Sound Transit and Community Transit and an increase in active transportation and transit grants.

But we do have concerns.

54% of the package goes towards new roads and more importantly the package assumes that funding for desperately needed maintenance will come from carbon revenues freeing up gas tax dollars (that would have been used for maintenance) to build new roads!

We’re pretty clear about how we think carbon revenue should be spent on transportation. It’s simple  – let’s use carbon dollars to invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions in the long-term. Spending carbon revenue to build new roads sets us back on on efforts to reduce congestion and foster good land use.

The Senate Republicans are also turning up the noise around a transportation package. Curtis King is the Senate Transportation Chair and called for a transportation funding package in the Seattle Times opinion pages. Meanwhile moderates like Senator Andy Hill and Joe Fain are crisscrossing the Puget Sound saying a gas tax transportation proposal is on the way. If the Senate Republicans put out a plan (in writing) and whether they have the political will to muster votes for it remains to be seen.

At the same time, House Democrats are standing firm.They passed a transportation package last session only to watch as the Senate take no action. We are willing to bet that this time around, they will wait for action from the Senate before they vote on a package again.

In the meanwhile our top priority headed to Olympia is securing taxing authority for Sound Transit 3. Giving the Puget Sound region the option to raise their own revenue to fund a much needed transit expansion should be a slam dunk, but sadly it is not. And that is where your help and voice are needed in this upcoming session.

Check out our legislative agenda, sign up for our email alerts, and join us as we head to Olympia to fight for more transit.

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What Does Living ‘Close’ to Transit Really Mean?

New studies suggest proximity to transit is quite flexible and could extend to a mile out.

Eric Jaffe  @e_jaffe


Transit Nerds / Flickr

The question of how far people will walk to reach a transit stop has a pretty significant impact on the shape of cities. American urban planners conventionally draw that line at about a half-mile. Some guidelines pull it back to a quarter-mile, while others adjust the distance for bus stops (typically a quarter-mile) and train stations (typically a half-mile), but the consensus holds that no one makes it farther than half a mile that on foot.

The impact of this thinking can be seen clearly in the planning rules a city creates for its transit-oriented development. Take two recent examples: Denver just started a fund to help finance properties built within a half-mile of light rail and a quarter-mile of good bus stops, and the town of Mamaroneck in metro New York just zoned for TOD within a quarter-mile of its commuter rail station. Even as such guidelines encourage urban growth, they also establish a hard edge for it.


New research, set to be presented Monday at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, suggests that some cities indeed might be selling their TOD footprint short.


New research, set to be presented Monday at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, suggests that some cities indeed might be selling their TOD footprint short. A study group led by planning scholar Arthur Nelson of the University of Arizona analyzed the impact that proximity to a light rail station had on office rents in metropolitan Dallas. They found that a quarter of the rent premium (“not a trivial amount,” they submit) extended nearly a mile away from transit.

“I recommend this [a mile] as the TOD planning area for office and related land uses,” Nelson tells CityLab.

As expected, Nelson and company found that rent premiums decreased farther away from a DART station. A quarter of the premium disappeared after a quarter-mile, half disappeared at about .56 miles, and 75 percent had disappeared by .93 miles (below). But that means a quarter of the rent premium extended almost a full mile away from transit—and the researchers detected evidence of a premium as far away as 1.85 miles from light rail stations.


The findings echo a similar analysis recently conducted in the Twin Cities. For this study, two University of Minnesota scholars analyzed the values of commercial and industrial properties along the metro area’s 12-mile, 19-station Hiawatha light rail line. In a 2013 paper, they reported a transit-oriented price premium that extended nearly nine-tenths of a mile from the light rail stations:

This suggests that future studies that assess property value effects should go beyond the traditional 1⁄4-mile and 1⁄2-mile buffers while imposing some form of boundary limitations. Such a refinement on the study area of transportation investment can help reconcile the differences in the size of impact area of transit voiced by various stakeholders, especially in applications for federal and state funding such as TIGER or in developing financing instruments such as TIF.

What both these studies point to is that “proximity” to transit is a rather flexible setting that’s by no means limited to a quarter- or half-mile in all cases. Of course, most people prefer to walk as little as possible to reach a transit stop or station. But not all urban street networks are created equal (walking a half-mile in Manhattan doesn’t feel the same as walking that far in, say, pedestrian-unfriendly Orlando) and not all riders have the same options. The recent findings at least raise the possibility that cities could increase both ridership and market opportunities by extending TOD planning at least a mile from a station.

And the impact of transit proximity bears on more than planning zones. Acceptable walking distance can inform value capture arrangements that help cities recoup real estate premiums generated by transit access. It can also influence the frequency of a transit system itself: if you assume people will walk farther to bus stops, for instance, you can set these stops farther apart, thereby reducing operating costs using the extra money on more buses.

So it’s tricky to determine just how far people will walk for good transit. But doing so is hardly trivial.




Shoreline schools lift lockdown; no sign of armed man

The Shoreline School District said it’s not yet known if students will have to make up the day after the district closed schools after a report of a man with a gun. Police were unable to locate a suspect.

By Christine Clarridge
Seattle Times staff reporter


Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

Shoreline police cars are parked outside Meridian Park Elementary. All Shoreline schools were in lockdown Wednesday after a police alert was issued about a gunman.

A districtwide lockdown of Shoreline schools sparked by an employee’s report of an armed man making a threatening comment was lifted without incident by midday Wednesday. Police later said they did not locate a suspect.

The shutdown was initiated after a staff member, who was making a delivery in the school’s bus-turnaround area, reported a disturbing interaction with a man, said King County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. DB Gates. The employee said the man was wearing camouflage pants and carrying “some type of long gun,” according to Gates.

School will resume on Thursday with extra security, according to the Shoreline School District.

District spokesman Craig Degginger said the decision to close all of the district’s schools, rather than just Meridian Park Elementary where the man was spotted, was made with input from law enforcement.

“The situation was pretty fluid,” Degginger said. “We were looking for an armed suspect, and our schools are pretty close to each other. The decision was made to go ahead and close the schools, as we did not know how long the situation was going to last.”

Degginger said the district does not yet know whether the missed day will have to be made up at a future date.

“We will have to consult with the state’s OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) to get some guidance,” he said.

According to Gates, a school-district employee was making a delivery at the elementary school in the 17400 block of Meridian Avenue North around 7:20 a.m. when the employee had what he described as a threatening encounter with the man in camouflage pants.

The unknown male — who was carrying what the employee described to police as a real gun — made a statement “that alluded to him going to all of the schools,” Gates said.

The employee went into the school and immediately called 911, Gates said.

Meridian Park, where only a few children were on site as school had not yet started, was placed in lockdown while deputies with the Sheriff’s Office and other agencies conducted a search of the school grounds and buildings.

Other Shoreline schools were then placed in lockdown as officers and deputies were sent to every school in the district to check for the suspect.

When the district decided to close all of the schools for the day, students were diverted to Shoreline’s Spartan Recreation Center, where parents were later able to retrieve their children, with proper identification.

A K9 unit from the Seattle Police Department attempted to track the unidentified man without success, Gates said.

Anyone with further information is asked to call the King County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 206-296-3311.

Information from Seattle Times reporter John Higgins is included in this report. Christine Clarridge can be reached at or 206-464-8983.




Reader Comments

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It actually wouldn’t be that difficult to walk away from the back of the the school where the bus circle is relatively… (January 7, 2015) MORE

@MikC SHE made it up? Article states HE confronted the gunman. Where is the SHE? (January 8, 2015) MORE

@billwald ” carry long guns in public” especially in front of schools. Do you really think it’s a good idea to carry… (January 8, 2015) MORE

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2015 Service Expansion & Fare Increase Proposal


2015 Service Proposal Resources

Overview of 2015 Service Expansion & Fare Increase Proposal
Proposed Sunday Service
Proposed Route Modifications
Email Your Official Comment
Public Meeting Locations
Title VI Analysis: Service Proposal
Title VI Analysis: Fare Increase
Letter to DART Customers

Thanks to a recovering economy, Community Transit will expand service in June 2015!

The agency’s proposal adds:

  • 27,000 hours of service, with 18,000 hours dedicated to Sunday/holiday service

  • 9,000 hours for additional weekday and Saturday trips. 

For context, Community Transit cut 160,000 hours of service during the recession; this expansion represents about 17 percent of the service previously cut.

Since Community Transit suspended Sunday/holiday service in June 2010, there have been constant requests for a return to 7-day service.

This proposal also:

  • Provides a basic service plan designed to help many people who need to travel on Sundays/holidays, including DART Para transit customers.

  • Preserves capacity to make needed weekday and Saturday improvements, including the addition of many off-peak trips.
  • Offers several route modifications to bring service to new job centers and high density areas.

Public Hearing

The Community Transit Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on both the service expansion and fare increase proposals on Thursday, January 8, 2015.

The public hearing will take place at 3 p.m. in the Community Transit Board Room, 7100 Hardeson Road, Everett (accessible by Everett Transit Route 8).
All members of the public are welcome to attend and speak.
Interpretive services can be arranged with sufficient notice by calling (425) 348-7136.

To request accommodations for persons with disabilities or for information in alternative formats, call 1-800-562-1375/TTY Relay: Dial 711.

Service Proposal Details

Please note that because the items listed below are proposals, final schedules will not be created until after a service plan is approved by the Board of Directors.
The Board is expected to take action on this proposal in February 2015, after the public comment period.


Sunday/Holiday Service Proposal  (click for details) Route Modification Proposals

 (click for details)


Weekday Service Improvements

Select local routes within Snohomish County would get additional trips to improve frequency and span of service (Routes 105, 112, 113, 115, 116, 119, 120 and 196).

Select commuter routes would get additional trips in the morning and afternoon peak (Routes 412, 413 and 860).

  Saturday Service Improvements

Select local routes would get additional trips to improve span of service (Routes 105, 113, 115, 116, 130, 201, 202, 222, 271 and 280).

Fare Increase Proposal

To help keep revenues in line with expenses, Community Transit is proposing a fare increase that would go into effect on July 1, 2015. The proposed fare increase would raise fares 25 cents on all adult local and commuter bus trips, as well as all DART Para transit trips. No other fares are affected.