The day when many had to get up to speed on new schedules and procedures went OK, with some bumps.

Some buses moved fairly well on downtown streets while others crawled through the Seattle transit tunnel during Monday’s evening commute, the first since King County Metro Transit changed 79 routes used by 120,000 daily passengers, and began requiring riders to pay when they board downtown. Light-rail trains in the tunnel were delayed up to nine minutes by buses as commuters learned the ropes; at least one driver waved riders in without paying, to save time.

Some buses were so packed they didn’t stop for waiting riders. After hearing complaints of RapidRide crowding, Metro said it might add a few buses if the problem continues.

Downtown’s free circulator bus, to help indigent people reach medical and social services, isn’t well-known yet, and at times carried only two or three people per trip. Metro’s route changes are meant to boost fare income and focus service on the busiest corridors.

Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times transportation reporter

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