Some relief is on the way for riders on the packed Route 120 bus serving Delridge and White Center, as well as the growing Route 55 serving West Seattle between the Admiral and Alaska junctions.
King County Metro Transit announced Tuesday that starting Oct. 29, it will add two morning trips inbound and two afternoon trips outbound for each route — a total of eight trips between West Seattle and downtown. The added buses should also reduce pressure on the new RapidRide C, which overlaps with the 55.
Metro has counted 90 to 100 riders on the busiest 120 and C Line trips, a “crush load,” said Victor Obeso, manager of service development. Some buses have skipped riders at the stop. Metro reorganized its system Sept. 29, so outlying routes were dropped or reduced to peak-only — currently, the last morning 55 passes Alaska Junction around 8:10 a.m. One of the new 55 trips will be just before 9 a.m., Obeso said.
Route 120 is one of Metro’s top performing lines by ridership. New bus lanes, signal timing, and stops are being installed on Delridge Way Southwest over the next year in an attempt to improve travel speed. Earlier this month, Metro added two morning bus trips to the C Line, which continue as D Line serving Ballard.
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Besides the reshuffling effects, West Seattle has seen an absolute gain of about one-fourth in transit use compared to early 2011, and October is traditionally the busiest month.