Bus service in north Seattle, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore will adjust this fall to align with the opening of three new light rail stations, under changes the Metropolitan King County Council approved Tuesday.
King County Metro’s service updates will eliminate some routes between Northgate and downtown Seattle, truncate routes along Lake City Way to terminate at the new Northgate light rail station, and revise routes to major destinations like Seattle Children’s hospital, South Lake Union and First Hill.
Metro’s General Manager Terry White called the updates “one of the largest service changes metro has done to date.”
The changes will begin Oct. 2, to coincide with the opening of Sound Transit’s Northgate, Roosevelt and U District light-rail stations.
In addition, Community Transit in Snohomish County will update its service on Oct. 3, said spokesperson Martin Munguia.
The Sound Transit 512 bus route, operated by Community Transit, will end at the Northgate station on Oct. 2. Its 800-series bus routes will also end at the Northgate station Oct. 4.
Of the Metro routes that carry riders mostly between the north end and downtown Seattle, two will be eliminated because light rail will provide alternative transit options. Twenty two routes will see trips added or cut during certain parts of the day, or bus stops moved. Six new routes will be created to fill gaps, and 11 routes will replace existing service.
In the Wedgwood, Ravenna, Bryant and Sand Point neighborhoods, routes 71, 74 and 76 will be eliminated. Along with a revised Route 75, a new Route 79 will provide a connection between Sand Point and the University District. Connections to Downtown Seattle can be made via the Roosevelt and U District light rail stations. Additional trips will be added for routes 62 and 64.
Councilmember Rod Dembowski was the only member to vote against the changes.
With the infusion of federal money into Metro’s budget to keep the agency afloat in the short term, Dembowski said he would prefer to be more “nimble” in service reductions and said the changes would eliminate bus lines, like Route 76, unnecessarily.
While Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles voted to approve the changes, she voiced concerns about the crosstown connections between Northeast and Northwest Seattle.
Route 5X will be replaced by a new Route 16X that will connect Broadview, Greenwood and Phinney Ridge to Belltown and downtown Seattle.
Routes 26, 41 and 78 will be eliminated, but a new Route 20 will provide service connecting Lake City, Northgate, Green Lake, Wallingford and University District. Routes 31 and 32 will be revised to connect to the U District station.
“This service revision ensures equitable access for patients, their families, volunteers and employees who come to Seattle Children’s from all over the county,” said Jamie Cheney, director of transportation for Seattle Children’s, in support of the updates.
Routes 63, 308, 309 and 312 will be removed and resources instead be poured into new Routes 320 along Lake City Way into downtown Seattle, and 322, which will provide service from Kenmore into First Hill.
Route 355 will be eliminated to reduce duplication from light rail at Northgate. Routes 304, 345 and 40 will connect to the Northgate station, while Route 45 will connect to the Roosevelt station.
Katy Ricchiuto, the urban vitality manager for the U District Partnership, which advocates for businesses in the area, said she believes the transit changes will bring “positive and affordable” transportation options to the U District.
You can visit King County’s website to see the full service changes.