Metro & Sound Transit to conduct transit tunnel travel-time test next Tuesday between 4-6 p.m.
All bus riders asked to board at front door during two-hour test; light rail not affected
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, King County Metro and Sound Transit will conduct travel-time testing in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) at all stations for two hours between 4-6 pm. And for this next test, the two transit agencies are asking bus riders to help out.
Metro has been doing a series of travel-time tests both on surface streets and in the transit tunnel to determine what operational changes need to be made next fall once all passengers are required to pay fares upon entering the bus. Metro and Sound Transit are involving the bus riders in this latest test.
If you are riding a bus in the tunnel between 4-6 p.m. next Tuesday, please look for signage that directs you to:
1. Exit the bus at the back door;
2. Enter the bus from the front door;
3. Board the southbound ST Express Route 550 at Bay C;
4. Note that Bay D will be moved forward about 30-40 feet at each station to enable faster boarding on the other southbound bus routes;
5. Watch for buses in both directions to drop you off further forward on the platform than normal.
These changes are in effect only during the two-hour test. At other times, riders can board/exit at both doors and the buses will be at their regular stops. Passengers using wheelchairs or needing boarding assistance can enter and exit through the front door at all times, including during the test.
Bus routes that serve the tunnel are: Metro routes 41, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77 Ex, 101, 102, 106, 150, 212, 216, 217, 218, 255, 301, 316, and ST Express 550. Link light rail trains will operate as scheduled in the tunnel, and there are no boarding changes for the trains during the test. There could possibly be brief delays for both buses and trains during the test.
Metro and Sound Transit staff will be at each of the tunnel stations to help with questions and directions. Thanks for your patience and participation during the test.
The new method of pay-on-entry will not begin until next fall. It coincides with the elimination of the Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle. That is being done to generate more farebox revenue to help support Metro services in the face of the severe loss of sales tax revenue.