Sound Transit seeks input on 2019 proposed service changes

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Service Implementation Plan proposes express bus changes in response to construction closures and increasing congestion

Sound Transit is proposing changes to its ST Express bus service that will increase the agency’s ability to operate service reliably when construction projects close some transit facilities to buses in 2019 and help to optimize service in the face of increasing regional congestion. Service changes will take effect in two phases, one in March 2019 and the second in September 2019.

Sound Transit released the proposed March 2019 changes today as part of the annual Service Implementation Plan (SIP). Sound Transit continually monitors performance and identifies routes or trips that do not meet standards or that need additional investment, ensuring that resources are being used efficiently. Sound Transit analyzes all routes in its annual SIP. The SIP proposes service changes for the following year, and provides forecasts of future service, fleet needs and available funds.

The conversion of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) to rail-only operations and the closure of the Montlake Freeway station for construction of WSDOT’s “Rest of the West” Project are two construction projects driving many of the following proposed changes for March 2019. Other changes aim to improve regional transit integration and use resources more efficiently: 

  • Route 550 will move to surface streets in downtown Seattle because of the shift to rail-only operations in the DSTT. Rail-only operations in the tunnel will increase Link light rail reliability.
  • Routes 545 and 555 will bypass Montlake Boulevard when the Montlake Freeway Station closes.
  •  Route 542 will continue to serve stops on Montlake Boulevard, and will continue to connect to routes 545 and 555 on SR 520. This route will have expanded evening and weekend service through September 2019, as part of a tri-party agreement between Sound Transit, WSDOT and Metro.
  • Route 513 will extend to the new Seaway Transit Center in Everett, and will no longer serve the stop at Evergreen Way and 79th Place Southeast.
  • Route 580 will have fewer trips; low-ridership trips will be discontinued and others will run only between Puyallup Station and the South Hill park-and-ride. Resources will be reinvested to improve service in Pierce County.
  • Route 555 will operate only between Northgate and Bellevue, and will no longer serve the low-ridership segment between Bellevue, Eastgate and Issaquah. Resources will be reinvested into improving reliability on Route 554.

September 2019 proposed changes will be released through a separate process early next year.

The proposal is available at www.soundtransit.org/sip. The public is invited to comment on the new service online, in person or email through Nov. 15.  

Comment on the proposed service changes:
Email or phone
Comment by phone at 1-866-940-4387 or email servicechanges@soundtransit.org
      
Public Hearing
Thursday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m.
Union Station – Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104

Open House                                  
Thursday, Nov. 8, 5 – 7 p.m.                                                         
Union Station—Ruth Fisher Boardroom                           
401 S. Jackson St.                                                       
Seattle, WA 98104