Sound Transit to add trips on high-demand routes, discontinue service on low-ridership routes

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June 9 service changes shift more ST Express bus hours to routes with growing ridership and a new weekday connector route between Bonney Lake and Sumner

New service changes for Sound Transit's express bus service will add more trips to routes experiencing strong ridership growth, discontinue route segments and trips on low ridership routes, and adjust some schedules to provide improved connections to King County Metro's Rapid Ride service beginning Saturday, June 9.

The service changes taking effect this weekend reflect Sound Transit's continued work to address overcrowding on high-demand routes since tolling began on the SR 520 bridge. Service changes will also achieve schedule efficiencies by eliminating low ridership and duplicate route segments that are served by other transit agencies.

For example, since service additions earlier this year, three new trips will be added to ST Express Route 550 serving Bellevue, one new trip to ST Express Route 577 serving Federal Way, and two new trips to ST Express Route 578 serving Puyallup. Sunday service will also be added to Route 578, providing seven-day-a-week ST Express service to Puyallup for the first time. However, a Route 578 segment between Puyallup Station and Tacoma that duplicates Pierce Transit Route 400, and three southbound trips, will be eliminated as a result of low ridership.

The agency also will begin operating a new connector service, ST Express Route 596, between the Bonney Lake Park and Ride facility and the Sounder Station in Sumner on Monday to replace Pierce Transit Route 496, which is being eliminated Friday. ST Express Route 596 will operate on the same schedule as PT Route 496, and is expected to serve nearly 300 boardings each weekday.

Other revisions include changing boarding and drop-off bays at the Redmond Transit Center and Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel for ST Express Routes 542 and 550, respectively, and making minor schedule adjustments on ST Express Routes 550 and 560 to facilitate better connections with King County Metro's Rapid Ride B Line service.

Highlights of ST Express service changes effective June 9, 2012 include:

ST Express Route

Service Change

Route 542
Redmond-University District

To improve efficiency at the Redmond Transit Center, westbound buses will pick up at Bay 5 in the transit center instead of Bay 6.  In addition, arriving buses will take a faster routing to the transit center and drop off in Bay 1.

Route 550
Bellevue-Seattle

Add two eastbound trips and one westbound trip; reschedule nighttime service for better connections with Rapid Ride B line; drop off at Bay A rather than Bay B in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

Route 554
Issaquah-Seattle

Minor eastbound schedule adjustments on weekends.

Route 560
West Seattle-Bellevue

Schedule adjustments for better evening connections between eastbound Route 560 and Rapid Ride B line.

Route 566
Auburn-Overlake

Minor schedule adjustments.

Route 577
Federal Way-Seattle

Add one northbound trip; minor schedule adjustments on existing trips.

Route 578
Puyallup/Tacoma-Seattle

Add Sunday service; add a northbound and southbound weekday evening trip; discontinue route segment between Puyallup Station and Tacoma, and three southbound trips.

Route 596
Bonney Lake-Sumner

Add new ST Express service to provide connection between Bonney Lake Park-and-Ride and Sumner Sounder Station that will be lost when Pierce Transit eliminates its Route 496 effective June 8.

 

There are no changes to Sounder, Central Link and Tacoma link service.

All service changes are effective June 9.

Highlights of these and other service changes can be found at: ridernews. A PDF of the new Transit Guide is available at: transitguide