Tag Archives: metro

County Council Town Hall meeting in Columbia City tomorrow

As posted earlier, there is a Town Hall Meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council in Southeast Seattle tomorrow, September 30. The topics of the meeting are the impact light rail will have on the regional transit system, and the fiscal challenges facing Metro Transit, which is facing a deficit of $213 million for 2010-2011. Presenters will take questions from the audience and Councilmembers will take public testimony on any issue at the end of the program.

The meeting will be held at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South. The site is only one block north of Columbia City Station. The public is invited to meet with Councilmembers at an informal reception starting at 6:00 p.m. The Town Hall will begin at 6:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet with both officials from Metro Transit and the members of the County Council, including Larry Gossett, the Councilmember who represents the Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley communities on the County Council.

Here’s a video invitation from Bob Ferguson and Larry Gossett with more information about the town hall meeting:

Unfortunately this does conflict with the Neighborhood Plan Update Open House which is scheduled from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, but the site of that open house is just up the street, at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, 3639 Martin Luther King Jr Way South, so it may be possible to stop in at both if you need to.

Could electric trolley buses on Beacon Hill be endangered?

Electric trolley buses such as this one (downtown) have been a common sight on Beacon Avenue for decades. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.
Electric trolley buses such as this one (downtown) have been a common sight on Beacon Avenue for decades. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.
If you live along the northern part of the 36 bus route, you probably know that many of the buses on that route are electric trolley buses. The trolley buses are good neighbors to have around; they are quiet and don’t spew exhaust or contribute to global warming. Currently, Metro is facing a big budget gap, and there have been rumors that this may mean cutting back on electric trolleys or removing them entirely.

In an interview with Seattle Transit Blog, short-term County Executive Kurt Triplett said they have “3 years to make that decision” because the existing trolleys have that much service life remaining. Commenter “serial catowner” posted a skeptical reply:

Having seen some of this stuff go down in my previous life, I can tell you right now you’re in extreme danger of losing the electric trolleys–and getting them back wouldn’t be easy.

The process is disarmingly simple- first, when you ask, they tell you “Nobody’s thinking of that”. And then, suddenly, it’s all “Well, that decision was made long ago, there’s nothing to be done about it now”…

…If they weren’t quietly preparing to jettison the ETBs, Triplett’s answer would have been “No, of course not, we’re not going to lose the only buses we have that can keep running when oil prices go up”.

A follow-up comment from an anonymous “transit voter” struck home:

Serial Catowner has it correct. Just remember the George Benson Waterfront Streetcar Line, how it met its demise. The long knives were out, and they found their mark.

We don’t claim to have any inside knowledge on what Metro’s plans are for the trolleys, and anonymous commenters on a blog are not necessarily reliable, but it seems to us that if you like the electric trolleys that run on Beacon Hill and elsewhere in the city, it would certainly be a very good time to let someone know how you feel. You can email County Exec Triplett at kcexec@kingcounty.gov or use the mailing address and phone number on his website. You can also contact King County Council members Larry Gossett and Dow Constantine, who each serve part of Beacon Hill. Constantine is running for King County Executive, so contacting him with your concerns on this issue may be particularly important.

County Council adopts Metro route changes

The changes to southeast Seattle bus routes that have been discussed for the past several months have now been adopted by the Metropolitan King County Council and will be in effect September 19, 2009.

The changes include: (emphasis mine)

  • Revise routing on ten routes (8, 9 Express, 14, 36, 38, 39, 42, 48, 106, 107).
  • Provide more frequent service on six routes (8, 38, 39 [Sundays], 48, 106, 107).
  • Expand the hours of service on two routes (8, 60).
  • Discontinue routes 32 and 42 Express and provide fewer trips on routes 7 Express, 34 Express, 39, and 42.

Beacon Bits: Farewells, fines, and fowl film

Proposed Metro service revisions released

Metro has released their proposed service revisions. These changes will be discussed at the special joint meeting of the King County Council’s Physical Environment Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee meeting April 28th.

Update: West Seattle Blog and The West Seattle Herald point out something missing: the Route 50 linking Beacon Hill to West Seattle.

Some relevant highlights from the revisions listed:

    Route 39:

  • Revise routing to end at 38th Avenue S and S Myrtle Street, near Othello light rail station.
  • Discontinue service between Seward Park Avenue S/S Myrtle Street and Rainier Avenue S/S Henderson Street.
  • Adjust Monday-Saturday off-peak service frequency to operate every 45 minutes instead of every 30 minutes.
  • Improve Sunday frequency on Route 39 to operate every 45 minutes instead of every 60 minutes.
    Route 36:

  • Revise routing so that all trips end at 38th Avenue S and S Myrtle Street, near Othello light rail station.
  • Replace service between Rainier Beach and Beacon Avenue S/S Myrtle Street with revised Route 106.
  • Discontinue evening and night service to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
  • Improve Saturday service to every 10 minutes between approximately 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Beginning February 2010)
    Route 38:

  • Revise routing to operate between Beacon Hill Station and the Mount Baker bus facility.
  • Discontinue service between Beacon Hill and SODO and in Mount Baker north of McClellan.
  • Operate every 20 minutes instead of every 30 minutes Monday-Saturday between approximately 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Discontinue service on Sundays and on other days before 8:30 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
    Route 60:

  • Improve weekday peak frequency from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes.

Metro wants your comments about service changes

Franklin High School students boarding a Metro bus. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.
Franklin High School students boarding a Metro bus. Photo by Oran Viriyincy.
The latest version of Metro Transit’s proposed service changes (discussed earlier here) will be announced this Friday. You may want to mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 28, when the public will have a chance to comment on the proposed changes at a special joint meeting of two committees of the Metropolitan King County Council: the Council’s Physical Environment Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.

The meeting will be at 6:30 pm in Council chambers on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse, at Third and James Street downtown.

As posted in the Council’s press release on Tuesday:

The council is scheduled to vote within the next six weeks on proposed Metro bus service changes for the southeast Seattle area and southwest King County that could occur next September or February.

Metro is proposing to change bus service once Sound Transit’s Link light rail service begins. The purpose of these changes is to connect neighborhoods to Link stations, avoid duplication of transit services, and make bus service more efficient.

These changes could affect Metro routes: 7, 7 Express, 8, 9 Express, 14, 32, 34 Express, 36, 38, 39, 42, 42 Express, 48, 60, 106, 107, 126, 128, 140, 154, 170, 174, 179, 180, 191, and 194.

Though the official version of the service changes will be posted on Friday, rumor has it the changes will include:

  • 36: will run every 10 minutes on Saturday. Route will operate to Othello station.
  • 38: service 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Mon-Sat with no Sunday service. The route will run between Beacon Hill and Mt. Baker stations only. No SODO service.
  • 39: will continue to operate, but off-peak service (mid-day, nights and weekends) will go to every 45 minutes. Peak service to remain every 30 minutes.
  • 60: Peak directional service (AM Northbound and PM Southbound) will go to every 15 minutes.

The public may comment before the council vote by testifying at the April 28 public hearing. You can also e-mail comments to janice.mansfield@kingcounty.gov, call (206) 296-1683 (TTY Relay 711), or mail a letter to: King County Council Physical Environment Committee, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Room 1200, Seattle, WA 98104.

The April 28 meeting will be carried live on King County TV on Comcast and Broadstripe cable Channel 22.

Drug dealing bus driver busted (updated)

The P-I’s Seattle 911 blog details the arrest this morning of a Metro bus driver caught dealing drugs from his bus by undercover police officers near South Leo Street and Beacon Avenue South, where the route 42 bus runs briefly on Beacon Hill.

More information is available in Seattle 911‘s original report.

Update: The bus driver is also accused of dealing crack out of his South Beacon Hill home. Details here.

Bus route changes raise objections

If you thought the latest batch of bus route changes were a done deal, you might want to think again. The proposed changes include elimination of the 39 (which serves the Veterans Hospital here on the Hill) and removal of part of the 14 route in Mount Baker, both of which are controversial.

Folks in Mount Baker are definitely not happy, and at least one reader of the Rainier Valley Post is campaigning to have the 38 route removed completely, to save the electric loop of the 14.

Another commenter has pointed out that the 38 serves a useful purpose for people who live on the unusually steep east slope of the Hill near McClellan, particularly the elderly and disabled, even if the 38 does follow the same route as the light rail from McClellan up to the Beacon Hill station.

The question is, then, should Metro nuke the 38 in favor of the 14 loop, thus requiring people who need to get from Rainier to the top of the hill to walk to the Mount Baker rail station near Rainier Avenue? Or should Metro stick with the current plan? (If you feel strongly either way, you might want to email your comments to metro-feedback-se@kingcounty.gov or call Metro’s message line at 206-684-1146 now. Comments are due today.)

Metro service change proposals updated

Photo by Bryan Gosline.
Photo by Bryan Gosline.
On January 1 we posted that Metro wants to hear from you about the revised service change proposals for Southeast Seattle. The problem was, at that time the proposals hadn’t yet been published. Well, now they have, and you can find them on Metro’s website.

Here are some of the notable changes:

  • Route 36 will extend all routes to the Othello Link station using new trolley wire that will be installed on South Myrtle Street and South Othello Street; south of Othello, 36 will be replaced by 106.
  • Route 60 will run every 20 minutes during peak periods, and extend weekend trips from Georgetown to White Center starting in 2010.
  • New Route 50 will run from Othello Link Station to West Seattle via the Columbia City Link Station and SODO!
  • Route 38 will run from Mount Baker to the Beacon Hill Link Station, where people will now transfer to light rail to get to SODO.

There are other changes as well, and you can complete an online questionnaire to give Metro your feedback, or visit one of the open houses we listed on January 1.

Two additional open houses have been scheduled as well:

  • Wednesday, February 4, 1:30-3:30 pm, Holly Park Community Church, 4308 South Othello Street (downstairs entrance on east side of building)
  • Wednesday, February 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Holly Park Community Church, 4308 South Othello Street (downstairs entrance on east side of building)

Thanks to Warren Yee for posting this to the mailing list!

Metro wants your feedback on new service changes

Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives.
Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives.
Metro has adjusted the bus service changes they proposed a few months ago, and they’d like to know what you think about the latest version. There will be several community meetings in the Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley area this month:

Unfortunately, Metro’s website doesn’t yet seem to show what the new proposals are. We hope they will rectify that as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you need more information, you can email Sarah Luthens, Metro Community Relations Planner, at sarah.luthens@kingcounty.gov.

Thanks to the Rainier Valley Post for reporting this.