Metro Bus Changes Coming?

MetroMetro made an announcement yesterday with details of the cuts they will be making to their bus service if they do not get additional funding.  This reduction in service is not a big surprise to many since Metro has been warning about this funding shortfall for at least a year and a half when it came up when Madrona fought to keep the #2 route from changing.

According to Metro neighborhood website Madrona has 5 bus routes: #2, #3, #27, #84, #988, but this does not includes many listed under the Central District including the #8 that runs along the edge of Madrona on MLK Jr Way.  In the latest release, Metro has proposed to delete 74 routes and reduce or revise 107 routes.   Under the category of routes to be deleted, Metro has listed #27 and #84.  Under the category of reduced or revised routes, Metro has listed #2, #3, and #8.

If you are concerned, there are several public outreach meetings already scheduled including the closest meeting in Downtown Seattle: Tuesday, Dec. 10, noon- 2 p.m., Union Station.  In addition, Metro has contacted the Madrona Community Council to set up a meeting in Madrona, but the meeting has not been confirmed.  There is talk it would be during the normal Madrona Community Council meeting which would be December 3rd at 7:15 PM at the Madrona Shelterhouse.  Check back to this blog for confirmation of this meeting.  In the mean time, you can contact Metro by emailing Bus2Riders@gmail.com to be added to the contact list or call Shoshana at 940-8870.

Metro Bus Stop Across From Madrona School to Stay

Metro BusIf you have been following our Madrona blog the last couple weeks you read about Metro planning to remove the bus stop across from Madrona K-8 School.  Well, thanks to Madrona residents’ comments the Metro bus stop has been saved.  Here is an open letter from Metro:

Thank you for your comments concerning the bus stop and shelter located westbound at East Union Street & 33rd Avenue.  The bus stop will remain open based on information from transit users: parents wait for the Rt 2 at this stop after escorting their children to school; students can be easily monitored after school while they wait for the bus; and it is conveniently located to the library and low income housing.

Metro does not have plans or proposals for major changes on the Route 2 corridor at this time; if proposals are developed then you will have an opportunity to participate in a public process that will include community meetings and other venues for commenting.

Thank you again for your interest and comments.  Please feel free to contact me if you have other questions about bus stops in your neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Mary Bemowski

King County Metro Department of Transportation

Service Development/Transit Route Facilities

Central East District Planner

Update on Madrona Bus Stop

Metro BusI have been doing quite a few blogs here about the proposed removal of the Metro bus stop across from Madrona School, so forgive me if this is not a major concern of yours, but below is the latest update.  It is an email from Metro/King County.

Bus2 Riders in Madrona:

King County Metro recently posted a notice about removing the Route 2 bus shelter and stop on the north side of Union (between 32nd and 33rd). The comment period during which the community can weigh in on the bus stop removal ends on February 15 with comments or feedback directed to Metro’s phone number (206.553.3000) or email (customer.comments@kingcounty.gov). Metro has said that it will collect and review all comments and make a decision by the end of February, notifying the community by email. This stop, located across from Madrona School, in particular serves a need for students and staff with easy access to the school and library. This stop is being considered for removal at this time because the shelter was scheduled for renovation and Metro indicated it might use the opportuntiy to eliminate the stop.

While discussing the proposed bus stop removal, Metro notified the Madrona Community Council that Route 2 had previously been identified as a candidate for Metro’s Bus Stop Spacing Program and that it will be a part of a Stop Spacing Project later this year. Metro has said that when the project is initiated, the Madrona Community Council will be informed of the proposed plan and will, at that time, have an opportunity to provide feedback and comment. (For more info about past Stop Spacing projects: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/bus.html)

**Please let Metro know (206.553.3000) or email (customer.comments@kingcounty.gov) before February 15 that any decision on the proposed removal of the stop on the north side of Union (between 32nd and 33rd) should not be made until a more thorough study of all the bus stops during the Stop Spacing Project later this year and that the community should be involved from the beginning in formulating the plan not just in reviewing a proposal.

We are likely to face loosing bus stops along Route 2 later this year when the Stop Spacing project is proposed by Metro, so if you have thoughts about other bus stops along Route 2 or want to help during the Stop Spacing Project please send Bus2Riders@gmail.com an email at this time so we can add you to our contact list. We’ll share it with the Madrona Community Council and keep you informed as we learn more.

Thank you,

Bus2Riders

Update on Madrona Metro Bus Stop

Metro BusIf you have an opinion on the Madrona Metro Bus Stop across from Madrona School, you now have more time.  Metro has postponed any decisions until February 15th.  This is the information coming from King County who runs Metro:

I just spoke with the transportation planner in Metro’s route facilities group who is assigned to this project. She just let me know that the work is postponed for now. A new rider alert will go up today that allows for public comment on the decision-making until Feb. 15. The decision would be to either move forward removing the stop and shelter, keep the stop but remove the shelter, or keep the stop and refurbish the shelter. Apparently there have been many complaints from neighbors over the years about illegal and noisy activity going on in the shelter at the stop, including requests for the stop to be moved. For now, you have at least until the 15th to get your comments in about what you would like to see happen with the stop. You can direct comments to Metro’s customer service at 553-3000 or customer.comments@kingcounty.gov.

Metro to Remove Bus Stop by Madrona School Unless You Speak Up

Metro BusThe Metro #2 bus shelter/stop across from Madrona k-8 on the north side of Union between 32nd and 33rd is slated for removal. The shelter will be removed this Sunday, and the stop will be removed altogether in February. If you’re familiar with the route, you likely already know that it is used a lot by Madrona residents and local students. To my knowledge, the only notice the community and school have received about the closure is the rider alert that was posted on the bus shelter walls earlier this week.

Madrona School’s Principal Thaxton, staff and students use this bus stop; therefore the school obviously does not support its removal. This bus stop is protected from the weather, is directly adjacent to the crosswalk (where a crossing guard is posted and helps students/neighbors cross safely), is within sight of the school (safety for our kids/other riders) and is on flat ground.

A member of the Madrona Community Council has already called KC Metro and filed a comment/complaint–the reason behind the removal is “to improve the speed and reliability of the route.”  I am not sure where the best place to submit your complaint, but here is a link to a comment section on Metro Bus Shelters or you can find Metro’s phone number and other contact information here.

Metro Bus Riders Have Big Changes But #2 Spared

Metro BusI have written several blogs on the proposed changes to the #2 Metro Route between Queen Anne and Madrona, but it always good to see the Seattle Times confirm that the #2 Route has been spared any major changes.  Read the article if you want to find out about the changes to Metro bus routes, and if you do, take special note of the last several paragraphs.  While the #2 Metro Route is still intact from Madrona to Queen Anne, as the Seattle Times suggests, there is always danger for future changes:

A more visible case was Route 2, an electric trolley bus from Queen Anne Hill to First Hill. Metro wanted to break it into two lines — and shift a section one block from Seneca to Madison Street — to create a frequent super-corridor where the 2 and Route 12 constantly run along Madison. But the change would have forced Queen Anne users to switch buses on Third Avenue.

“Every time a senior has to get on a bus, get off a bus, it’s dangerous for them, especially in inclement weather,” said Uptown resident Jane Couchman, 75, who rides the 2 to medical appointments.

Last week, she thanked Metro leaders for keeping the line intact, at least for now.

Update: #2 Seattle Metro Bus

King CountyThis is the follow up of my blog on the #2 Bus Route that serves the Madrona neighborhood. An email was sent from a representative from King County Metro Transit saying that the #2 route is safe – for now.  For those who are paranoid (like me), I would continue to take these steps to protect the Metro route, but otherwise this is what the latest news is:

Thank you for taking the time to participate in our outreach process for the September 2012 service change – your input has been very valuable.
We undertake our outreach efforts to develop a better understanding of how the community uses our services, so that the changes we propose balance the needs of riders of a particular route with the needs of current and future riders of our entire system.
The proposals Metro presented for feedback were designed to improve the efficiency of our service to serve more people to more places. Talking with you and others helps us understand how existing service is an important part of your lives and neighborhoods. When proposals include long established high ridership routes within a diverse and multifaceted setting, public outreach helps Metro weigh technical considerations with human factors.
We have received valuable feedback. We’ve heard that there are factors that deserve further review, analysis and understanding. As a result, Metro has decided to postpone the route 2, 4 and 27 proposals. Issues were raised of coverage and traffic congestion on Madison Street, and more information about the unique travel needs of those that live and work in the area is needed. For now, we are not proposing to change existing routing of this set of routes. Instead, we are proposing to just make small adjustments to the frequency and running hours of routes 4 and 27 consistent with demand.
You can expect to see updated web content and materials detailing a recommended proposal in mid-March. You can send us comments by email at haveasay@kingcounty.gov, or phone our message line at 206-263-9768.
Sincerely,

Victor Obeso
Manager, Service Development
King County Metro Transit

 

Breaking News: #2 Metro Bus Route Seems to be Saved

Metro BusAs I wrote in previous blogs, the #2 Seattle Metro Bus was endangered of no longer serving from Madrona through Downtown to Queen Anne, but only from Madrona to the Ferry Dock in the near future.

This afternoon there was a meeting at Seattle’s Tate Mason Apartment Building with Metro representatives present.  At the meeting it was announced that Metro management has decided to take the proposed changes to the #2 bus route off the recommendation for system wide restructuring.  The change was made as a result of several Seattle neighborhoods saying the same thing.  It was the breadth of the feedback, not just the numbers, of everyone saying the same thing that caused their decision.

While it is a time of celebration, I am always cautious to get too excited too early.  The final decision will be made by the King County Council on March 1st with the Seattle City Council having input since they control the streets that the Metro buses drive on in the city.  To be safe, I would continue to do the steps recommended in my early blog about saving bus route #2.

Even if we get past this, Metro has financial issues that they are dealing with.  While those issues are about 2 years away, the Madrona Neighborhood might be revisiting the same issues in the not too distant future.

Save Madrona’s Metro Bus Route

Metro BusSeveral representatives from Metro came to the Madrona Community Council Meeting this past Tuesday and met a packed Madrona Shelterhouse filled with unhappy neighborhood residents.  Madrona residents wanted to have a say on the new proposed route for the #2 Metro Bus and most of the 80 plus people made it clear that they did not like the suggested changes.

If you also want to have a say on the proposed Metro #2 bus route restructuring, several recommendations were made at the meeting on steps you should take to make your opinion known:

  1. Take the Metro Survey.  The survey has changed, so it is important to take this survey whether or not you have already participated in the earlier survey.
  2. Contact your King County Councilmember since Metro is controlled by the county.  Madrona’s King County Councilmember is Larry Gossett.
  3. Contact the Seattle Mayor and Seattle City Council since they control the streets that Metro uses.
  4. Attend a Metro presentation.  Maybe the closest meeting location to Madrona is at the Washington Middle School on February 27th from 6-8 PM, but there is also several other meetings in February.
  5. Share this information with your fellow Madrona neighbors and encourage them to take action as well.

Take what actions you can – I would say step #1, #2, and #5 are the easiest and could be the most important.  Whatever steps you take will help, although it may be an uphill battle to save the #2 route from Madrona through Downtown to Queen Anne.