Courtesy of King County Metro

Ballard bus lines to change as early as June

Metro proposes list for bus route changes

With the failure of Proposition 1, a measure for a sales tax and car tab increase, King County Metro has come up with a list of bus routes to be cut back or eliminated in order to close the funding gap.

The King County Council will review the list in May, and if they adopted the plan, phased changes will start as early as June.

Services all over the County will be cut back 16 percent, and Metro reported that bus service will drop to levels not seen since 1997. 72 routes will be eliminated and 84 routes will be reduced, which means a loss of 11 million rides, and 550,000 service hours each year.

With a third of bus routes proposed to be cut, Metro aims to increase efficiency by not overlapping routes and snipping the routes or sections of routes that are least used.

In Ballard, bus routes 61, 62, 28 and 48x will be eliminated entirely, and routes D, 28x, 29, and 40 will be reduced or revised.

So why eliminate 28, 48X, 61 and 62?

Metro said Route 28 was restructured to work better in the proposed route network. But with the changes, riders have options. Riders north of Fremont can use revised routes 28 Express or 40 . South of Fremont riders can use revised routes 16 or 40.

Metro reported that routes 61 and 62 are some of the lowest performing peak-only routes in Metro’s system. Options for riders? Route 61 riders north of Northwest Market Street and west of 24th Avenue Northwest can use routes 17 Express or 18 Express or revised Route 40. Route 62 riders can use revised Route 40 or the D Line and connect with revised Route 32.

Routes 17x and 18x, which carries riders through Downtown, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Ballard, Sunset Hill, Loyal Heights, Crown Hill and Green Wood were originally planned to be changed, but Metro is no longer recommending changes to the route.

In addition, route 44, which brings riders from Ballard through Wallingford to the University District, will not be changed. Rapid Ride route D will also stay the same.

Of all the routes being changed, 28x has the most dramatic service reformation, and is slated for June. The route currently carries riders from as far north as North Beach using Eighth Avenue Northwest through Fremont and Queen Anne to the Downtown Central Business District. Metro plans to combine service on Routes 28 Express and 28 Local in order to make the network more efficient. In addition, the Express routing north of 103rd Street will be eliminated in order to reduce duplication with Routes 5 and 355EX. Metro will also shift Express routing from Northwest Market Street/North 46th Street to North 39th Street because Route 28 would no longer serve the area.

Route 29, which serves Ballard to Seattle Central Business, is slated to be changed in February 2015. Metro plans to eliminate the section of the route north of Seventh Avenue West and West Raye Street because of lower ridership in that area. In addition, Metro will reduce three morning and three afternoon trips, and peak trips will drop from 12 to nine.

Changes to bus route 40, which carries riders from Northgate to Seattle Central Business District, are set to begin in June. The route has a minor change, dropping hours on Saturday from 30 to 20 trips.

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