Jan 31 2018

Metro Bus Service to Shilshole?

Published by at 1:25 pm under Shilshole Neighbors

King County council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles sent a staff member to our neighborhood to gauge interest in Metro Transit service along Seaview Ave., west of the Chittenden Locks. On January 25th, John Fowler met eighteen residents of Sunset West condominium and seven live aboards from Shilshole Bay Marina. He explained that council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles is interested in getting better bus service to our area.

During the discussion, it became apparent that there are several obstacles to getting bus service to our area. When there was a bus stop in the past (~2007 to 2010), ridership was low during a time of budget cuts to Metro Transit. Another hurdle is that “the end of the line” always has low ridership, especially in our neighborhood that is bordered by Puget Sound. Metro uses metrics that prioritizes dense populations, potential ridership numbers and current congestion in the city. Also, although Route # 44 terminates nearby (i.e. the Chittenden Locks), the overhead electric lines do not extend westward on Seaview Ave. to power the electric buses.

Despite those obstacles, the audience pointed out how times have changed. For example, Golden Gardens is the only park in Seattle that isn’t serviced by a Metro bus. Finding a parking space at a bus stop is very difficult. Ridership may be much higher now compared to the past because of the increased population along Seaview Ave. (e.g. 350 live aboard boats, 5+ condominiums, and summer crowds at Golden Gardens).

Staff member John Fowler outlined how his office would like this issue to progress. He will return with a transit planner to discuss the metrics of ridership and the process to create a new bus route. Our neighborhood may be eligible for a “Community Connection” grant to fund a new bus route on a trial basis. Sylvia from Sunset West Condominiums asked for neighborhood volunteers to create a Task Force to generate community support. Sheryl Wytychak from our Live Aboard Association volunteered for the Task Force.

In the meantime, residents over age 55 can contact the Hyde Shuttle which is available by reservation for transportation. The web site is: https://soundgenerations.org/get-help/transportation/hyde-shuttle/

If you have comments on this issue, please share them on this blog. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Task Force, contact Sheryl at swytychak at gmail dot com.

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