• King County Council approves services changes for March

    By: Graham Johnson


    SEATTLE - The sign outside Sound Transit's light rail station at Husky Stadium makes a game-changing promise for early 2016: An eight-minute ride to downtown.

    Taking advantage of the train means King County Metro buses serving Northeast Seattle that now carry more than 100,000 passengers a day will be rerouted to bring passengers to light rail stations.

    Jack Robinson, who works at University of Washington Medical Center and now takes the 43, a route that will soon operate only at peak hours.

    Robinson estimates he'll have to walk a bit farther downtown to transfer to a bus that takes him home to Puyallup.

    "That doesn't quite get me to where I'm at now, but you have to give a little when you go to light rail," Robinson said.

    The trade-offs were clear before the King County Council Monday unanimously approved a long list of service changes to take effect in March 2016.

    Metro says the vast majority of passengers will get better service.

    "Buses, we expect, will come more often and be on time more of the time," said Metro's Jeremy Fichter.

    But the transit agency acknowledges as many as 1,500 people who now have to take one bus will have to transfer.

    In some cases, passengers will also have to walk farther to reach a bus stop.

    After significant criticism surfaced at a public meeting early in October, King County Metro made several substantial changes.

    Two routes that would have been eliminated, the 43 and the 71, will now continue with reduced service.

    Next Up: