Monday, March 28, 2016

New Neighborhood Shorter Bus Route To Light Rail Station Starts Today

Warning notices put on all
existing Metro 25 bus stops.
This alert was on NE 45th Street in front of Pro Robics
new bus stop and signage eastbound on NE 45th Street


new bus stop on Mary Gates Memorial Drive in front of Talaris

The new Metro Bus Route #78 started its weekday service today and runs from about 6am-6pm.  

The route begins and ends in the Children's Hospital turn around on NE 45th Street.  It then turns left onto 42nd Avenue NE, then right onto NE 41st, and stops in front of Talaris. This stop is located at the southeastern-most point of the Route 78 pattern in order to place it near the greatest number of former Route 25 riders.

The bus then veers to the left staying on NE 45th Street and stops in front of Burgermaster.

Next, it proceeds up the NE 45th Street hill through the UW campus and makes two stops along Stevens Way. 

Those connecting to Light Rail exit at the top of the new Rainier Vista plaza, which provides an improved lighted walkway straight down the hill and onto the Montlake overpass leading to the entrance of the Link Light Rail Station.

The total time estimated time from Children's Hospital to the Light Rail is about 25 minutes.  The bus route runs a continuous loop all day with no layovers.
After going through the UW, the bus crosses 15th Avenue NE to NE  Pacific Place Triangle and then stops at a new bus stop in front of the HEC Ed Pavilion. Passengers can exit there as well for the Light Rail station. Exiting at this stop instead of the one at Rainier Plaza adds about 8 extra minutes of travel time.  
The bus then travels northbound  on Montlake Boulevard and turns right at the 5 way intersection from NE 45th St onto Mary Gates Memorial Drive, the first stop on the way back to Children's Hospital.  
This stop is a companion stop for the existing stop on westbound 45th at Union Bay Place. So passengers who board the Route 78 at one stop can deboard at the other. This pair of stops is well-situated to use existing pedestrian infrastructure (crosswalks, sidewalks) to facilitate access to and from the stops. These stops are convenient for those living at the UW's Laurel Village multi-family housing complex.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) has voiced their concerns about the dangerous location of this stop a the busy corner of Mary Gates Memorial Drive and NE 45th Street and has suggested Metro move it onto Mary Gates Drive.

One nearby neighbor said about this but stop:

Metro should move this stop down the road south at least about fifty more yards. Right now if it stays where it is, it is just an accident just waiting to happen with cars and pedestrians at such an extremely bus intersection.
After Route #78 ends for the day, Route #65 will come from the Light Rail Station along Montlake Boulevard heading north, and stop in front of Seattle Children's Hospital on 40th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.  This route operates more frequently than the #78 as well as on Saturdays. 

Route 65 and 75 will serve the edge of Laurelhurst, coming about every 15 minutes until about 12:30 am and 1:30am respectively.

Two bikes fit inside each train and two outside. The Light Rail station is planning for 80 bike storage facility.  

There is no official place to drop off passengers by car, nor is there any official Light Rail parking. 
Metro considered the ridership on the previous Route 25 when determining the routing of the Route 78. The new Route 78 hours of operation most closely align with the highest ridership hours of the previous Route 25. 

Then, Metro determined stop locations based on the routing of new Route 78, the locations of existing stops, potential high-ridership locations, and safe pedestrian facilities like crosswalks and sidewalks.

Metro requested three new stop locations for the new route and SDOT approved. Metro notified by mail all adjacent property owners, including those in Laurelhurst.
Go here to see the full Metro Bus Route #78.  And full service change details can be found on Metro's website here. 

Here is in-depth information about the history and planning of the new route.


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