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Metro buses on reduced service

Posted by Geeky Swedes on December 27th, 2010

Metro buses are running on a reduced schedule this week. “The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but somewhat less service than on normal weekdays,” the website states. During this week, some school-oriented routes have been canceled and other routes have individual trips canceled. You can see a list of affected bus routes here.

On Saturday, January 1, Metro will run on a Sunday schedule. Metro will be back to normal on Monday, January 3rd.

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38 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Barfly // Dec 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    King County Metro Buses: When you absolutely, positively, have no where to get to on time.

  • 2 cdward@gmail.com // Dec 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I ride the bus to Bellevue to get to work, Metro gets me there faster than I could drive it in a car by a significant amount. Going downtown is nearly as fast in a bus as it is in a car.

  • 3 PotholePat // Dec 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Going downtown MIGHT be as fast as driving a car, but getting BACK to Ballard can take a really long time. I can be in Belltown in about 30 minutes if I catch an express in the morning. But sometimes it takes 90 minutes to get home a few hours later (or anytime before the express buses start running late in the day).

  • 4 Barfly // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Nearly as fast? Not on the buses I’ve tried and that’s when the bus comes on time. And coming home? What a joke.

    Nope, we gave up the bus habit pretty quickly after moving to Seattle. Metro sucks. Haven’t looked back or regretted it and it probably saves us 10 days a year (one hour a day more time x 5 days a week = 240 hrs) of sitting on buses. That’s 240 hrs to spend with the kids, in the garden, maybe even getting some work done.

    Maybe you’d like sitting for 10 days straight a year on a bus, but my time and money are worth a hell of a lot more than that. Can’t think of any other reason I’d ever take a Metro bus unless I wanted to regularly listen to over weight, 50 year old divorced women talk about their cats and various health problems.

  • 5 PotholePat // Dec 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Ouch. Bitter?

  • 6 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 12:04 am

    About wasted tax $ and over weight, 50 year old divorced women who talk about their cats and various health problems on buses?

    Yes!

    Driving to work with my latte and NPR have helped relieve the symptoms though.

  • 7 SeaSpider // Dec 28, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Bull. I’ve ridden Metro plenty of times and no way is it faster to downtown than driving. When I worked downtown (2nd & Columbia to be exact) I timed myself for a week each of driving, taking Metro and riding my bike. It was pretty much a dead tie between driving and riding a bike. Keep in mind my time is from my front door to my desk – when I drove I had to park over a block away and then walk to the office versus parking my bike in my office. Also on a bike you can ride from the Ballard Bridge to Belltown and only hit one traffic light (Dravus & 20th) and one stop sign (crossing Garfield St) the whole way whereas driving means contending with over a dozen traffic signals and you’re bound to get stuck at a few of those. Riding the bus I averaged 10 minutes longer. Now I work in SoDo and riding the bus is averaging 15 minutes longer since the express bus ends near Pioneer Square forcing a transfer. The big problems with Metro are:
    1) Too many stops. Do you really need 3 stops within 1/4 mile of each other?
    2) No maps at the stops which means people constantly delay the bus by asking the driver for directions.
    3) Buses share the roads with cars which means they get stuck at all the same lights.
    4) Buses don’t run with enough frequency. Waiting 20-30 minutes for a bus isn’t acceptable.

    I do still prefer public transit over driving because I can get things done on the bus. When you drive all you can do is listen to the radio and stare at the bumper in front of you. Talk about wasted time! Problem is transit in Seattle isn’t nearly as effective as in other cities.

  • 8 SeaSpider // Dec 28, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I hear what you’re saying but it’s not all gained time by driving. You’re still spending time in your car and if anything that’s even less productive than time on the bus. When I ride the bus I can get work done whereas when I drive all you can safely do is listen to the radio. When I have to take the bus I always adjust my arrival/departure time at work and count my commute as part of my working day because I know that once I’m on the bus I can bust out the laptop and get work done. Of course riding my bike is even better – faster than the bus (and sometimes faster than driving) plus I get in workout so I don’t turn into some obese blob like so many other slobs in this town.

  • 9 Anonymous // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:09 am

    You’re lucky to be able to do laptop work on the bus. I’ve never mastered the laptop-on-thighs.

  • 10 Nora Bell // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Exactly. Metro isn’t easy, or convenient. And on cold and rainy days like this one it can be a real pain in the a**. But…
    You get some serious reading done.

  • 11 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:20 am

    I never mastered it standing…like most commuters.

  • 12 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:22 am

    I’d rather spend that time reading in front of my fire place, with the kids at my feet and wifey resting her head on my lap.

    If you prefer that time with bums and overweight 50 year old divorced women talking about their cats and various health problems, I guess that’s your choice.

  • 13 TNFootball // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Ya got that right, NB, but depending on the bus (or maybe it depends on the driver) it’s too dang dark.

  • 14 ballardissmallilikeanonymity // Dec 28, 2010 at 4:29 am

    No more excuses for Metro, people. If you think it’s acceptable in any way, you haven’t spent enough time in a real city.

    But at least at $90 per month (starting next week), it gets the distinction of MOST EXPENSIVE major-city transit system! (Yes, I’m serious. New York is $89. Chicago is $86. San Francisco and Boston are only $60 and $59. All provide life-changingly better service than Metro.)

    But please, continue to support transit in theory but never use it because you know it’s horrible. It’s the “Seattle way.”

  • 15 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Yes, but remember, Metro’s bus drivers are the 3rd highest paid in the country, higher paid than in NYC and San Fran! Who needs service when we can overpaid drivers.

  • 16 stayinurcarloser // Dec 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    240 hrs. a year to write all this drivel on local blogs!

    what a time-saver!

  • 17 stayinurcarloser // Dec 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    what do you suggest we do? I’m not making excuses for anyone, but we have no money to improve the system.

  • 18 ballardissmallilikeanonymity // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Everything about the way Metro does everything runs counter to the best practices of every working system on earth.

    - Arcane payment system that encourages fare evasion and incentivizes (slower) cash payment with overgenerous paper transfers? Check.

    - Only using one door most of the time? Check.

    - Thousands of winding routes to downtown; few intuitive gridded routes that simply stay on arterials? Check.

    - No core routes with truly high frequency and reliability (no matter how far you’re willing to walk, all of your options suck)? Check.

    - Drivers encouraged to be ridiculously overcautious at the expense of speed? Check.

    - Political oversight that emphasizes parochial division over ANY form of expertise? Check.

    The list goes on. Adding quarters to the fare every year and percentage points to the sales tax and spreading the results over a fundamentally broken system just yields an offensively expensive broken system. (Note: I’ve read the specifications for “Ballard RapidRide.” It’s basically a 0.00001% improvement over what we have.)

    What Metro needs is a total structural teardown and rebuild. By actual experts. You’d have to say goodbye to pretty much every route you’re familiar with. But the results would be twice as face, thrice as intuivite, and quadruply as frequent as what we’ve got.

  • 19 ballardissmallilikeanonymity // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    That should be “twice as fast, thrice as intuitive, and quadruply as frequent.” I have no idea what “twice as face” would even mean.

  • 20 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Start by getting rid of the free ride zone, start cracking down on fare evasion, and pretty much everything ballardissmallilikeanonymity calls for.

    Of course, being Seattle, none of this will happen. Changes like these would become friggin’ social justice issues or something equally ridiculous. So enjoy waiting in the rain while I’m at home with the family, curled up warm and dry with a book.

  • 21 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Start by getting rid of the free ride zone, start cracking down on fare evasion, and pretty much everything ballardissmallilikeanonymity calls for.

    Of course, being Seattle, none of this will happen. Changes like these would become friggin’ social justice issues or something equally ridiculous. So enjoy waiting in the rain while I’m at home with the family, curled up warm and dry with a book.

  • 22 ballardissmallilikeanonymity // Dec 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    You’re not alone, Barfly. That was the coda to my original post. There’s oh-so-much lip service given to transit, but for most it’s their travel mode of last resort.

    That’s not an accusation. They’re totally justified to avoid it, because it sucks. Just don’t be a hypocritical supporter/defender of it.

    (And if I weren’t so darned stubborn about not owning a car, I’d be right there with you.)

    Here was the point of my fare comparison: I called GOOD public transit life-changing, and I meant it. You can have a SPONTANEOUS urge to run an errand, visit a friend, or try a restaurant anywhere in the urban area and then make it happen — just as you might with your car, but without having to think about traffic logistics or finding parking. There’s no need for advance research, meticulous scheduling, and an extra hour’s leeway. And that reality exists with fares of 2/3 what Metro charges, even though Metro won’t let you have a spontaneous anything!

    I no longer have the slightest tolerance for Metro equivocators.

  • 23 Margaret // Dec 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I find Barfly’s credibility questionable, due to both the username and eschewing of Metro as a means of commuting. I am disgusted with Metro’s increased fares for less service and unreliability. Metro unreliability has nothing to do with “friggin’ social justice”, and a great deal to do with the undue influence of downtown merchants and developers. For instance, this ridiculous insistence of using downtown Seattle as the one and only hub of any significance for virtually all of King County. This probably slows the system more than any other factor. If you think it is difficult to get downtown in reasonable time, try to transfer downtown. Or worse yet, try to return to Ballard from downtown after 5:15pm. Good luck. I transfer to a 28 downtown and have had to wait up to 5o minutes for the bus to even show up.
    Barfly also has some pretty nasty things to say about other commuters, but I find his observations also lack credibility. I’ve never been bothered by anyone droning on about their cat. I have been annoyed by perfectly able-bodied young people – plugs in their ears and unblinking eyes on an electronic device – who are apparently unwilling to offer their seat to the disabled, elderly, or pregnant riders. I guess Barfly might consider this “friggin’ social justice”, but I learned that it was just decent behavior.

  • 24 Barfly // Dec 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    “due to both the username and eschewing of Metro as a means of commuting”

    Well, the service is shite, so yes, I ‘eschew’ it. I have better things to do with my time than sit in a bus that stops every 100 meters to pick up people who take 5 minutes to huff and puff on board and find a seat because they have taken such poor care of themselves.

    Between the bums, the crazies, the young thugs beating up pregnant women, and, of course, the blabbering fat old divorcees talking about their diverticulitis, I’ll never get on board again. When I want to see a freak show, I’ll buy tickets for the circus.

    I tried to be PC and use the bus, but the economics of using Metro fail horribly. Now build be a tram line or light rail, and I’ll reconsider.

  • 25 Barfly // Dec 29, 2010 at 12:41 am

    ” I am disgusted with Metro’s increased fares for less service and unreliability. ”

    Blame the overpaid union drivers and managers, that’s where the money’s going.

  • 26 Shenandoah575 // Dec 29, 2010 at 4:23 am

    lol. and what have you done with those “10 days”? Used them to surf one more website and comment?

  • 27 Shenandoah575 // Dec 29, 2010 at 4:24 am

    i’ll still beat you on my bike!

  • 28 Shenandoah575 // Dec 29, 2010 at 4:29 am

    aww man. i didn’t even get to start a countdown before ballardtoolongnamewithnospaces came in and mentioned “a real city”.

    sure, metro has HUGE problems, but enough with the “real city” bit. We get it. you’ve lived in other cities! bravo!

  • 29 Shenandoah575 // Dec 29, 2010 at 4:32 am

    enjoy your time with your wife, kids and book you lazy dork. I’ll enjoy my fitness on my bike as well as the extra time biking affords me while your ass continues to expand! I’ll also take the $$ i’m saving on gas and seattle’s outrageous parking fees and get some time away with my beloved.

  • 30 Barfly // Dec 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Spandex riding up yer a** a little there son? No one’s talking about you riding in the rain on your bike, get over yourself. We’re talking about buses here. Ever set the fatsos on the bus? Probably more on there than in cars. But like many cycle Nazis you just assume anyone in in a car (cager!) doesn’t exercise?

    Guess what, I cycle too! Sometimes to work if the weather’s good. Almost every weekend though. Also hike, walk, run and swim. During the week I run or workout at home on machines. All time afforded me by not taking the bus.

    ” $$ i’m saving on gas ”

    Congratulations, I bet that $20 a week makes a huge difference in your life. Wow, almost $80 a month, you must be rolling in cash is that’s enough to get excited about,

    “outrageous parking fees”

    Parking fees? I park for free downtown.

    Keep swinging….you keep hitting yourself!

  • 31 Barfly // Dec 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Spandex riding up yer a** a little there son? No one’s talking about you riding in the rain on your bike, get over yourself. We’re talking about buses here. Ever set the fatsos on the bus? Probably more on there than in cars. But like many cycle Nazis you just assume anyone in in a car (cager!) doesn’t exercise?

    Guess what, I cycle too! Sometimes to work if the weather’s good. Almost every weekend though. Also hike, walk, run and swim. During the week I run or workout at home on machines. All time afforded me by not taking the bus.

    ” $$ i’m saving on gas ”

    Congratulations, I bet that $20 a week makes a huge difference in your life. Wow, almost $80 a month, you must be rolling in cash is that’s enough to get excited about,

    “outrageous parking fees”

    Parking fees? I park for free downtown.

    Keep swinging….you keep hitting yourself!

  • 32 Shenandoah575 // Dec 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    cute. biking != spandex!

    perhaps you can work your needed gym time into your original equation regarding how much time you save by not taking the bus if you want to compare modes of transportation equally. It seems like you’re losing a big chunk of that one hour per day you claim to save. what will happen to your family????

  • 33 Barfly // Dec 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I work out before kids wake up, at home, not at a gym. Takes about 15-20 minutes from door to work by car. By bus? 45 min, if bus is one time. Coming home even longer. So yes, it works out to about 200+ hrs of time saved.

    But thanks for your concern. Enjoy that $20 a month you save on gas big spender, must make a HUGE dent in in your lifestyle having so much extra cash.

  • 34 Anonymous // Dec 30, 2010 at 2:16 am

    For what it’s worth, the driver pay thing is a little more complicated than that. Full-time/long-time drivers are bestowed insane amounts of overtime pay, but it’s actually at the expense of part-time/younger drivers, who often make much less than you suspect.

    You are correct to blame the union, though, which cannibalizes some of its own members for the benefit of others.

    And you should feel totally free to blame LOUSY drivers. How many slow trips and missed connections must I endure because the driver missed lights that I never would have missed in a million years?

    Or because the driver waited THREE LIGHT CYCLES out of fear of slightly “blocking the box,” only to have single-occupancy vehicles refill the empty space each time? YOU HAVE 50 PEOPLE ON YOUR BUS, EACH OF WHOSE TIME IS IN YOUR HANDS! GO AHEAD AND BLOCK THE BOX!!

  • 35 Anonymous // Dec 30, 2010 at 2:27 am

    “…on my bike… you lazy dork… my fitness on my bike… what will happen to your family?…”

    We get it. You’re an excruciatingly smug Seattle cliché who is uninterested in how things function in the real world and refuses to capitalize sentences! Bravo!

  • 36 SeaSpider // Dec 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Except your not doing that because you’re still spending a bunch of time sitting in your car staring at the bumper in front of you.

  • 37 SeaSpider // Dec 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    You nailed it!!! I love taking public transit when it works. No need to worry about parking, you can go out drinking with your friends and not have to stick one of them with designated driver duty (oh wait, these is Seattle where driving hammered is OK – never mind!), you can get some reading done instead of wasting your time staring at the bumper in front of you, etc., etc. I’ve ridden mass transit in Boston, NYC, Portland, Paris and SF and in all of those cities it works far better than here in Seattle. Keep in mind too that some of these cities are MUCH larger than the vast metropolis of Seattle. Problem with Seattle is we have too many people in this town who were born here, go to school here and will die here without ever having spent time anywhere else. As a result you get this large block of voters who have the “we never had XXXX in the past so why pay for it now?” mentality. That’s why we still have the 520 mess, the viaduct mess, voted for a monorail (could there possibly be a more expensive way to put in a light rail system??), etc., etc.

  • 38 Seo // Feb 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

    As the metor trains are been placed all over it is more convenient and easy to travel in such trains and it takes less time also.

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