First, I want to thank you for your patience. RapidRide Line C has been operating in West Seattle for close to two weeks. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks of implementation.
Over the last few weeks, you may have seen me taking RapidRide to work. I know first-hand how frustrating the overcrowding and unreliability are. While hiccups are to be expected with every service change some of the problems we have seen in West Seattle are beyond mere hiccups.
I’ve been following the transition closely. This morning I met with Metro’s General Manager Kevin Desmond. He assured me that Metro is keenly aware of the problems and of frustration facing many transit riders in West Seattle. I wanted to share with you some of the steps Metro is taking to address the overcrowding and reliability problems.
What’s been done:
• Metro has added two AM and two PM peak trips.
• Metro has authorized the deployment of two backup buses when signs of overcrowding begin for both AM and PM trips.
• Transit signal prioritization projects are underway and almost complete on the C line. Continued monitoring and refinement will help ensure that they are timed in the most efficient manner possible.
• Transit planners have been deployed to points along the line to collect passenger loading information.
• All ORCA reader stations in West Seattle have been tested, fixed as necessary and are operational.
What you can do:
• Continue to be patient as Metro operators adjust to the new system.
• Visit Metro’s trip planner to see what route best meets your needs. In addition to the implementation of RapidRide, there were over 50 service changes in West Seattle over the past two weeks. Routes that may not have met your needs in the past may work a little better for you now. http://metro.kingcounty.gov
• Contact Metro http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cs/services or 206.553.3000 or my office to share with us your RapidRide experience.
Although these changes may not solve all of the issues, I believe they are important and timely next steps to help make RapidRide a success in West Seattle.
Be assured that I have been in contact with Metro on a daily basis. I will continue to be very involved in ensuring the efforts identified above help alleviate the overcrowding and reliability struggles. I will keep asking Metro to refine the service as needed, so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me. My goal, along with Metro, is to have reliable transit service that meets the needs of the community I serve.
Thanks again for your patience.