King County Metro Transit riders should prepare for changes

September 6, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 6, 2012

King County Metro Transit riders should prepare for major changes in the weeks ahead, as the agency launches a pay-on-entry system and updates several routes.

Transit planners advised thousands of riders to expect changes on bus routes starting Sept. 29, as the agency changes bus stops on dozens of routes, shifts buses to different streets and alters schedules.

The changes affect the routes 217 and 218. Both routes run through Issaquah.

On Route 217, planners also intend to eliminate one morning eastbound trip and one afternoon westbound trip.

On Route 218, Metro Transit plans to covert two morning peak-period trips to downtown Seattle and two afternoon peak-period trips to the Eastgate Park & Ride to Route 212 trips.

Metro Transit is eliminating some low-ridership routes, although no Issaquah-centric route is affected.

The agency is also launching RapidRide lines to serve downtown Seattle.

“It’s homework time for riders, and we are putting tools online and on the street to help,” Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit general manager, said in a statement. “We need riders to start preparing now so they understand how they’ll be affected by our planned route changes.

Riders can read a summary of changes online to help prepare. The agency plans to distribute printed rider alert brochures in the coming weeks. Metro Transit expects to update the online trip planner in mid-September so riders can check updated routes. Metro Transit personnel also plan to take to the streets at the end of September and early October to answer riders’ questions.

The agency is also transitioning to a pay-on-entry system on all buses. Riders should prepare for initial delays as lines form to pay fares when boarding.

“We expect the transition will take some getting used to, and we ask for everyone’s patience — especially the first week of October as riders and drivers adjust,” Desmond said. “It won’t be easy, but we can get to our new normal faster if riders know about how coming changes will affect them.”

Metro Transit is launching two RapidRide lines Sept. 29 — RapidRide C Line between downtown Seattle and West Seattle, and RapidRide D Line between downtown Seattle and Ballard via Uptown.

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