King County Metro Transit addresses crowding on Issaquah-bound route

October 8, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 8, 2012

King County Metro Transit is attempting to ease afternoon crowding on buses from downtown Seattle to the Issaquah Highlands by eliminating a Bellevue stop, starting Oct. 15.

The transit agency is cutting a stop at the Eastgate Freeway Station to reduce crowding on the Issaquah-bound Route 218 buses. Metro Transit provides 15 trips on the route during the weekday afternoon commute.

Riders heading to the Eastgate Park & Ride in Bellevue can instead use alternate service on Second Avenue in downtown Seattle.

Metro Transit plans for weekday morning Route 218 buses to Seattle to continue to serve the westbound Eastgate Freeway Station.

Meanwhile, afternoon riders headed to the Highlands from Eastgate can ride Metro Transit Route 211 or Sound Transit Express routes 554 and 556.

Metro Transit officials heard concerns of crowded afternoon buses on Route 218 for several years and, in a systemwide change enacted Sept. 29, took steps to address the problem.

Planners reduced the number of Route 218 trips, added trips to Eastgate-bound Route 212 and moved the route out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Second Avenue to a surface street, alongside similar Eastgate-bound routes.

Despite the service revision, many riders heading to Eastgate continue to use buses on routes 216 and 218 in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, forcing full buses to pass some riders and frustrating riders headed to Issaquah.

Officials described the decision to bypass the Eastgate Freeway Station as an interim move as Metro Transit planners further assess ways to better serve all transit customers.

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