by Jake Goldstein-Street and Emerald Staff
(An earlier version of this article appeared on Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. This revised version is being printed under an agreement.)
On Monday, April 5, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $187 million in federal funding for four bus rapid transit projects — San Bernardino, California, Ogden, Utah, Everett, Washington, and right here on East Madison in Seattle.
From the announcement:
Continue reading Madison Bus Rapid Transit Project Secures Funding, Metro to Modify Passenger Limits
“The City of Seattle Department of Transportation will receive a $59.9 million allocation for the Madison Street BRT project, a 2.3-mile east-west BRT line operating diesel-electric buses along Madison Street spanning from downtown Seattle in the west to the Madison Valley neighborhood in the east, with connections in First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area. It will connect people to hospitals, schools, businesses, and other destinations as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.”
by Erica C. Barnett
It wasn’t so long ago — just 2018 — that Seattle could be proud of its status as the only city in the nation where transit ridership was actually going up, and the number of people commuting to the center city by car was going down. COVID-19 didn’t just reverse this trend; it obliterated it. Ridership on King County Metro buses is down about 73%, while ridership on Sound Transit’s light rail line has shrunk an estimated 70%. In an attempt to protect drivers from riders who might be COVID-positive, both agencies eliminated fares, and Metro implemented back-door-only boarding, in March. Both agencies also cut service, which has led to overcrowding on popular routes, such as the Route 7, that serve essential workers getting to and from the center city.
Continue reading As Metro Considers Post-COVID-19 Future, Agency Leaders Resist Push for Crackdown on Homeless Riders
by Mary Hubert
Susan* is all business as she boards the 7, toting a cart with her that contains most of her belongings and expertly flipping up the front seats on the bus to nestle it securely in an out-of-the-way spot. She rides this route frequently.
Continue reading Some Depend on Generosity of No. 7 Bus Drivers; RapidRide Could Change That