Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Neighborhood Bus Route 78 Will Be Dedicated Short Loop From Laurelhurst To UW Light Rail Station

Proposed Metro Bus Route 78, serving Laurelhurst, was recently approved by King County Council, along with numerous other route revisions throughout the City. 

Long-time neighborhood route 25, was deleted due to low ridership. Route #78 will run about every 30-40 minutes from 6am to 6pm and will operate in a loop starting at Children's Hospital running to the new light rail station at Husky Stadium, scheduled to open in March of next year. 

LCC is pleased with the new route which they said is basically a dedicated loop Laurelhurst shuttle service to and from the Light Rail station at Husky Stadium.  The bus route will be  much shorter than route 25.

The loop goes as far as the Children's turn-around on NE 45th, goes down NE 45 Street to the University Village, through the UW Campus, along Pacific Street and onto Montlake Boulevard to the front door of the Light Rail station.  Then back into the neighborhood via Mary Gates Way, up NE 41st Street  to 42nd Avenue NE, left onto 42 Avenue NE, same as the current route, then right on NE 45 Street and back up to the Children's turnaround.

At this month's Laurelhurst Community Club monthly Board meeting, King County Councilman Larry Gossett, and five key staff members from Metro attended to discuss the changes and hear input from LCC and neighbors.

Many Laurelhurst residents expressed their views on the proposed new bus route 78, most of whom expressed the need for more convenient connectivity to the new Light Rail station at the UW Husky Stadium.

One LCC Board member said about the approved new neighborhood route 78:
LCC was directly responsible for getting a dedicated bus shuttle from the neighborhood to the light rail station. 
Larry Gossett and the Metro Planners who came to our last LCC meeting basically gave us what we asked for.  It would not have happened without the support of Gossett and LCC who took the initiative to get him involved.  LCC gave him and the Metro planners a very clear message as to what we wanted for the neighborhood and he delivered.
We will be getting a dedicated Laurelhurst only bus going to and from the Light Rail station every 30 minutes.  The only disappointment is that is doesn't go very far into the neighborhood, but it's our own bus, and maybe we can get it expanded over time.   
However, Metro  could have just dropped a Laurelhurst route all together, but they in fact are giving us extraordinary service if we're willing to walk/bike to the few Laurelhurst bus stops.

LCC said that apparently the change came about because Route 71 was reinstated.  The original plan was to combine Route 71 and Route 25 into the new Route 78, however View Ridge and Wedgwood residents were not happy about losing Route 71. 

"So the outcry from these folks, plus our comments to Gossett and the Metro planners who came to our LCC meeting must have done the trick.  We owe the 2 Metro planners plus Larry Gossett a huge acknowledgement. They heard us loud and clear," LCC said.
LCC said that Council Member Gossett called Josh Kavanaugh, UW's Director of Transportation Services, the day after the LCC meeting to work out the new plan, based on input from LCC and others.
LCC said:
Now we all have to get ready to use the new service it to make it viable.  Most importantly we encourage neighbors to take the bus thereby insuring we don't lose the service.

Metro says about the revised route changes:
The approved changes to Metro Transit routes serving parts of Capitol Hill, the Central District, the University District, Wedgwood, Laurelhurst and Lake City are focused on avoiding duplication of transit service and increasing efficiency on bus routes.  
The majority of the revised routes are focused on delivering bus riders to the new link light rail stations while making transit service more efficient and giving riders a way to move in and out of downtown Seattle that relies less on congested roadways


Go here to see the detailed #78 route.

For more information go here to a recent Laurelhurst Blog post.

For more information about the new route serving the neighborhood and vicinity go hereGo here for detailed bus route changes.

For questions about the process, contact King County Council at 206-477-1000.

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