Riders were not happy on the RapidRide C Line on Monday morning as Metro faced the first challenge of meeting demand. Overcrowding, people missing buses, and general disappointment were widespread. Metro is making adjustments to the service to address these issues.
RapidRide C Line will see adjustments Monday; Metro manager offers an explanation
Changing bus routes has meant adjustments for many people and Metro has endured many complaints since the new RapidRide C Line launched this week. Metro announced on Oct. 5 that starting Monday, October 8, they are adding two morning and two afternoon peak commute-time trips to the new RapidRide C Line.
Riders will see more RapidRide C Line peak service with trips every 8 to 9 minutes during the highest ridership commute times – about 7:00 to 8:30 AM and 4:30 to 6:00 PM.
Higher than expected peak time ridership demand emerged this week Metro acknowledged.
In a press release they said, "Customer reports, early ridership data, and field observations helped to confirm that there was strong transit demand to justify adding trips."
Metro noted hundreds of additional commuters on RapidRide and other bus routes from West Seattle compared to tallies from this past spring. They said their planners and service coordinators will continue to actively monitor ridership, operation and performance, and will make adjustments to service as needed.
Metro also is taking steps to maximize and fine-tune transit signal priority and other transit priority measures. Details about RapidRide and other Metro Transit services are online at metro.kingcounty.gov.
Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit General Manager sent a letter to customers addressing these issues:
Dear Metro customer,
This past week was among the busiest and most challenging ever for King County Metro Transit and our 370,000 daily riders. Together we transitioned to paying on entry, adjusted to changes on dozens of bus routes, and started two new RapidRide lines.
We appreciate all you did to prepare for the revisions and your patience as we made the changes over the past week.
After several days of adapting, we are beginning to see service settle into a more reliable pattern. Although buses are operating smoothly overall, there have been some serious challenges. We are working hard to address concerns about full buses. We will continue to actively monitor performance and make adjustments to meet rider demand as best we can.
Things happen every day that can delay our buses – such as sporting events, concerts, accidents, and traffic jams. We experienced some of these incidents this week. We appreciate your ongoing patience as we respond to challenges like these and continue adjusting to the big service changes.
We are working hard to make your tax and fare dollars go further by building a transit system that will serve more riders and be stronger for years to come.
I’ll send another note next week recapping how things are going. As always, I welcome your comments and concerns. Send them to me at email@example.com.
Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit General Manager