King County Metro adding buses to 55 and 120 routes on Oct. 29 to ease overcrowding

King County Metro Transit estimates ridership has grown 22 percent in West Seattle since 2009, compared to an average six percent growth across the city. To meet that increased demand, Metro will add eight “commute time buses” to the 55 and 120 routes on Monday, Oct. 29.

“We’re seeing double-digit demand over last year on this corridor, and demand increases even in the face of tight budgets,” Kevin Desmond, Metro Transit general manager, said in a press release. “Scheduling these additional trips when commuters need them most continues to improve our transit network.”

Metro said the 120 and 55 lines have been mostly full during peak commute times since their major system overhaul on Sept. 29.

“Earlier this month, planners tallied a snapshot 26 percent increase in the number of passengers on routes between West Seattle and downtown Seattle compared to 2011,” according to Metro, which further illustrates the need for additional services in the area.

Metro claims the addition of buses to the 55 “gives riders a parallel service to help ease commuter crowding on the (RapidRide) C Line during the edges of the morning commute and the peak of the evening commute,” while adding buses to the 120 “will ease crowding on trips from Burien and White Center through the Delridge neighborhood to downtown Seattle."

Metro is “drawing on a limited contingency reserve of transit service hours for the additional route 55 and 120 trips, a reserve also used to add the four additional daily C Line trips that started Oct. 8,” according to Metro. “The contingency was created to address any operational issues that might arise as part of the Sept. 29 transit service change, the largest in memory for Metro.”

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