News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Might Light Rail/Bus Rapid Transit Come To N. 45th?

May 11th, 2011 by master

This article first appeared on sister site MyWallingford.

Anyone who uses N. 45th St. through Wallingford to get crosstown knows how congested the street and how crowded its bus routes get. It appears that Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is paying attention: N. 45th St. ranked high among the top 15 corridors where SDOT recommends the city should focus its future light rail and rapid bus service investments.

On its Slog blog, The Stranger sums up the recommendations:

Instead of focusing on corridors that could link up isolated areas—light rail to West Seattle or Ballard, as Mayor Mike McGinn has famously lobbied for, or beefing up services to other south end neighborhoods like South Park and Georgetown—the plan prioritizes highly trafficked corridors like Capitol Hill’s Broadway, Dexter Avenue (from Denny Avenue to Fremont), and Denny Avenue itself for future transit development.

On this map, which was part of the presentation (.pdf), the darker lines are higher priority corridors. Notice the dark line along N. 45th Street from the University District to Aurora Ave. Remember that there will be a light rail station at N. 45th St. and Brooklyn Ave.

SDOT’s site describes the goals of the Transit Master Plan (TMP):

The TMP will be a comprehensive and 20-year look ahead to the type of transit system that will be required to meet Seattle’s transit needs through 2030. Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, nationally acclaimed experts in transit planning, will assist SDOT in developing the TMP. The Transit Master Plan will be an extensive update to the 2005 Seattle Transit Plan, which identified key corridors linking urban villages and established performance standards for transit service. The TMP will expand on that work and include evaluation of rail modes, rapid bus services, station design, and capital infrastructure.

This is stage 1 of a lengthy process. SDOT and Nelson/Nygaard will make recommendations in June to the transportation committee on which corridors could benefit from light rail or bus rapid transit development. A series of public workshops and meetings will likely follow; we’ll keep you posted.

Here’s video of yesterday’s transportation committee meeting. The Transit Master Plan discussion begins around the 56:00 mark:

Seattle Channel Video can be played in Flash Player 9 and up

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County studying options for trolley buses

August 31st, 2010 by master

While driving around Seattle, it’s hard not to notice the overhead wire that runs above about 70 miles of pavement in and around the city. King County Metro Transit has a fleet of 159 electric trolley buses that operate along those lines, which had 19.7 million boardings on its routes in 2009 – about one-fifth of Metro’s total average weekday ridership.

Photo courtesy of King County Metro Transit

Fremont riders are amongst the trolleys’ many riders with routes 44, which stops at North 45th Street and Stone Way.

The county needs to replace all 159 existing vehicles by 2015, with an order deadline at the end of 2012.

King County Executive Dow Constantine has sent the King County Council a plan for a proposed evaluation in its imminent replacement of this fleet. It focuses on the technology of electric trolleys and diesel-electric hybrid buses, with a goal toward finding the most fuel-efficient, best value for the system. The Trolley Bus System Evaluation is expected to continue through the middle of next year. It will explore the costs, impact on the environment, funding opportunities and legal issues.

Metro plans additional public meetings for discussion of the evaluation as results become available. The next one is in Mount Baker on Sept.13.

Metro has already conducted a preliminary evaluation of several potential propulsion systems, including electric trolley, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas, electric battery, and hydrogen fuel cells.

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Reduced bus schedule on Monday

January 15th, 2010 by master

In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 18, we want to remind you that King County Metro Transit will be on a reduced weekday and “When No UW” bus schedule.  Holiday/Sunday fares will be in effect on that day, as well.

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