As commuters riding route 76 already know, the buses have experienced chronic over-crowding for months – often times leaving commuters waiting during the peak times. To help ease overcrowding, voters last year passed a levy to help cover the cost of increased bus service. Sadly, Metro says that their Service Guidelines report omitted Rt. 76 in the initial round of service increases despite having met all of the criteria required for additional service.
This oversight was brought to my attention by astute (and long-suffering) Rt. 76 riders.
When I asked council staff and the Seattle Department of Transportation to look into the matter, they concluded that – based on field observations and on trip ridership data from Metro – Rt. 76 deserved more trips. And that’s just what SDOT plans to do. Additional bus trips during both the morning and evening commute will be added on top of other already planned investments that will help address chronic schedule reliability problems. While the oversight was not discovered in time to take effect in May, I will continue to push for additional trips to be added this fall.
I do want to thank all of my constituents who voiced their concerns and to SDOT for recognizing Route 76 as a vital transportation component for Northeast Seattle commuters.