Friday, October 7, 2016
|Rapid Ride E Line|
Photo by Wayne Pridemore
King County Metro Transit is planning to improve and expand “Night Owl” bus service next year for late-night riders, and seeks public input on a proposal that would offer new transit options for those getting to or from jobs, the airport and nightlife between 2am and 5am.
Metro has about 40 routes with some level of late-night service throughout King County. Metro’s draft proposal would replace current Night Owl routes with late-night service on regular, all-day routes that serve the same areas. including hourly all-night service on the RapidRide E Line into Shoreline, which currently operates all night but with less than hourly frequencies.
The public is encouraged to review the proposal and offer comments via an online survey until Oct. 30. Public comments will help shape a final proposal, which could go before the County Council later this year. If approved, it will take effect in September 2017.
While overnight ridership represents a small portion of Metro’s total ridership, it has increased by 20 percent in the last five years. Metro conducted a first round of public outreach last spring and developed the latest proposal after hearing from more than 2,600 transit users. Among their highest priorities were better late-night transit options for:
- Workers in jobs with non-traditional work shifts such as health care and many segments of the service industry.
- Travelers and workers heading from downtown to Sea-Tac Airport after 1am.
- Customers enjoying Seattle’s nightlife, including music and arts venues.
- Those who are experiencing homelessness.
Riders can take the survey via Metro’s website. The survey is available in English, Spanish and Chinese.