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Six Redmond bus routes affected by Metro Transit update
Three times a year, officials at King County Metro Transit take a look at their route schedules and update their service.
The most recent update occurred on Sept. 28 and included streamlined service on Interstate 90, better timed connections and more bus trips in downtown Seattle.
“Ridership continues to grow and these service adjustments are intended to better serve our customers and attract new riders,” said Metro Transit general manager Kevin Desmond in a press release.
Six of the 55 affected routes run through parts of Redmond.
The 216 bus, which runs from the Bear Creek Park and Ride to downtown Seattle, has been revised to operate via Highlands Drive Northeast and Issaquah Pine Lake Road Northeast, serving the Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride. The route will no longer operate in North Issaquah between I-90 and the South Sammamish Park and Ride. In addition, eastbound trips to the Bear Creek Park and Ride will stop at the Eastgate Freeway Station, Bay 4.
A new 219 route has also been added as part of a restructured network of service on I-90. King County spokesperson Jeff Switzer said this was in response to the dynamic of demand for service on I-90 as there are some routes that are very full while others are almost empty. The route begins at Redmond Way and 185th Avenue Northeast and ends in downtown Seattle.
The 221 bus, which runs from the Redmond Transit Center in downtown to the Eastgate Park and Ride, has seen a reduction in trips. Switzer said this is because it has had a low ridership. Metro, he said, will take the resources dedicated to this route and shift them toward routes with overcrowding and reliability challenges.
Route 224, which goes from Duvall to the Redmond Transit Center via Redmond Ridge, has been revised to operate between Redmond and Duvall only. The bus will also serve an expanded portion of Redmond Ridge via Northeast Cedar Park Crescent and Eastridge Drive Northeast. Weekday service frequency on the 224 between Redmond and Duvall will also improve to about every 90 minutes. Switzer said the bus’s trips will coincide with the new Snoqualmie Valley Transportation Shuttle’s schedule, which provides service between Duvall and Fall City.
The 249 bus, which runs from the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond to the South Bellevue Park and Ride, has had lower ridership during the day so mid-day service has been reduced from every 30 minutes to every 45 to 60 minutes.
And finally, the 250 bus, which goes from the Overlake Transit Center to downtown Seattle, now has four fewer trips. Switzer said two trips in the morning and two trips in the afternoon have been canceled and resources have been shifted to where rider demand is higher.
All of the changes made to the 55 Metro routes, Switzer said, are no-cost improvements to increase productivity and put buses where riders need them most.
“Working with the budget we have is the challenge,” he said. “We have a lot of customers out there and we try to serve them as best we can.”
In a press release, King County Executive Dow Constantine added, “Transit demand keeps growing, and Metro continues to create efficiencies to maintain bus service within the funds available.”
In addition to a fall update, Switzer said Metro updates its services around February and at the beginning of June, as well. He said this is because travel patterns are different at different times of the year for various reasons. For example, whether the University of Washington is in session affects Metro ridership greatly.