METRO Bus Route 65 Changing?

It was brought to our attention recently that Route 65 serving Wedgwood may change.  Signs started popping up along the current route, along 35th Ave NE between NE 55th Street and NE 45th Street.  Instead, from 35th Ave NE, the southbound route would turn east down NE 55th Street, turn south of 40th Ave NE, and then west along Sand Point Way.  Service in Wedgwood and elsewhere would not be changed.  The intent is to improve transit service to Children’s Hospital.  

It appears that this revision has been planned for some time since a comment on Page 41 opposing the revision of both Route 65 and 30 run along 40th Ave NE in the Children’s Livable Streets Initiative – Final Report, which was finalized in January 2011 and which included a public workshop in November 2010.  The Livable Streets Initiative was created by Children’s Hospital as part of their Major Institution Master Plan approval.  However, we aren’t sure when these signs were first posted, but the comment period formally ended on February 18th, 2011.We have emailed METRO to see if/when this route revision would occur and if there are other changes to bus services in Wedgwood.  We will update this post when we hear back from them.

So, what’s your thought about this service change?  Will this improve transit service in Wedgwood or not?  Let us hear what you think.

UPDATE: I recieved an email back from METRO regarding the revision and their public outreach on the revision to date.  See a map of the proposed revision HERE.  The following additional detail is provided by METRO.

“Route 65 would make all existing stops along NE 55th Street and Sand Point Way NE.  We have not determined the exact location of stops along 40th Ave NE as of yet, but expect to add at least one pair of stops near NE 50th Street as well as a northbound stop just after the bus turns off of Sand Point Way NE.

Our initial outreach has been targeted at the area of the greatest impact (stops in the section that would be missed), however, we are likely to do some additional outreach to riders in general through the Web Alerts program.  But we wanted to give the riders that would be most impacted the first shot at feedback and also give them more personalized attention that would otherwise be possible if we engaged with all riders of the route.  So while the “deadline” for comments was 2/18, we will continue to gather comments and feedback from all customers or potential customers.

Regarding the actual proposal, we estimate that the additional time to serve Children’s Hospital would be about three minutes.  There are some capital improvements at intersections that need to take place before we can safely operate on the revised route.  Given the fact that capital improvements can take some time, I don’t expect that the revision could take place before October at the earliest and more likely in 2012.  The main thrust behind the proposal is to serve the large number of employees, volunteers and visitors who live in Wedgwood and Meadowbrook who commute to Children’s Hospital.  Ridership along the portion of 35th Ave NE that would be missed is relatively small (see the attached map) so we feel the route can attract more riders by serving Children’s Hospital.  The fact that Children’s Hospital is expected to grow substantially while the area along 35th Ave NE is not expected to grow only adds to the reasons for a revision.”

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