All Aboard: Commute Trip Reduction news

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Fall 2022 edition

Welcome to the fall edition of Sound Transit’s CTR newsletter! We’ve pulled together service-related and project-related highlights into one handy place for you to forward to your employees or professional network.

Photo of Link 1 Line at Columbia City Station

Plan ahead for upcoming 1 Line maintenance

Getting ready for the 33 miles of Link extensions coming over the next three years involves a lot more than just construction on the extensions. It also means making sure that our existing operations are in top condition as we prepare to tie the new extensions into our current one.

This work is getting us ready for the future, which is why we’re calling it Future Ready.

Through early 2023, we’re going to have a series of construction and maintenance activities that will help us prepare for the transformative changes ahead.

In mid-October, travel between Rainier Beach and Tukwila Intl. Blvd. stations will be impacted, as we repair the overhead catenary system. Service between those two stations will be suspended and travelers will need to transfer to a free Link bus shuttle during the closure. Please allow for extra time in order to reach your destination, especially when going to the airport.

Friday, Nov. 11 to Sunday, Nov. 13 free bus shuttles replace 1 Line service between Capitol Hill and SODO stations for overhead power systems work in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

Please visit The Platform to see all of the upcoming projects and impacts and if you haven’t already, sign up for rider alerts to stay updated on service-related impacts.

The Platform

ST Express bus driving down the freeway

September 2022 service changes

Sound Transit implements changes to our existing service twice a year, in March and September. Each fall, Sound Transit publishes an annual service plan for public feedback and Board approval. The resulting plan informs the next two service changes before the cycle starts again. The September 2022 service change begins Saturday, Sept. 17 through Monday, Sept. 19. Find out more information about the service change here 

We’re reinstating the Sounder’s S-Line midday trip (departing at 10:06 a.m. from Lakewood) and adding another morning trip (departing at 7:55 a.m. from Seattle).

Link 1 Line and T Line 
The 1 Line will keep operating every 8 minutes during peak hours and every 10-15 minutes during off-peak hours. Check out our blog post on upcoming 1 Line maintenance projects that may affect service over the next six months.

No changes to T Line at this time.

ST Express

  • For Route 510 we are updating the route schedules to reflect current travel times. One trip cancelled until further notice due to staffing shortages.
  • Routes 511 and 513 we are updating schedule to reflect current travel times. Two trips cancelled until further notice due to staffing shortages. 
  • Route 532 we are updating schedule to reflect current travel times. Two trips cancelled until further notice due to staffing shortages.
  • Route 535 we are updating schedule to reflect current travel times. Three trips cancelled until further notice due to staffing shortages.
  • Route 560, 590. 592, 594, and 595, we are updating the route schedules to reflect current travel times.
  • Route 522 will have 5 weekday trips eliminated.
    • We will revise the eastbound alignment of Route 522 in Bothell to operate on SR-522 (Bothell Way NE, Woodinville Dr) instead of Main Street. This will create a long-term eastbound detour to reflect the closure of Main Street to vehicle traffic at various points in downtown Bothell.
    • Stop ID# 79295 at Main St/98th Ave NE has closed. A new nearside stop will open at Bothell Way NE (SR-522)/Bothell Way NE.
    • Stop ID# 76298 Main St/103rd Ave NE remains closed.
  • Route 542 will have 2 weekday trips eliminated.
  • Routes 545 and 556 will have 1 weekday trip eliminated.
  • Route 550 will have 3 weekday trips eliminated.
  • Route 566 will have 1 weekday trip eliminated, with 3 trips ending at Kent Station.
  • Route 577 will resume stops at 4th Avenue and Union Street. We are updating the route schedule to reflect current travel times and align with KCM Route 177.
  • Route 578 will resume stops at 4th Avenue and Union Street. We are updating the schedule to reflect current travel times. 

Holiday Schedule

  • Click here to view the updated Holiday schedule for the September 2022-March 2023 service period.

Visit our Schedules and maps page to access individual schedules or use our handy Trip Planner tool for assistance on the go. 

Plan your trip

Photo of a rider at a Piece Transit bus stop with a Sound Transit bus approaching

2023 Service Plan – formalizing changes to service on the South Side

Sound Transit continually monitors the performance of our ST Express system and identifies potential changes for routes or trips that do not meet standards. Every fall we release the annual Service Plan for the coming year and ask for public feedback.

For the 2023 Service Plan, the System Engagement and Service Planning teams created an Online Open House and Survey to gather input from the public. The Online Open House was available from July 26th to August 16th and was available in eight languages. During that time, System Engagement Specialists and Service Planners held a virtual information session and traveled to five transit centers to talk to the public about the proposed service changes.

After receiving over 300 survey responses from the public, our Service Planners will present the 2023 Service Plan this October to the ST Board for approval. The 2023 Service Plan reflects the ongoing shortage of bus operators. To better adapt to the current bus operator availability, service reductions that were made during the pandemic on five ST Express routes will be formalized until the number of bus operators increases.

The bus routes included in the 2023 Service Plan are:

  • Route 566 (Auburn/Kent – Redmond Tech) – currently operating every 20-40 min. in peak hours and peak direction (northbound a.m., southbound p.m.), primarily timed with Sounder trains at Kent.
  • Route 577 (Federal Way – Seattle) – currently operating every 10 min. during peak hours
  • Route 590 (Tacoma – Seattle) – currently operating every 10 min. during peak
  • Route 592 (DuPont/Lakewood – Seattle) – currently operating every 30 min.
  • Route 580 (South Hill – Puyallup) – currently only operating between South Hill and Puyallup Station (Lakewood to South Hill section suspended) and with reduced trips

In the meantime, our operating partners are working hard to recruit and train new drivers. We’ll continue to assess staffing levels and restore service twice a year (through our annual March and September service changes) over the next few years. Once we can maintain current service levels reliably and without cancellations, we’ll begin to add service.

Learn more

Photo of two youth Link 1 Line riders

Youth now ride for free!

Beginning September 1st, youth 18 and younger ride for free on all Sound Transit services. Riders with an ORCA Youth Card should continue using their ORCA card when riding. Youth without an ORCA card can still ride for free. No youth will be turned away or penalized if they do not have an ORCA card.

Learn more

Photo the art installation for Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension

New art going in for Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension

Kenji Hamai Stoll, a Japanese American artist based in Tacoma, has created a series of large roof-mounted sculptures for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension – one for the canopy at each of the seven new stations.

In an essay commissioned by the Sound Transit Art Program writer Katie Kurtz explains that Stoll “grew up visiting extended family in Maui once or twice a year. Going back and forth between the urban and rural environments and surrounded by different cultures in each place influenced an artistic style that blends graffiti, traditional Japanese motifs, and floral designs. Aware of how the [Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension] will cross demographic and historical boundaries, Stoll met with organizers, community service providers, artists, historians, and Stadium High School students to gain a better understanding of what the stations meant for specific neighborhoods.

From his conversations, Stoll developed three themes to guide the development of each of the designs for the seven different low-relief sculptures that crown the tops of the new Hilltop Link stations:

  • Connection: The Light Rail connects Tacoma residents in new ways.
  • Reflection: Necessary during this time of increasing polarization.
  • Impermanence: The city is ever-changing and embracing new ways of being, especially in terms of social consciousness.

“The way I thought about them as a whole is that it’s kind of like when you look at a map overhead of the bus stations on a city map, it kind of creates a constellation. Each of these pieces is kind of like its own expanded star. The imagery and the motifs and the different things that each one pulls from is connected to landmarks or history or stories from each of those neighborhoods, both past and present.”

See more artwork

Animated graphic for taking transit to a sporting event

Take Transit to the Game!

Take transit to the football game this fall! Whether you’re headed to Husky Stadium or Lumen Field, Sound Transit is an easy, affordable way to get to the game. Check out our trip planner to plan your ride. We also have some special Sounder event trains running for select games downtown that can be a great option. Just remember to expect more crowds on game days and use an ORCA card or Transit GO Ticket app to avoid long lines at ticket machines.

Event service

Did you know?

Sound Transit offers a variety of free services to enhance your Employee Transportation Program?

One of those services is transportation fairs! If you have a benefits fair, new hire fair, sustainability fair or other employee event, we can team up with you to present information on commuting options.

Contact us

Have an upcoming Commuter Fair? Have a question? Let us know!

Valerie Cortes

phone: 206-553-3618

Arthur Bachus

phone: 206-553-3774

Learn more: Employer Transportation Programs