Vol. 2, No. 1  January 2011
In this issue:
Upcoming: important changes to 30 Metro routes February 5
Options: earlier monorail service, new express bus to Redmond, extra buses carry bikes across SR 520 bridge
Tools: find a carpool partner across SR 520 in real time
Inspiration: profile on Erik S. of Ballard

ThemeMonthFocus of the Month: Seattle's Monorail

Monorail at WestlakeThe Monorail is a great travel option for residents and employees connecting Seattle Center and Uptown to the heart of downtown.  From Westlake, riders can make easy connections to buses, light rail and the streetcar.


You can rely on a two-minute trip each time because the monorail never gets stuck in traffic, and you don't need a schedule because it arrives every ten minutes.  The monorail recently received major upgrades to its electrical, pneumatic and suspension systems, keeping it safe and reliable for decades to come.  The monorail only accepts cash for fares.


Did you know?

The monorail was in service for 99% of its scheduled hours of operation in 2010.



Metro buses use new schedules Saturday, February 5  

Every four months Metro updates its bus schedules.  Your route may or may not change.  Visit Metro Online the week of January 24 for further information.


Over 30 downtown bus routes use different streets and stops starting February 5

Metro Transit is making street and stop changes to keep people moving during the long-term construction in downtown and SODO. This affects bus service on Alaskan Way, 1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave and 4th Ave.  


Click on a route below to see the old and new routing:

         Routes shifting from 1st Ave to 3rd Ave: 15, 15X, 18, 18X, 21, 21X, 22, 56, 56X and 57

         Routes shifting from 3rd Ave to 2nd/4th Ave: 111, 114, 143, 157 and 161

         Routes changing bus stop locations on 3rd Ave: 16, 23, 26, 26X, 28, 28X, 66X and124

         Minor routing changes: 37, 81, 85, 99, 116X, 118X and119X


Many routes will have new stops on 3rd Ave downtown.  Click here for a map of new 3rd Ave stop locations. 


Alternatives to paying tolls on SR 520

This spring WSDOT starts collecting tolls on the SR 520 bridge.  The Walk Bike Rider suggests three ways to cross the bridge that are cheaper and more sustainable:

         Take the new Sound Transit route 542 

         Ride free on out-of-service SR 520 buses

         Find a carpool partner in real-time. 

Tolls will pay about $1.1B of the $4.6B SR 520 project.


OptionsHeaderOptions to Get Around

Monorail service now starts at 8:30 a.m.

Monorail starts service a half hour earlier than in the past.  This makes it an option for downtown workers who start work by 9 a.m.  Service begins even earlier starting in May.


New ST Express bus route 542 connects Green Lake, U District and Redmond

Route 542 is the first bus route to connect the 65th St Park-and-Ride near Green Lake, the U District, Overlake and downtown Redmond.  It departs every 15 minutes in both directions weekday mornings and afternoons.  This new route responds to the expected increase in demand for transit across the SR 520 bridge when tolls start this spring.  For the route 542 map, fares and schedule, click here.


Ride free on out-of-service buses across SR 520 bridge

Metro and Sound Transit let you ride out-of-service buses between Montlake and Evergreen Point for free.  Bicyclists waiting to cross SR 520 cannot board a bus if the bike rack on the bus is full.  Allowing riders on out-of-service buses helps address this situation.  Be sure to know details before planning your trip.  This was a 2010 pilot project that has been extended through 2011. 


Metro permanently allows bikes to load and unload in Ride Free Area

Last February Metro started a demonstration project to let customers take their bikes on and off buses in the downtown Ride Free Area any time of day.  Before that, during rush hour bikes could only be loaded or unloaded outside of downtown.  Metro found no problems with safety, operations or delays when testing this policy, so it becomes official Metro policy on February 5.  


Get to the slopes by bus or Zipcar

Between Seattle Ski Shuttle and the Crystal Mountain Express Bus by Gray Line, you can go from Seattle to Crystal Mountain, the Summit at Snoqualmie or Alpental.   Another option is one of Zipcar's six AWD Subarus with a roof rack for skis/snowboards, tire chains and a state Sno-Park pass.

ToolsTools to Help You Walk, Bike and Ride

Transit tip: One elevator connects light rail directly to the monorail

An elevator in the northeast section of the Westlake Transit Station connects directly to the Monorail station in the Westlake Mall.  It also stops at street level under the monorail station for easy transfers to buses and streetcar.  Click here for a map.


Directions:  When you exit a northbound bus or train in the tunnel, walk in the same direction as your bus/train until you reach the stairs.  After climbing the stairs, turn around and walk all the way across the mezzanine level toward the stairs for the southbound trains.  The elevator is to the left of these stairs.  Look for the blue sign in the ceiling that says, "Elevator to... Monorail..."    


Find a carpool partner across SR 520 in real time with go520  

Travelers on SR 520 can save time and money by using their smartphones to find carpool partners in real time.  Use an iPhone to "sell" empty seats in your car and use any web-enabled device to "buy" a ride as a passenger.  The system provides instant notifications of ride matches to your smartphone and manages a cashless payment from the rider to the driver.  Through June, the first 1,000 participants in this pilot program could earn $180 in gas cards from WSDOT.


InspirationInspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Information and programs inspire Erik S. to make important changes

Erik S. of Ballard reports, "A pricey estimate to repair my car and a study about how expensive cars are convinced me to try living without a car in 2010. At first I noticed how some trips take longer by bus, but I rearranged my approach to travel, and now I don't think about it anymore.  I'm saving money, walking more and looking forward to owning a bike again.  Being part of the Mayor's program on carbon neutrality, participating in Sustainable Ballard and using tools in the Walk Biker Rider Newsletter helped convince me to continue living without a car."  Eric added, "I think all these efforts shine a light of possibility that shows we can adapt and help save the planet and the environment."


Recent round of Walk Bike Ride Challenge saved enough driving miles to circle the Earth!

Congrats to our participants in the October/November round for saving over 25,000 miles of driving.  When we all work together, we make a big impact.



Just for fun: What famous entertainer sang on Seattle's Monorail in the movie
It Happened at the World's Fair?

Answer: Elvis

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We Want to Hear from You

Happy New Year to our Walk Bike Rider readers.  Thank you for helping make Seattle more livable by walking, biking and using transit.   


What topics or information would you like to hear more about  in 2011?  Email us at waytogo@seattle.gov. 



Dave Allen
Way to Go, Seattle! Team