Sound Transit adds trips on high-demand routes, discontinues service on low-ridership routes

New service changes for Sound Transit’s express bus service will add more trips to routes experiencing strong ridership growth, discontinue route segments and trips on low ridership routes, and adjust some schedules to provide improved connections to King County Metro’s Rapid Ride service beginning June 9.

The service changes taking effect this weekend reflect Sound Transit’s continued work to address overcrowding on high-demand routes since tolling began on the SR 520 bridge. Service changes will also achieve schedule efficiencies by eliminating low ridership and duplicate route segments that are served by other transit agencies.

For example, since service additions earlier this year, three new trips will be added to ST Express Route 550 serving Bellevue, one new trip to ST Express Route 577 serving Federal Way, and two new trips to ST Express Route 578 serving Puyallup. Sunday service will also be added to Route 578, providing seven-day-a-week ST Express service to Puyallup for the first time. However, a Route 578 segment between Puyallup Station and Tacoma that duplicates Pierce Transit Route 400, and three southbound trips, will be eliminated as a result of low ridership.

The agency also will begin operating a new connector service, ST Express Route 596, between the Bonney Lake Park and Ride facility and the Sounder Station in Sumner on Monday to replace Pierce Transit Route 496, which is being eliminated Friday. ST Express Route 596 will operate on the same schedule as PT Route 496, and is expected to serve nearly 300 boardings each weekday.

Other revisions include changing boarding and drop-off bays at the Redmond Transit Center and Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel for ST Express Routes 542 and 550, respectively, and making minor schedule adjustments on ST Express Routes 550 and 560 to facilitate better connections with King County Metro’s Rapid Ride B Line service.

There are no changes to Sounder, Central Link and Tacoma link service. All service changes are effective June 9.

Highlights of these and other service changes can be found here. A PDF of the new Transit Guide is available here.