Bus Overcrowding Leads to Changes at Eastgate Freeway Station Routes

Overcrowding on eastbound Route 218 between Seattle and Issaquah means that Metro will eliminate the Eastgate Freeway Station stop as of Oct. 15.

Overcrowding on eastbound Route 218 between Seattle and Issaquah means that Metro will eliminate the Eastgate Freeway Station stop as of Oct. 15, according to King County Metro transit.

The morning Route 218 buses westbound to Seattle will continue to serve the Eastgate Freeway Station, located at 142nd Place Southeast on Interstate 90, according to the transit agency. The move is a temporary measure as the agency plans to address overcrowding on the eastbound route to Issaquah Highlands.

The change begins on Oct. 15.

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According to King County Metro Transit, the agency is working on on fixing the overcrowding on Route 218 eastbound to the Issaquah Highlands.

Riders heading to Eastgate Park and Ride in Bellevue from downtown Seattle should use Metro routes 212 and 215 and Sound Transit Express Route 554 on Second Avenue in downtown Seattle, according to Metro. These three routes provide 39 afternoon trips, more than double the 15 eastbound afternoon trips on Route 218.

Afternoon riders at the Eastgate station who are heading to the Issaquah Highlands can ride Metro Route 211 or Sound Transit Express routes 554 and 556.

Does this affect your route? How do you get from downtown Seattle to Eastgate or the Issaquah Highlands? Tell us in the comments.

The transit agency has taken several steps to address overcrowding on Route 218 buses to Eastgate, according to an agency press release.

Metro reduced the number of Route 218 trips, added trips to Eastgate-bound Route 212 and moved that route out of the downtown Seattle transit tunnel to Second Avenue, locating it with other similar Eastgate-bound service, according to the agency.

However, riders heading to Eastgate continued to use the Routes 216 and 218 buses in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel, forcing some riders to be passed by full buses and further frustrating riders heading to Issaquah Highlands, according to an agency press release. Additionally, Metro is observing increased ridership on a number of routes.

Bypassing the Eastgate Freeway Station is an interim move, according to Metro. Future options could include moving the Route 218 out of the transit tunnel and moving all Interstate 90 based routes to surface operations on Second and Fourth avenues, at which time all I-90 bus routes might again serve the Eastgate Freeway Station.

Metro will consider rider feedback on this interim change to Route 218 service. Send email to customer.comments@kingcounty.gov or call 206-553-3000.



Transit service details 

Eastgate service: Metro routes 212 and 215, and Sound Transit Route 554 have 39 eastbound trips weekdays from 2:45-7:15 p.m. along Second Avenue in Seattle.

Issaquah Highlands/Sammamish service: Metro Routes 216 and 218 have 21 trips on weekdays from 3:30-7 p.m. from the downtown Seattle transit tunnel.

Rider note: Rider alerts and announcements will be posted starting Monday, Oct. 8, notifying riders of this upcoming change. Riders who mistakenly board Route 218 in an attempt to reach Eastgate Freeway Station Oct. 15 or after will be notified by bus operators that they can exit at the Rainier Freeway Station on I-90 and instead board Metro routes 211, 212 or 215, or ST Express Route 554 to reach the Eastgate Freeway Station.

Metro Transit tools for riders

-- Information from King County Metro

Venice Buhain October 09, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Here are some of the comments/suggestions from our Facebook post: Sherwin Lee Yes...take the 212. George Holt: Work for MS and Ride the Subsidized Bus... JJ Salley: Yes. My husband predicted this. The Oct 1 route changes really hurt our family traveling between Eastgate and Seattle. I wish it could go back to the way it was and drop off and pick up INSIDE the tunnel.


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