One hour of service restored to Metro Route 24 at night

But future service reductions possible

An hour of additional service at night will be added to Metro Route 24’s service starting on Feb. 16, but no other service restorations are planned, said Metro Transit’s service-planning supervisor David Hull at a meeting with the newly formed Magnolia Transit Riders Group on Jan. 15. This means Route 24 will now operate until 10:30 p.m. instead of 9:30 p.m.

The Magnolia Transit Riders Group has been attempting to get service restored to the area, especially night service on Route 24, which was canceled as part of Metro’s September 2012 service change.

“It’s a problem, because right now we are looking at revenues that are not covering the cost,” Hull told the nearly 20 residents attending the meeting.

Hull also noted that many areas have seen reductions in service, including cancellation of night service or reduction to peak-only service, not just Magnolia.

“We were told to take 100,000 hours of low-performing service and put it in places where it carries more people,” Hull said, referring to the September service change.

A part of that change was the cancellation of night service on Route 24. The service was curtailed because it was performing in the bottom quartile of comparable routes in terms of riders per hour during off-peak periods, including at night, Hull said. That measurement is one of the primary ones Metro takes into consideration when faced with having to make service reductions.

‘Transportation’ lifeline

Magnolia resident James McIntosh formed the Magnolia Transit Riders Group in early October after the service change took effect. So far, it has collected close to 500 signatures on a petition to restore night service to central Magnolia, according to a press release from the group. 

The group has also posted fliers at bus stops to raise awareness of the group’s efforts.

The group is about “getting the dialogue going in the community,” McIntosh explained. “I’m legally blind; transportation is my lifeline.”

Magnolia bus riders had to change their transportation habits since service on the 24 was dropped after 9:30 p.m. The RapidRide D Line runs along 15th Avenue Northwest, but that is as close to home as some residents can get at night by bus, which can mean a long walk up the steep Dravus Street hill. 

In addition, winter weather causes some of these walks to happen in the cold and rain, or on icy streets.

One resident of the neighborhood, Dennis Sadowski, said that because of the September 2012 service changes he is “starting to take more and more cab rides,” and sometimes “walking all the way to [his] place.”

José Montaño, a member of the Riders Group who now walks home, said he is concerned for people who work at night, such as restaurant workers with jobs downtown, who weren’t able to attend the meeting.

This issue was addressed by Hull, who noted, “There are people that work at all hours of day and night,” and reductions in service affect people who don’t work traditional daytime schedules.


More reductions possible

It is possible that service reductions could get even worse. Funds from the Congestion Reduction Charge, enacted by the King County Council in 2011, now support Metro. That charge is currently scheduled to end after May 2014. 

Also, sales-tax revenues, which Metro heavily relies on, have been hurt by the weak economy.

“Right now, we’re going to have to look at reducing service more unless there’s a funding solution,” Hull said.

The Magnolia Transit Riders Group can be contacted by e-mail at

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