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Improvements for better Metro bus routes to Maple Valley and Covington | Letter
The Aug. 19 Maple Valley Reporter noted the $20 tax hike in car tabs and a $10 free Orca card for riding the 164 and 168 bus routes.
Also, 156 acres at Kent-Kangley and 228th, being consider for development by King County.
I have in lived this area coming on three decades now. I have contacted Metro numerous times for better bus service in our southeast King County area, to the business centers and Seattle. The best that has come of it is the 168 a "milk run" up Kent-Kangley. The park and rides do well for those working until 4-5 p.m. If you work until 6 p.m. and you want to get home by bus from Seattle or Renton you had better drive. The last Sounder train out of Seattle leaves at 5:45 p.m., the last direct bus to East Hill 162 leaves at 5:38 p.m. The last bus to Maple Valley Park and Ride leaves 5:30 p.m. There are no connecting buses from Renton station to Maple Valley after 6 p.m.
"The old standby, milk run to Kent Valley " 150 runs all night adds 2-3 hours commute time to your home commute. So your green commute starts at 5 a.m. and gets you home at 9 p.m. Or you drive half way to work to catch a bus or train. That you have to find alternate route to get back to your car to drive home again. The 168 route does not even connect with the Maple Valley Park and Ride three miles down the road. It sits on Maple Valley Highway next to the Goodwill late at night. The most irritating observation about this poorly run bus system is while driving up Maple Valley in the evening between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., I pass three empty 143 and 149 buses heading back into Seattle.
So I have some suggestions regarding the Donut Hole at Kent-Kangley and 228th and the bus service for Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond.
First off, Metro needs to start running the transit system like they want real commuters to ride it, not an amusement ride for visitors. The transit stations need to be connected 24 hours a day.
Second, the Donut Hole should be developed into a Metro bus barn and commuter transit center, It is ridiculous to be running buses back to Seattle at the end of shifts, when they are going to be needed 30 miles away, early in the morning. Stop wasting gas on empty runs to and from the area of operations.
Third, businesses and restaurants are losing sales, because bus commuters are being stressed to make it home by bus due to the poorly offered schedules. If, you had some late night routes back to the area, you could casually shop and eat after work.
Four, run the transit system like you want to make money at it and you will. Hiking car tab fees to give free rides on a broken down, inefficient transit system that shuts down at 5:30 p.m. is a sin to common sense. Efficient service for reasonable profit should be the goal here. Instead of paying riders to support a poor insufficient system management.