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Orion VIII

King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

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Hi y'all, I'm a big Seattle transit fan, but just discovered this site (especially the wiki). I just want to say that new Gillig Low Floor (bus 7305) running on the 240 is the ugliest bus I've seen on the eastside in years. It looks 15 years old, at least, it seems like a backwards step in exterior design. I know looks don't matter that much with buses, but I feel like a good exterior can actually help ridership, and these new buses have terrible exteriors.

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It was said previously that the 7300s were ordered with "classic" styling because the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) front and rear caps had slightly longer overhangs that made them prone to scraping on Seattle's hilly streets. 

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16 hours ago, aznichiro115 said:

120 is based out of Atlantic, the 8200s are at Ryerson or Central. 125 generally runs Orions. Not sure why not on the trolley routes on the weekends.

Shows how much I know; I always thought the 20/120 ran out of Central. How about the other West Seattle and Highline routes (pre-1998 50, 128, 135/138, 139, 631 DART)? Central, Ryerson, South?

15 hours ago, anonymous guy said:

I do recall seeing a rare 2300 on the 125 during peak afternoon hours before their retirement. The 120 would sometimes see a 2300 when the route was based out of Ryerson.

After the move to Atlantic,  the 120 would rarely see 2300/6800/6900/8200 during special event dates when 2600s were used for shuttles. There was also the rare use of a RapidRide coach or even a Gillig Phantom on this route as well.

When was the 120 moved from Ryerson to Atlantic?

14 hours ago, northwesterner said:

Don't know when the change occurred. But the layover was at 7th and Blanchard for a long time...

3000s only operated out of Ryerson (and Mercer Base, briefly, before Ryerson opened), Central/Atlantic, and, as discussed here previously, briefly East Base. Thus, there were no regular assignments of them to the 174.

1600-series Flyers, as well as 3200-Gilligs made occasional appearances. I can recall seeing an occasional 3200 in the late 1990s on a 174 Boeing Industrial or Sea-Tac short-turn. Bredas also were regularly seen on the 174.

Photo from Zack Willhoite of a 3200 on the 174 is attached.

And that brings up another question. What were the buses used in the pre-Gillig era at North and East? For some reason I don't know.

Furthermore, how did Bredas end up on a non-tunnel route? I thought they were exclusively for tunnel routes.

Were Central/Mercer/Jefferson the original Seattle Transit bases? And when did Atlantic stop being a trolley-only garage, and get diesels?

7658446862_981e5c4d2b_o.jpg

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5 hours ago, V3112 said:

And that brings up another question. What were the buses used in the pre-Gillig era at North and East? For some reason I don't know.

1

Flyer D900s, and MAN SG-310 and SG-220

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11 hours ago, V3112 said:

Shows how much I know; I always thought the 20/120 ran out of Central. How about the other West Seattle and Highline routes (pre-1998 50, 128, 135/138, 139, 631 DART)? Central, Ryerson, South?

When was the 120 moved from Ryerson to Atlantic?

Photo from Zack Willhoite of a 3200 on the 174 is attached.

And that brings up another question. What were the buses used in the pre-Gillig era at North and East? For some reason I don't know.

Furthermore, how did Bredas end up on a non-tunnel route? I thought they were exclusively for tunnel routes.

Were Central/Mercer/Jefferson the original Seattle Transit bases? And when did Atlantic stop being a trolley-only garage, and get diesels?

7658446862_981e5c4d2b_o.jpg

The 120 moved to Atlantic 5 or 6 years ago...

The old 20 was at Ryerson, and Mercer before that, forever.

Pre 1998 - The 50 was Ryerson, 128 didn't exist, 135/138 were South, 139 didn't exist.

Towards the end of the 2000s, South Base had a very limited fleet of 2000s. The last shakeup or two they operated there, South had something like 12, which was a low point. These were used for all day base service on the 174, and then other routes as available. On Sundays, with the tunnel closed, the 2000s and 5000s were mixed across the 150/174/194 pretty evenly. There was one run on the 150 on Sundays assigned a Gillig (same run every week), and may have been one run on the 174 (as captured by Zack above) that was the same.

They also regularly worked non-tunnel trippers out of East Base, though always on a run cut that included a tunnel trip. After about 2001, Central Base also used them, heavily in the AM Peak on trippers (some of which may have been full-time runs that did a tripper first ... the 71/72/73 for years had a much lower headway in the AM than mid-day and PM peak, so those runs would do a tripper then start their work on the 71-series around 9AM), as well as a few in the PM peak. North Base had a Breda assigned to a 358 trip for one shake-up in the PM around 2002, but their scheduler rarely assigned them to non-tunnel work. 

For about a year in the same time period, there was a Saturday 71-series run that wrapped up a 73 in Jackson Park in the early evening (around 6:30PM) then deadhead over to Shoreline Community College, did an inbound 5, an outbound 54, and an inbound 54 and returned to the base. I never snagged a picture of this, because it except in the summer months, it was always dark when this run was operating with this equipment on the 5 or 54.

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On 10/4/2018 at 10:50 AM, V3112 said:

 <snip>

Were Central/Mercer/Jefferson the original Seattle Transit bases? 

<snip>

The original Seattle Transit System "stations"  (they were referred to as stations back then) were 1) Atlantic Station (headquarters of STS) at Airport and Atlantic, 2) North Seattle Station at 5th and Mercer, and 3) Jefferson Station at 14th and Jefferson.  They retained those names for the first three or four years after Metro took over.  North Seattle Station wasn't re-named Mercer Base until quite a few years later in 1977 or 78, I believe.  North Seattle Station is where I originally trained and had the STS 100s, 200s, 500s, and 800s as equipment.  The monorail at that time was operated by Metro operators out of North Seattle.  That was a fun experience operating the monorail as a board operator out of North Seattle.  Jefferson, of course, had the trolleybuses and Atlantic had 200s, 500s, and 700s.

Central and Ryerson were not STS barns but were created after Metro took over along with East, South, and North bases.  

I can't remember if Metropolitan Transit referred to their barn as a "station" or not but from my faint memory, I believe it was referred to Dearborn Garage (at 8th and Dearborn).  Metropolitan ran the suburban service just prior to Metro taking over.  Dearborn continued operation under Metro for several years still operating most of the suburban service with the old Metropolitan equipment.  When I first started driving buses, I worked out of Dearborn one shake-up and just loved it as most of the coaches had manual transmissions and even though tiring to drive, were really fun once one learned to shift without grinding the gears ...you either had to double clutch or float the gears (we weren't suppose to float shift but many of us did once we figured out how to do it) but no matter if double-clutching or floating the gears, you still had to match the road speed with the engine RPM to shift smoothly so it did take a lot of practice to be skillful at not grinding gears.  Even the old-timers could be heard going down the road with that familiar sound of gears grinding. 

Several years after STS and Metropolitan were merged to create Metro (originally known as the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, the municipality that operated transit and managed the waste water system) and when East Base first opened in 1977, the stations were re-named "bases" with East Base being the very first "Metro Base."  South, Ryerson, Central, and North bases followed later.  I picked East Base that first shake-up it opened and it was an exciting experience being part of that history.  

 

eta:  the reason it was "exciting" to be at East Base that first shake-up is that not only was it the very first Metro base but it was brand new and modern.  In addition, they initially showcased it with the brand new AMG coaches for all the press releases.  It has to be remembered that those first few years of Metro, they were using the old Seattle Transit System and Metropolitan barns which were old and rickety  ...especially North Seattle and Jeff as they were old wood buildings that were creepy inside and out.  At least Atlantic was a concrete building at the time and had a more modern feel to it as it pertained to the office areas and the drivers' bullpen.  It was the flagship facility of STS after all and housed various departments such as training, safety, cashier/fare sorting, etc.    The Atlantic shop was a huge old wooden building, however.  Dearborn, from my recollection, was also old and rather dilapidated.  I guess that's why we all thought that when East Base opened, it was so monumental to have such a modern (for that time) and new facility for the very first time. 

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On 10/4/2018 at 10:19 PM, northwesterner said:

The 120 moved to Atlantic 5 or 6 years ago...

The old 20 was at Ryerson, and Mercer before that, forever.

Pre 1998 - The 50 was Ryerson, 128 didn't exist, 135/138 were South, 139 didn't exist.

If the 135 ran out of South Base, that would explain why it didn't get any interlines, while the 125 (which ran out of Central) did. It would also explain why the 174 (which also ran out of South Base) terminated near CPS instead of interlining. Well, that and it was a "horrifically long and slow route" as you might call it.

I'm going by the assumption that the 139 used 30' Gilligs out of South Base, and that the 11 was also moved from Ryerson to Central in 2004. As for 631 (and 635 as a matter of fact), I don't know whether Hopelink vans get their own separate base, or such vans continue to run out of South Base.

Was the 128 placed at Ryerson or South when it started in 1998?

Apparently one of the Magnolia routes used to interline with the old 31 Beacon Hill? Roamer, you may know about this

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1 hour ago, V3112 said:

As for 631 (and 635 as a matter of fact), I don't know whether Hopelink vans get their own separate base, or such vans continue to run out of South Base.

Metro doesn't own the vans.  They have regular plates and Hopelink operates them from their own facilities almost completely independent from Metro.

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4 hours ago, V3112 said:

If the 135 ran out of South Base, that would explain why it didn't get any interlines, while the 125 (which ran out of Central) did. It would also explain why the 174 (which also ran out of South Base) terminated near CPS instead of interlining. Well, that and it was a "horrifically long and slow route" as you might call it.

I'm going by the assumption that the 139 used 30' Gilligs out of South Base, and that the 11 was also moved from Ryerson to Central in 2004. As for 631 (and 635 as a matter of fact), I don't know whether Hopelink vans get their own separate base, or such vans continue to run out of South Base.

Was the 128 placed at Ryerson or South when it started in 1998?

Apparently one of the Magnolia routes used to interline with the old 31 Beacon Hill? Roamer, you may know about this


I'm glad you're challenging me to dig in and try to remember things.  Not only is my health failing fast but it seems my memory and cognitive functions are slipping away even faster than the physical ailments piling up.  As I've told many on the forum previously, it really is helpful for me to try and remember things and it's good therapy overall. I know my recollections are not always correct and I'm always eager for anybody to correct me.  Also, I realize there are a few here who don't appreciate my posts and my musings about the past ...maybe because they are not always 100% correct?    I've had several forum participants both publicly and privately tell me so.   But I hope most will put up with my posts as, like I say, it's good therapy for me. 

I wish I had kept all the "route pages" (what we used before "The Book" ...route pages were single sheet maps and directions printed on standard-sized paper that the instruction department would dole out and quiz us on when qualifying on a route) and all the editions of The Book along with pick sheets, driver bulletins, and a lot of other things that one doesn't really think about keeping at the time that would end up being useful and interesting decades in the future.  I did start to keep editions of The Book while working but ended up leaving them behind during a move after retiring.   I really kick myself for not thinking ahead.  It would be such a treasure now to have kept everything from the 1970s forward.

I'm really thinking hard on what I remember of the old 31 Beacon line when I first started.  Yes, from what I can remember, it was through-routed with the 24 - 28th Ave W (or what is now "Central Magnolia").  

As in previous posts I've written, Seattle Transit routes were internally referred to by name rather than by number.  Therefore,  the 31/24 was known as "Beacon"  ...and the 19/36 known as "Carleton" or "Carleton Park" and the 26/42 known as "Latona"  and the 22 known as "Roosevelt" and the 30 known as "Ballard-U" and the 5 known as "Phinney" and the 1 known as "Kinnear" and the 2 known as "West Queen Anne" and 6 and 16 known as "Greenlake" and 17 known as "Sunset" or "Sunset Hill" etc., etc. etc.  Oh, and I believe the heaviest STS line was the 7 and that actually wasn't referred to as Rainier but rather "Eastlake" 

So each separate run on a line was referred to as the number corresponding to the order leaving the barn followed by the route name --so the first run on the Latona line was referred to as "#1 Latona" and so forth.  Metro kept that basic STS regimen until about 1976 or 77 when they went to a route-numbering system and the runs then started using the format "26/01" or the first coach out on the 26 line, etc.  and I believe it's essentially the same today.

19 Carleton Park seemed like it was through-routed with 36 Highland Park (White Center) and then extended to 136 Burien with a White Center turnback shortly after Metro took over.  Both the 24/31 and the 19/36/136 were run out of North Seattle with 200s and 500s.  33 Fort Lawton seemed it was by itself and was run with the NJ 800s (trippers used with 100s). 

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5 hours ago, V3112 said:

If the 135 ran out of South Base, that would explain why it didn't get any interlines, while the 125 (which ran out of Central) did. It would also explain why the 174 (which also ran out of South Base) terminated near CPS instead of interlining. Well, that and it was a "horrifically long and slow route" as you might call it.

I'm going by the assumption that the 139 used 30' Gilligs out of South Base, and that the 11 was also moved from Ryerson to Central in 2004. As for 631 (and 635 as a matter of fact), I don't know whether Hopelink vans get their own separate base, or such vans continue to run out of South Base.

Was the 128 placed at Ryerson or South when it started in 1998?

Apparently one of the Magnolia routes used to interline with the old 31 Beacon Hill? Roamer, you may know about this

These discussions are difficult because there are many different time eras, and routes that overlapped.

The 135 and 138 were historically out of South, and operated from that base for the majority of their lives. The 135 in its last two years or so, was moved to Ryerson (the 138 was eliminated by that point). When the 135 was eliminated, and the 125 created, the 125 operated out of Ryerson Base, replacing the 135. 

The 11 moved from Ryerson to Central, much, much, more recently (and may have gone back and forth at least once) than 2004.

The 128 was placed at South when it started, and operated continuously out of South until it moved to Central very recently.

For many years, the 24 interlined with the 39, which served Beacon Hill. I believe the 39 was the successor to the 31 Beacon Hill. 

51 minutes ago, roamer said:


19 Carleton Park seemed like it was through-routed with 36 Highland Park (White Center) and then extended to 136 Burien with a White Center turnback shortly after Metro took over.  Both the 24/31 and the 19/36/136 were run out of North Seattle with 200s and 500s.  33 Fort Lawton seemed it was by itself and was run with the NJ 800s (trippers used with 100s). 

The 19/136/137 and 24/39 pairings maintained until the Magnolia restructure around 1998...

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I think  --not entirely sure-- that the 39 was the Seward Park shuttle.

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2 hours ago, roamer said:

I think  --not entirely sure-- that the 39 was the Seward Park shuttle.

I think that is correct. I believe the 31 Beacon was the route via Columbian Way ... the later 39 was 4th Ave S to Columbian Way and then Seward Park before terminating at Rainier Beach or continuing to Southcenter.

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Sounds right.   It was strictly a shuttle in the early 70s.  The reason 39 sticks in my mind is --and I think I've told this story before-- is that road reliefs were made at Rainier and Genessee.   Back then, we weren't paid to get back to the barn from a relief point.  Therefore, you were off the payroll once being relieved and there was no such things as "relief cars" back then.  We had to take a #7 into town and then transfer to a 6, 16, 3, or a 4 to get back to the North Seattle barn.  Sometimes it would take 45 minutes or more on our own time to get back.    I can remember an "old-timer" (I think he picked #1 or 2) who picked the daylighter and he didn't seem to mind  ...and he didn't mind driving a bouncy 100 coach either!

A couple of other relief points that weren't quite as bad but still were aggravating, at least to me, were the relief point for the 48 at Woodlawn and Ravenna and the 45th and Stone Way on the 30.  We also had to walk over to or back from Dexter and Republican for the relief point on the 17 which I hated doing on cold rainy or snowy days.   

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25 minutes ago, roamer said:

  I can remember an "old-timer" (I think he picked #1 or 2) who picked the daylighter and he didn't seem to mind  ...and he didn't mind driving a bouncy 100 coach either!

There was an article either in the old Seattle Transit employee newsletter or the early Metro version of it about the ancient, high-mileage 100s and their high seniority operators that loved driving them on the 39 Shuttle...

If someone who lives in Seattle wants to hit up the stacks at the UW library and scan that article for us.... 😀

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18 hours ago, roamer said:

But I hope most will put up with my posts as, like I say, it's good therapy for me. 

I enjoy your thoughtful and informed posts and I hope you feel better! :)

 

18 hours ago, roamer said:

So each separate run on a line was referred to as the number corresponding to the order leaving the barn followed by the route name --so the first run on the Latona line was referred to as "#1 Latona" and so forth.  Metro kept that basic STS regimen until about 1976 or 77 when they went to a route-numbering system and the runs then started using the format "26/01" or the first coach out on the 26 line, etc.  and I believe it's essentially the same today.

Interesting. I am involved with a system that, until very recently, followed the old STS method almost to a tee -- right down to not using route numbers. Only difference was, runs were numbered in order of time in rather than time out. It was a holdover from streetcar-era yard cycling and car storage practices.

The old system became increasingly meaningless (and operationally problematic) with interlining, two-piece runs that covered multiple routes, etc. Just last month, after many, many decades, we switched to a new run numbering system. I can explain it in-depth upon request (maybe in another thread!), but it basically lumps all runs at each base into one big batch. Then they're all numbered in pull-out order. So far, so good.

Back to Metro... if they're numbering runs based on route, how does that work on consistently interlined routes? Like, are there separately listed runs for Route 1 and Route 14 even though they're interlined?

What about two-piece runs (combos?) that cover multiple runs?

On a related note, I wish Metro buses displayed an exterior-facing run/block number in the windshield. Most large systems do and it's notable that Metro does not. I know it's not relevant for the general public... but it's fun for transit geeks and it must make things easier for road supervision. I won't hold my breath, though!

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8 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

Back to Metro... if they're numbering runs based on route, how does that work on consistently interlined routes? Like, are there separately listed runs for Route 1 and Route 14 even though they're interlined?

What about two-piece runs (combos?) that cover multiple runs?

On a related note, I wish Metro buses displayed an exterior-facing run/block number in the windshield. Most large systems do and it's notable that Metro does not. I know it's not relevant for the general public... but it's fun for transit geeks and it must make things easier for road supervision. I won't hold my breath, though!

Typically the runs are based off of a route family, with a "parent route" as the "route"/"run." Thus back when the 15/18/21/22/56/57 were all interlined, all runs were 15/** where ** is the run number and 15 was the parent route. 

These days, we do see trippers, that are part of a parent route family, labeled with the route number of the tripper. I believe this is to make it easier to understand at a glance what the tripper is actually operating. 

You do see some routes that are part of a family but with a different characteristic with a different parent route ... for instance, the early AM diesel trippers on route 44 where historically assigned "44/XX" while the trolley coach 43 and 44 runs were all "43/XX."

In other situations, they'll use high run numbers ... when the 7 Express was still operating with diesel service, the run numbers were in the 50s for AM trippers, and 60s for PM trippers. If you knew this run number structure, you could identify what it was at a glance.

Metro had exterior facing run numbers going back to the 1940s until the mid-2000s when they were removed. Poor driver visibility on the Gilligs was the culprit - as delivered they had too tall mirrors (blind spots), overly tall fareboxes in relation to the drivers seat, dash sign holders & run number boxes that created blind spots to the right. All of these items were adjusted over time - new mirrors (three iterations on the left, three on the right), shorter farebox vaults, and finally clear dash sign holders and removal of run number boxes.

I daresay the run number boxes would have survived if it hadn't been for all the other blind spot issues.

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22 hours ago, northwesterner said:

These days, we do see trippers, that are part of a parent route family, labeled with the route number of the tripper. I believe this is to make it easier to understand at a glance what the tripper is actually operating.

These have the T suffix at the end, e.g. 342/14T.  There's also a VT suffix and I can't remember what the V stands for.

There's also an R suffix which IIRC means it contains a road relief.

There's an A suffix and I have no idea what it means.

There are even some completely unrelated routes that go on the same run; I remember one run card where there were two northbound 197s followed by an inbound 5.  I think it was 197/03.

It's also common with the tunnel routes to have some unrelated routes grouped together (e.g. 101 and 150) and I'm not sure what logic they use to choose the route number on that one.

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In addition to the driver visibility issues, it seems to me that when they decided to remove the run number boxes, they also cited that they no longer served the purpose they once did.

The run number display was mainly for the first-line supervisor's benefit.  Before the extensive use of computers and other modern electronics used today, the only way the Seattle Transit System (and early Metro) street supervisors were able to tell the run number of a particular coach was by the display in the window.  They didn't have immediate access to see exactly what coach was on each run.  

Back in the STS days and even in the early days of Metro, there were quite a few street supervisors assigned to the CBD.  I believe they've done away with them entirely now, correct?  Street supervisors (internally known as "portables") were assigned to certain sections in the CBD to handle coach breakdowns, assist drivers with passenger problems, take time checks, write operators "greenies" for early operation or not having correct signage displayed or running red lights, etc.).  The run number box immediate identified the run for the street supervisor.

Before buses had radios, drivers had to use the transit phone boxes located in strategic places in the CBD that went directly to the "dispatcher" (now know as a coordinator).  Once leaving the CBD drivers had to use public phone booths, etc. to call the dispatcher if they had a problem that needed to be addressed.  Even when I started with Metro, many of the buses still did not have radios installed.  And even in those days, Metro would still "loan" all drivers a dime (?) once qualified as an operator graduating from training (we had to turn the dime back in when quitting or being fired from the job) in able to make those phone calls just as STS did.  If we did use the money to make a phone call to the dispatcher, we could then request another dime on the proper request form but I don't think hardly anybody did that.  The concept was pretty stupid but I guess something that the Union had fought for back in the days of STS.

Some of the CDB street supervisors had little enclosed shacks that were on the corner on some of the major connecting points or heavy traffic corridors in the CBD that they could do their paper work, get warm or stay out of the weather, or monitor bus service.  Those seemed to be high-seniority first-liners who picked those shifts.   Other portables had to "walk the streets" from what I recall.  

The run number boxes only displayed the run number (not the route) so it only confused the riding public.  Many confused it with the bus number or the even the route number.  

It made perfect sense to do away with them once the use of computers and electronics came into being as supervisors had easy access to see electronically what coach is on what run.  Or at least print out copies of coach assignments.  Remember, back in the 70s and earlier, copiers, printers, etc. were not widely used if used at all.  It seemed like copiers were used only in selective spots as they were really expensive back then and who knows what they did back in the 60 and before?   Lots of those good old mimeograph machines, though, that really didn't help in a situation like this.

 

 

Pertaining to route and run designation during the STS days and the early days of Metro, routes were pretty much strictly uniform pertaining to runs.  I can't remember very many run cuts having "foreign" routes at all if any.  Therefore, as an example, if a bus left the barn on the 26 route, it would exclusively do the 26/42/142 route all day long.   A route may have had "turnbacks" where they'd be scheduled to a terminal short of the main or last terminal but would still stay on that same route all day and night it was operating.  

When the scheduling department started to use computers, they could then make run cuts much more efficiently and it's when we started to commonly observe foreign routes on many, if not the majority of runs.  Therefore, now if a run is designated as 42/01, it may start out as a 42 (but not necessarily) and possibly do other routes anywhere within it's scheduled day and/or night on the road.  

 

 

 

eta:  Some newly-hired drivers may or may not have been told that their Metro-issued "T" key that is now used to unlock Metro comfort stations is called a "T -key" because it stood for "telephone" key that would open the telephone boxes downtown that gave direct access to the dispatcher.   When STS installed the comfort station at 4th and Washington above the railroad tracks (and other comfort stations), they used the same lock that the telephone boxes used and the T-key carried forward the function of the comfort station key to this day  ...i think they still call it a T-key. 

 

 

 

 

 

15 hours ago, Atomic Taco said:

These have the T suffix at the end, e.g. 342/14T.  There's also a VT suffix and I can't remember what the V stands for.

There's also an R suffix which IIRC means it contains a road relief.

There's an A suffix and I have no idea what it means.

There are even some completely unrelated routes that go on the same run; I remember one run card where there were two northbound 197s followed by an inbound 5.  I think it was 197/03.

It's also common with the tunnel routes to have some unrelated routes grouped together (e.g. 101 and 150) and I'm not sure what logic they use to choose the route number on that one.

 

These are the definitions from what I can remember.  Current employees, please correct where applicable. 

"T" is a tripper that is a piece of work that is less than 7 hours and 20 minutes (or so ...somebody will have to give the exact time as I can't remember) and leaves the barn and comes back to the barn.

"VT" is a tripper that makes a road relief and could be one that makes a relief and also is relieved on the road.   I seem to recall that the "v" stands for "variable" but that definition never made much sense to me.

"R" actually designates a full run (8 hour guaranty) that quits after 8:00 PM  and is associated with a night run.  It may or may not make a road relief.  The term "relief run" to a driver will have a specific meaning that it's a full night run with an 8 hour guaranty (and not any piece of work making a road relief).  e.g.  "Hey, did you pick a "relief run" for next shake-up?  No, I never work nights."  Some "relief runs" leave the barn in the afternoon and come back to the barn in the evening and never make a road relief but will still have a "R" suffix. 

An "A" run is a full run (8 hour guaranty) that makes a road relief and is off by 8:00 PM

A daylighter is a term used by drivers and is a full run (8 hour guaranty) that leaves the barn early in the morning.  These are usually the more desirable runs for full-timers and tend to be picked by higher seniority operators unless that higher seniority driver prefers to work the hours of an "A-run" or "relief run."   Daylighters typically will not have any suffix attached.

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9 hours ago, roamer said:

 

These are the definitions from what I can remember.  Current employees, please correct where applicable. 

"T" is a tripper that is a piece of work that is less than 7 hours and 20 minutes (or so ...somebody will have to give the exact time as I can't remember) and leaves the barn and comes back to the barn.

"VT" is a tripper that makes a road relief and could be one that makes a relief and also is relieved on the road.   I seem to recall that the "v" stands for "variable" but that definition never made much sense to me.

 "R" actually designates a full run (8 hour guaranty) that quits after 8:00 PM  and is associated with a night run.  It may or may not make a road relief.  The term "relief run" to a driver will have a specific meaning that it's a full night run with an 8 hour guaranty (and not any piece of work making a road relief).  e.g.  "Hey, did you pick a "relief run" for next shake-up?  No, I never work nights."  Some "relief runs" leave the barn in the afternoon and come back to the barn in the evening and never make a road relief but will still have a "R" suffix. 

An "A" run is a full run (8 hour guaranty) that makes a road relief and is off by 8:00 PM

A daylighter is a term used by drivers and is a full run (8 hour guaranty) that leaves the barn early in the morning.  These are usually the more desirable runs for full-timers and tend to be picked by higher seniority operators unless that higher seniority driver prefers to work an "A-run" or "relief run."

This is all still accurate. I see "RB" as a suffix these days for Owl runs, not sure how long that has been in place.

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13 hours ago, northwesterner said:

This is all still accurate. I see "RB" as a suffix these days for Owl runs, not sure how long that has been in place.

Oh, very good!  Yes, forgot about RBs.  Right, that designation has been around for a long time too.  A "relief B run" or what was/is known to the drivers as an "all-nighter."  I believe the term "owl" is relatively new.  I don't think STS used that term or at least I don't remember that term when I used to work all-nighters on the board.   ETA:  Now that I think about it some more, STS may have used the term "owl"  ...my memory is not really clear on that but I do seem to remember an "owl" designation on the bottom of the STS transfers.

 

anecdote:   Working the Atlantic night board when I was a relatively new operator, I used to dread working the trip that did the 2:15 am down Rainier on a Friday or Saturday night.  Back then, we had a rotating board and it seemed my position on the board would somehow frequently be in line for the Eastlake RB that did both the 2:15 and 3:20(?) sb trips.  What was called "the 2:15 south" was an infamous trip especially on a Friday or Saturday as it got all the drunks going home right after the bars closed.  It seemed that it was a regular occurrence that some type of problem would pop up.  I can personally remember having the police called for fights on the bus several times on those Friday night trips.  700s were used, and believe me, most of us would barrel down Rainer to get that trip over with as quickly as possible. 

I'm not sure if they still "clear" the owl trips at night but it used to be that a supervisor would have to visually see that all buses were laying over at their correct zones downtown so that all connections could be made before an all-clear signal would be given to proceed.  Before all buses had radios, a loud bell(s) that could be heard in the heart of the CBD was sounded to clear the trips.  We could not leave on schedule until the bell was sounded after the supervisor visually made note that all buses were in their positions.  We'd sometimes have to wait several minutes if an inbound bus was late getting into the CBD for those last trips of the night.   Once all the buses had radios in the late 70s, the bell was disabled and not used as the all clear signal could be given over the radio.  Now with the sophisticated tracking, I would guess that a supervisor no longer monitors the situation and it's all done at the control center.

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2 hours ago, roamer said:

a supervisor would have to visually see that all buses were laying over at their correct zones downtown so that all connections could be made before an all-clear signal would be given to proceed.  Before all buses had radios, a loud bell(s) that could be heard in the heart of the CBD was sounded to clear the trips.  We could not leave on schedule until the bell was sounded after the supervisor visually made note that all buses were in their positions.  We'd sometimes have to wait several minutes if an inbound bus was late getting into the CBD for those last trips of the night.   Once all the buses had radios in the late 70s, the bell was disabled and not used as the all clear signal could be given over the radio. 

Same in Edmonton. A supervisor would be in the central of downtown (101 Street and Jasper Avenue). He would visually see that all buses in all four directions were in and people had a chance to make their transfer connections.  There were four departure times.  2400, 0020, 0040 and 0100. The supervisor would blow a whistle when it was 'all clear'.  The buses in CBD at those departure times were called 'Whistle Buses'.

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11 hours ago, roamer said:

I'm not sure if they still "clear" the owl trips at night but it used to be that a supervisor would have to visually see that all buses were laying over at their correct zones downtown so that all connections could be made before an all-clear signal would be given to proceed.  Before all buses had radios, a loud bell(s) that could be heard in the heart of the CBD was sounded to clear the trips.  We could not leave on schedule until the bell was sounded after the supervisor visually made note that all buses were in their positions.  We'd sometimes have to wait several minutes if an inbound bus was late getting into the CBD for those last trips of the night.   Once all the buses had radios in the late 70s, the bell was disabled and not used as the all clear signal could be given over the radio.  Now with the sophisticated tracking, I would guess that a supervisor no longer monitors the situation and it's all done at the control center.

Can confirm that this was in place in '09.  Supervisors were still on the street, but with the help of the coordinators and/or the laptop in their truck they were able to track the last coach to arrive and would hold everybody until then.

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On 10/12/2018 at 2:47 PM, Border City Transit said:

Back to Metro... if they're numbering runs based on route, how does that work on consistently interlined routes? Like, are there separately listed runs for Route 1 and Route 14 even though they're interlined?

Expanding on Roamer's anecdote about the Ballard-West Seattle transit corridor on 1st Avenue:

Between the Sept 2001 changes and RapidRide C/D launch, the following pattern was in effect.

  • Until 6:30 pm Mon-Sat, Routes 15 and 18 ran every 20 minutes each, for a combined 10 minute headway between 15th & Leary (north approach to the Ballard Bridge) all the way into downtown Seattle.
  • For each of the 3tph on Routes 15 or 18, 1tph continued as Route 21, 1tph continued as Route 22, and the third trip continued as Route 56. Both Ballard routes cycled through the three West Seattle routes 20 minute intervals.
  • On weekdays during PM peak only, inbound 15/18 trips that would have normally continued to Route 56, continued to Route 57X instead. (In the opposite direction, during AM peak, Route 57X ran via 4th Avenue to 7th & Blanchard, instead of interlining.)
  • After 8:00 pm or so, Route 15 would loop through Blue Ridge then have an extended wait at 15th & 85th, while Route 18 do the same at 24th & 85th after looping through North Beach. This was not uncommon among urban routes, the 7 started doing this in 2001 (doubling back to the Henderson St loop from Prentice St during evenings), this was also present on the 21
  • All other times, including all day Sundays, Route 15 ran every 30 minutes and interlined with Route 21 only; Route 18 ran every 30 minutes and interlined with Route 56 only. Route 22 trips live-looped downtown.
  • Express trips continued to 2nd & S Main St then deadheaded to Central Base, and vice versa.

I'm not sure what the pre-1998 West Seattle-Ballard interline pattern was, especially with the pesky 15 Night Shuttle complicating things. This was back when Route 28's interline was with Route 56 instead of the 39 (and when Genesee Hill service was an hourly branch of the 56), so I'm guessing most 15/18 trips live-looped downtown because the only other interline was with Route 22. But then again I don't know if the 15/18 ran every 20 minutes before 1998, either.

I'm going to read over the later posts because there's a lot more I want to say

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v3112, pertaining to "pre-1998,"  I can't comment too much as at that time, I was mainly working on the eastside and wasn't paying too much attention to what was going on in the city.

I will go back to the 70s when I first started working for Metro, and many of the STS routes were still in place with many unchanged, and recall what I remember about a couple of "interlined" (this is a term that I've never used but what we used to call "through routed") routes in the city at that time ...some lines were through-routed (or routed through downtown) with the same number and some were not --here is how I remember the 15 and 18:

*  The "Fauntleroy" line or the 18-route was through-routed and kept the #18 on both ends.  The West Seattle end had its terminal just south of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal and the north end terminal was up in North Beach via 24th Ave NW.

*  The "West Seattle" line or "the 15" was through-routed and also kept the same number on both ends.  The West Seattle terminal was near Alki Point via Admiral Way and the Junction ...and the north end was just south of Carkeek Park up at NW 105th.  

The "Latona" line, or the 26, was an example of one that was through-routed and changed numbers as it went through downtown.  The north end terminal was at Woodlawn and Ravenna and it changed numbers to the 42 (and later, 42/142 after Metro took over) going out Empire Way (now MLK Way) to Leo St. (?)  

The relief point was at the nearside corner southbound at 5th and Pine.  We'd make the relief and then immediately turn right on Pine St. and at the next zone, at 4th and Pine, farside (Bon Marche, now Macy's)  was the "official" place to change signs to "42" but obviously, most of us would change the signs at the relief point.  But we'd be quizzed by the Instruction Department when qualifying on where the official relief points and sign-changing zones would be on any given route.  


I just dug these back up from my files  --if you do not have the 1983 system map and the 1983 brochure that Oran has posted elsewhere and has been posted and referenced here on this forum previously, let me know by PM and I'll email them to you.  I also have a very old Seattle Transit System map from the the 50s, I think, or before the freeway was built and when the city-limits were at 85th Street.  This would have been pretty close to the map that I would have used as a kid when I rode the bus both with my mother and alone as I got a bit older. 

I can't remember much as a kid about the system other than riding primarily the trolley routes 6 and 16 around the Green Lake area and the 14 to Mt. Baker.  Riding those trolley routes is what really got me interested in transit and wanting to be a bus driver  ...something that I really never planned to do but somehow ended up doing anyway.  In high school, I'd ride the Latona (26), Roosevelt (22), Meridian (16), and the 7 as it went through the U-district. 

I remember our house where we were living at when I was in elementary school had to be taken out because it was where the current NB 45th street off ramp is now. We were forced to move because that whole corridor was being excavated to make room for the freeway.  One recollection that was fascinating to me as a kid just before we were forced to move was watching all the more expensive houses that were being moved on rollers (like rolling pins) down the nearby streets to different locations to make way for I-5.   There was one pretty big brick mansion (or what looked like a mansion to me at the time) being moved down the street on these rollers  ...that image just sticks in my mind for some reason.  This was around 1957.  

 

(Here again, I wish I had kept the passenger timetables from back in the 1970s and beyond.  As a driver, at the beginning of each shake-up, I'd collect one of each timetable and bundle them with several rubber bands and put them in my bag just in case I needed look up something or I'd even give one to a passenger if requested and replace it later.  I used to keep them and I had several years worth of old bundled up passenger timetables in my basement.  However, at some point, I must've thought "why am I keeping these things???" and threw them out.  argh!)

 

 

Anybody else who doesn't have those maps --1983 and 1955ish (?)-- drop me a PM and I'll email them to you  --all are in JPEG and can be zoomed in to pick up a lot of detail.  They are too large to attach here on the forum.   They've all been referenced and linked here on the forum before this but just in case anybody who joined recently and hasn't gone back and read this entire thread, I'll be glad to just quickly send them to you.

 

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6 hours ago, V3112 said:

Expanding on Roamer's anecdote about the Ballard-West Seattle transit corridor on 1st Avenue:

Between the Sept 2001 changes and RapidRide C/D launch, the following pattern was in effect.

  • Until 6:30 pm Mon-Sat, Routes 15 and 18 ran every 20 minutes each, for a combined 10 minute headway between 15th & Leary (north approach to the Ballard Bridge) all the way into downtown Seattle.
  • For each of the 3tph on Routes 15 or 18, 1tph continued as Route 21, 1tph continued as Route 22, and the third trip continued as Route 56. Both Ballard routes cycled through the three West Seattle routes 20 minute intervals.
  • On weekdays during PM peak only, inbound 15/18 trips that would have normally continued to Route 56, continued to Route 57X instead. (In the opposite direction, during AM peak, Route 57X ran via 4th Avenue to 7th & Blanchard, instead of interlining.)
  • After 8:00 pm or so, Route 15 would loop through Blue Ridge then have an extended wait at 15th & 85th, while Route 18 do the same at 24th & 85th after looping through North Beach. This was not uncommon among urban routes, the 7 started doing this in 2001 (doubling back to the Henderson St loop from Prentice St during evenings), this was also present on the 21
  • All other times, including all day Sundays, Route 15 ran every 30 minutes and interlined with Route 21 only; Route 18 ran every 30 minutes and interlined with Route 56 only. Route 22 trips live-looped downtown.
  • Express trips continued to 2nd & S Main St then deadheaded to Central Base, and vice versa.

I'm not sure what the pre-1998 West Seattle-Ballard interline pattern was, especially with the pesky 15 Night Shuttle complicating things. This was back when Route 28's interline was with Route 56 instead of the 39 (and when Genesee Hill service was an hourly branch of the 56), so I'm guessing most 15/18 trips live-looped downtown because the only other interline was with Route 22. But then again I don't know if the 15/18 ran every 20 minutes before 1998, either.

I'm going to read over the later posts because there's a lot more I want to say

A couple corrections. The 15/18/21/22/56/57 interline pattern started with the Fall 1998 service change. This corresponded with the 15 & 18 each seeing a 20 minute headway weekdays, 10 minute combined. Previously each operated on a 30 minute headway, 15 minute combined on the common corridor. One of the 15 or 18 would through route on 1st Ave with the 22, while the other would layover at 2nd and Main. I believe that if you operated an inbound 18, became a 22, then the other way, you'd throughroute to a 15 in the northbound direction. But this interline pattern changed often. Pre Fall 1998, the 21 throughrouted with the 16, and as you noted, the 28 with the 56.

Note that the 15 Night Shuttle operated through the mid-2000s, when it was finally eliminated. I'd have to look at a timetable (have some from this era, in storage in my parent's basement in Seattle so not accessible) but the 15 Night Shuttle interlined with the 18 on the very north end. It was some weird pattern that had been around forever... something like a northbound 18 would do the North Beach loop, then operate to via 85th Ave NW and lay s/b on 15th at 85th. It would then operate an inbound 15 shuttle to the Ballard Bridge. It then would pull around and hold for the outbound 18 at 15th and Leary, operate the 15 through the Blue Ridge loop, then, operate westbound on NW 85th Street and lay inbound at 24th and 85th. It would then operate an inbound 18 to Downtown Seattle. 

Also, post Fall 1998 the 22 did not terminate downtown on Sundays. I believe the pattern was 30-minute headways on the 21, and 60-minutes each on the 22 and 56, for a 15 minute headway on the common corridor. There were some cutbacks to the 22 after I-695, including an elimination of evening service. 

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