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King County Metro - Seattle, Washington

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Hi, I was wondering if there are any past transit maps / timetables, etc. available for the King County Metro system, and if so where I can find them. I'm interested in looking at the past of the Metro and how it has evolved to its current form.

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3 hours ago, Zortan said:

Hi, I was wondering if there are any past transit maps / timetables, etc. available for the King County Metro system, and if so where I can find them. I'm interested in looking at the past of the Metro and how it has evolved to its current form.

Lots of resources right here in this thread: here, here, here, and the last paragraph here.  I'm sure there are lots more: we have 226 more pages of discussion to browse.

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5 hours ago, Atomic Taco said:

Lots of resources right here in this thread: here, here, here, and the last paragraph here.  I'm sure there are lots more: we have 226 more pages of discussion to browse.

I’ll look through it, thanks!

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I don't know how far back you want to go but I have several maps from the STS days.  They're not all accessible as they're on drives that I don't have with me (yes, should have them uploaded to a cloud somewhere but I'm an old fart so I'm not real good with the latest technology) but I do have one I keep handy from when I used to ride the bus as a little kid that I look back on frequently.  You can see some structural evolution even from some 65 years ago in the way some current routes are designed.   I've posted it before and I'll try to attach it again to this post.  My notes say it's from 1955 but not sure  ...but it's around that era, however.  I have another one from the late 60s a bit before I started working  for Metro but I can't seem to find it right now. 

 

 

 

I've told this story before too but when back in the STS days (pre Metro), internally, they would refer to the routes by name rather than by number.  So when I went to work there in the early/mid-70s much if not all of the day-to-day operation and management was carried over from STS.  It wasn't until 1976-77 when East Base opened that they broke away from lot of the traditional nomenclature and operating procedures of STS.

So for example employees (STS and early Metro) would generally refer to different routes by their name as shown on the map below rather than by number.  So when I went to work there I can remember the "dispatcher" (see below) announcing on the radio, "2- Ballard -U" or "Ballard-U #2" for the second run on the route 30 or "1 Roosevelt" or Roosevelt #1" signifying the first run on the route 22 and we would reply back using the same terminology. 

Or our board assignments would be written on the board as  "Latona/4A"   ...that would signify an "A" run on the fourth run that left the barn on route 26 or "Madison 5R" which would be a night run on the 5th run out of the station on the route 11.

Examples of of other things that changed in 1976/77:

STS referred to the operating properties as "Stations"and Metro renamed them "Bases"

STS referred to manager of the station as a "Stationmaster" (railroad terminology) and Metro called them "Base Supervisor"

STS referred to the assistant manager of the station as "Assistant Stationmaster" and Metro called them " Base Chief"

STS referred to the supervisor in the radio room as "dispatcher" and Metro began calling them "Coordinators"

STS referred to the supervisor that handled dispatching the work at the stations as "window man" and Metro referred to them as "base dispatchers"

Lots of other examples but I won't keep going.  But the important thing to make note of is that 1976 was when Metro most notably and visibly broke from the traditions of the Seattle Transit System  ...or the year when East Base was being built and around the time when they started operating their very first fleet of "exclusively Metro" buses ...the AMGs (or "1100s") until that time, the fleet consisted of the old STS and Metropolitan equipment and anything else they could find or rent to fill the service needs ...believe me, we had to drive a lot of junky buses from who-knows-where back then.

1955_Seattle_Transit_System_Map.jpg

 

 

eta:  the map has to evidently be downloaded in order to zoom in and see detail  ...it's a JPEG image and can be zoomed in to see very minute detail

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After doing some additional research, that map I attached above may have been from 1958.  Even if downloading that attachment, it will not give the detail that the original JPEG does.  If anybody wants the JPEG image I have in my files, PM me and I'll email it to you.  It's fascinating to zoom in real close and see such clear detail from back in the late 50s  ...not only of the transit routes but of the streets too. 

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Also, that one post of mine that Taco referenced that had the PDFs attached relating to "ROUTES: An Interpretive History of Public Transportation in Metropolitan Seattle, part V " ...they must've not transferred when this forum transitioned to their new software.  If there's anybody who doesn't have it and would like to see it, I can also email those PDFs to you too.  

*sigh* going back to those requesting that series five years ago, one was Zack Willhoite who told me that even being a transportation aficionado, he didn't think he'd seen it so I sent it to him  ...continue to RIP, Zack, we all think of you often. 

 ,

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21 hours ago, roamer said:

 

I've told this story before too but when back in the STS days (pre Metro), internally, they would refer to the routes by name rather than by number.  So when I went to work there in the early/mid-70s much if not all of the day-to-day operation and management was carried over from STS.  It wasn't until 1976-77 when East Base opened that they broke away from lot of the traditional nomenclature and operating procedures of STS.

So for example employees (STS and early Metro) would generally refer to different routes by their name as shown on the map below rather than by number.  So when I went to work there I can remember the "dispatcher" (see below) announcing on the radio, "2- Ballard -U" or "Ballard-U #2" for the second run on the route 30 or "1 Roosevelt" or Roosevelt #1" signifying the first run on the route 22 and we would reply back using the same terminology. 

Or our board assignments would be written on the board as  "Latona/4A"   ...that would signify an "A" run on the fourth run that left the barn on route 26 or "Madison 5R" which would be a night run on the 5th run out of the station on the route 11.

One of the big considerations for the "new look" wayfinding and destination sign changes of 1978 was to simplify all of this. 

A small system like Seattle Transit could operate based on line names. So decent sized urban systems in the United States were exclusively line names well into the 1980s (New Orleans). 

Seattle Transit's nomenclature was Rt Number - Line Name and these two were connected. Thus passengers could refer to their bus by either, and internally, the line name was usable.

The study that culminated in the 1978 New Look plan identified this and specifically called to separate the two as they were redundant. You don't need a route number AND a line name. One or the other, and the system is big enough, that it should just be a route number. And that was that.

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52 minutes ago, northwesterner said:

One of the big considerations for the "new look" wayfinding and destination sign changes of 1978 was to simplify all of this. 

A small system like Seattle Transit could operate based on line names. So decent sized urban systems in the United States were exclusively line names well into the 1980s (New Orleans). 

Seattle Transit's nomenclature was Rt Number - Line Name and these two were connected. Thus passengers could refer to their bus by either, and internally, the line name was usable.

The study that culminated in the 1978 New Look plan identified this and specifically called to separate the two as they were redundant. You don't need a route number AND a line name. One or the other, and the system is big enough, that it should just be a route number. And that was that.

No, I quite agree what what you've said.  As you know, I just want to keep stimulating my mind and memory for not only as my physical body gets more feeble, so does my mind and I want to challenge myself to remember as much as I can, not only about transit but also other things that happened so many years ago.  So I was just reminiscing and not really analyzing why the changes were made ...or needed.  I can still remember the way Glen (the supervisor who did the board at North Seattle for years before I arrived) wrote those assignments on the board each day  (...and Tom, the gruff window man that I was almost afraid of for the first few months when I was a rookie until getting to know him and finding out he was the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet.  I find myself thinking back to those first days at North Seattle as it had a lot of good memories  ...and the barn being across from Seattle Center, it just felt that we there there right in the thick of activities that were frequently going on).

Yes, the manner in which STS operated was not to my liking at all.  It's procedures and  many things they did were so antiquated.  I welcomed some of the changes Metro made.    

One thing that bothered me when going through training was the boot camp atmosphere where a drill sergeant (instructor) was yelling and screaming at those who made the slightest mistake.  I didn't need to feel like I was in the Army again.  It was especially difficult for the women and I remember several left the day in tears. There was also blatant racism shown too.  Even though women and minorities were being hired in larger numbers in the early days of Metro as compared to STS, I still witnessed a lot of the archaic social values that I heard were prevalent at STS.  That seemed to change rather quickly once that important transition started in earnest in that 1976-77 time period.  

The signage you referenced was definitely a change for the better.  I thought the STS signage was a hodgepodge.  The "To -- Via" signage Metro initiated was at least very consistent.  The AMGs came from the factory with the "To -- Via"along with electric roller signs.  They even retrofitted a few of the remaining STS equipment with "To -- Via" front signs and electric rollers.  I thought it was a waste of money at the time to put electric rollers on some of the 200s, however.  

So not only the nomenclature but the entire modernization that was observed during the transition was all for the better as the first three to four years of Metro's existence were by name only as it was essentially still STS.

Much later --late 80s? to mid 90s-- was the livery change for both the uniform color (it was so good to get out of those brown pants and yellow shirts!!) and the bus colors when the Phantoms arrived.  Can you remember when the uniform colors were changed?   There were three bus paint-scheme changes, correct?  ...the original white with brown and yellow accents, then the white with the brown and yellow stripe with gray bottom, and the current  ...?

  

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5 hours ago, roamer said:

Much later --late 80s? to mid 90s-- was the livery change for both the uniform color (it was so good to get out of those brown pants and yellow shirts!!) and the bus colors when the Phantoms arrived.  Can you remember when the uniform colors were changed?   There were three bus paint-scheme changes, correct?  ...the original white with brown and yellow accents, then the white with the brown and yellow stripe with gray bottom, and the current  ...?

  

Livery changed in 1995, ahead of the delivery of the new Gilligs. 3120 was the first coach repainted. The uniforms changed shortly thereafter though I remember the browns into 1996 for sure.

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The grey-bottom livery had an off-white base color that just ended up making the bus look a bit dirty.  The Bredas were the only coaches to be painted in that livery from the factory, but a fair number of AMG trolleys, the formerly methanol-powered Americanas, and a few random coaches of other types got repainted into it.

Your anecdotes about a "drill sergeant" training atmosphere are interesting.  I went through Metro training in 2000 (induction) and 2002 (full-time) and the atmosphere was mostly very professional, although I still felt that some instructors had unconscious bias with respect to gender and occasionally race.

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On 2/22/2020 at 4:39 PM, northwesterner said:

Livery changed in 1995, ahead of the delivery of the new Gilligs. 3120 was the first coach repainted. The uniforms changed shortly thereafter though I remember the browns into 1996 for sure.

Yeah, now that I think about it, you're right.

 

4 hours ago, David L said:

The grey-bottom livery had an off-white base color that just ended up making the bus look a bit dirty.  The Bredas were the only coaches to be painted in that livery from the factory, but a fair number of AMG trolleys, the formerly methanol-powered Americanas, and a few random coaches of other types got repainted into it.

Your anecdotes about a "drill sergeant" training atmosphere are interesting.  I went through Metro training in 2000 (induction) and 2002 (full-time) and the atmosphere was mostly very professional, although I still felt that some instructors had unconscious bias with respect to gender and occasionally race.

I agree that the scheme with the grey lower portion was not attractive at all.  I guess that's why it didn't last long  ...or at least we should be glad it didn't last long.

Yes, by 2000, things had changed dramatically, including how the instruction department was run.    The most substantive change, however, was that one in 1976-77 when Metro finally pulled away and made a distinct separation from the antiquated Seattle Transit System protocol and procedures.    And although the racial and gender issues have had their problems through the Metro days too --even up until the mid-2000s-- those of the STS days were truly cringe-worthy.  Man, those procedures and way-of-thinking had to go and I personally welcomed that 1976-77 transition and the improvements that followed.

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On 1/24/2020 at 10:07 PM, roamer said:

While the Swedish Issaquah terminal might make sense, it's still not a completely logical reason they're still hanging on to the 1100s.

The reason I say this is that occasionally, we'll see 3700s on the 200 and 40-footers on the 236/238.  Therefore, if they were to completely retire the remaining four 1100s, they could use 3700s on the 200 and 7300s as needed on the 236/238.

 

 

eta:  I just looked at the Swedish Hospital loop on Google SV and I don't see the reason it would prohibit using a 40-footer (I don't think they'd want to use a 40-footer on it regularly anyway, however).  Is that routing flagged somewhere as a hazard where they do not want a 40-footer in that loop? 

 

I've only observed it a few times where a 40-footer has been assigned to the route-200 but today,  coach 7418 has been out on one of the runs since the beginning of service.

Screenshot from tracker attached:  coach 7418 at 13:27 hrs. 25Feb20

Screenshot route 200 02-25-2020.png

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As of Sunday, March 1st, coach 7485 has been activated and the tracker shows it being in service for the first time.  It is the final coach to be activated in the 2nd-batch (7430 to 7494) of the 2018-2019 Gillig Low Floor Advantage series.  All coaches in both batches are now in service. 

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In other fleet developments...

All of the stealth RapidRide coaches (the 28-coach order purchased for RR H and currently wrapped in green) are now in service at Atlantic, spending almost all of their time on the 70 and 120.

Retirement of D40LFs appears to have been paused for the moment, with 4 still in service at Ryerson and 13 at North.  That leaves North with just 53 operating 40' coaches, fewer than they normally have, and indeed they have had to borrow coaches from elsewhere a few times recently.  The 4 remaining 30' Phantoms are also still in service at Bellevue.  South has more 40' coaches than should be necessary for its operations, but it hasn't sent any 40' coaches elsewhere for about a month.  Perhaps once fast-charge infrastructure is in place at Kent and the next batch of Proterras enters service the logjam will break.

All of the slow-charge pilot coaches have been operating regularly in service on various South Base routes, although they don't show up on the trackers.

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KCM is reducing service due to COVID-19:

https://kingcountymetro.blog/2020/03/19/reducedschedule/?fbclid=IwAR1vblwtWzu5QFfMQCYYMkvMgZK41SMBY75NPKJFhBIytVhLimGEJmvO_N4

Down below later in the article is also some news about route updates / improvements that Metro hopes to be launching soon. Full details are in the Spring Service Change:

https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/schedules-maps/service-change.aspx

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Does anybody know if any of the remaining four 1100s (30' Phantoms) are parked in the Bellevue yard?  ...or if they are "officially" retired?

They obviously are not in service because of not only having one door, but for the fact that the route 200 is suspended during the shutdown, so I'm wondering if they are actually retired or being stored in the yard for future use once the 200 is back in operation and the shutdown mandates are lifted.

Last shakeup, one or two of them were being used on the 236/238 along with the 200.

The 246 now is back to using 3700s so that might be where the 1100s could be used again once things are somewhat back to "normal."

I'm going to take the liberty of showing the remaining four 1100s as "retired" on the wiki but will reinstate them as "active" if observing they are eventually back in service.

On another note, since the start of this shakeup, there have been only four 3600s (D40LFs) being signed-out and they are all at North  ...3660, 3667, 3678, and 3680.  Are there any others there sitting idle but ready for use?  ...or are the rest of the 3600s "officially" retired besides the four mentioned?

 

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Okay, I just cleaned up the 3600 wiki page and moved the 1100 page to the retired section the other day.  Yes, once 3660 and 3680 are no longer used, it will be the end of an era  ...no more traditional high floors and no more traditional diesels.

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8 hours ago, EvergreenRailfan said:

Have not seen 3660 and 3680 on the app in over a day.  Too early to make the call?

Both were signed out yesterday.   I'm monitoring them but I think it's too early to call them officially retired.  Let's at least wait until service levels get back to normal and/or employees or others that know employees can give us information from the inside.

eta:  ...sorry, not yesterday but on Wednesday

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22 hours ago, roamer said:

Both were signed out yesterday.   I'm monitoring them but I think it's too early to call them officially retired.  Let's at least wait until service levels get back to normal and/or employees or others that know employees can give us information from the inside.

eta:  ...sorry, not yesterday but on Wednesday

Its been reported elsewhere... they're done.

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On 4/11/2020 at 12:29 PM, northwesterner said:

Its been reported elsewhere... they're done.

Thanks.  I'll adjust the wiki when I can get to it  ...unless somebody else wants to jump in to do it. 

It is the end of an era but not anything groundbreaking as this was scheduled to be done way before this time.  Now, all the primary fleet is low-floor and hybrid, battery-electric, or ETB, correct?   Because of the Sound Transit overlay, however, I suppose there will be traditional buses --high-floors, straight diesel, etc.-- around the area for a long time to come. 

 

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I was looking on the Pantograph tracker and I'm seeing that all trolley routes are being operated by hybrids - is that normal? Sorry I don't usually look at trackers and stuff, but typically I would think that trolleys would operate trolley routes... :P

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1 hour ago, Zortan said:

I was looking on the Pantograph tracker and I'm seeing that all trolley routes are being operated by hybrids - is that normal? Sorry I don't usually look at trackers and stuff, but typically I would think that trolleys would operate trolley routes... :P

On the weekends yes. 

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