Service Quality Investments
SPEED AND RELIABILITY Metro aspires to deliver service customers can count on by making an unprecedented level of capital investments to improve transit speed and reliability. By keeping buses moving through congestion and arriving on schedule, Metro will deliver more service and customers will arrive at their destinations in less time.
What will speed and reliability look like? Metro Connects proposes significant investments to improve transit speed and reliability.
Fast and reliable service is a top priority for Metro’s customers.
Metro’s 2019 Rider/Non-Rider Survey Getting people to their destinations faster found that approximately one-third of and on schedule benefits existing riders Metro’s customers are dissatisfied with and attracts new ones. Speed and frequency, travel time, and on-time reliability are critically important for riders performance. Metro regularly hears similar who have fixed schedules or depend on comments during community engagement activities. transit to get to work, medical appointments, or other engagements. Speed and reliability investments can substantially improve the customer experience. They can lead to increased bus ridership and fewer car trips, a key goal of King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan.
Transit service can often become unreliable when it operates in mixed traffic on roadways that do not have transit-priority features. These conditions can result in buses spaced too close together or too far apart, slow travel times, high operating costs, buses running late, and difficult transfers. Metro will continue to work with city partners across King County to install transitpriority features that keep buses moving. These features let Metro spend more time moving people and less time getting delayed buses back on schedule, saving operating dollars to be used for more service. The most promising improvements are bus-only lanes, traffic signals that give buses priority, and measures that reduce delay at crowded bus stops. The “Fares and Boarding” section discusses ways Metro could increase reliability by making bus boarding easier and fare payment faster. Metro Connects proposes different levels of capital investment—major, moderate, or minor—to keep buses moving fast and reliably. Each level has a different mix of tools, described in detail in the “Speed and Reliability Guidelines and Strategies” document. While all of Metro’s service types will receive some investments, the priorities for major levels of investment will be areas where needs are greatest, service is most frequent, and roadways are most congested. Service that is less frequent or operates in less-congested areas, such as rural communities and fastmoving highways, will receive moderate or minor levels of investment.
King County Metro Long Range Plan