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Layover Areas Critical for reliable service and for our drivers. Layover sites—where buses rest between trips—are critical for getting buses to the right place at the right time and for giving our drivers safe places for breaks. METRO CONNECTS envisions that by 2040, we would need to increase layover spaces by 50 percent. As development competes for layover space on streets, Metro would make significant investments in new, off-street facilities. While more costly, these facilities would provide long-term stability and benefits for riders and bus operators.

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CRITICAL SERVICE SUPPORTS

What would future layover areas look like? Layover is time built into bus schedules between a bus’s arrival at the end of a route and its departure for the next trip. Layovers provide break time for operators, help buses get back on schedule if the preceding trip was late, and allow buses to depart at regular, predictable intervals. Layover areas are located throughout the county, either on-street or off-street, such as at a transit center. The location of layover sites has a huge financial impact on Metro operations; service costs more when we have to drive empty buses long distances to reach layover spaces. Well-located layover areas—close to the start and end of routes—give us increased scheduling flexibility, reduce the amount of time buses travel to the beginning or end of routes, and can have a positive impact on reliability. Layover areas must have clean, safe and well-lit facilities for bus operators. On-street layovers spaces are where buses park along curbs in regular street right-of-way. Metro partners closely with the jurisdictions we serve to secure layover space. We site on-street layovers where they will not interfere with traffic, and strive to minimize impacts on adjacent properties. However, property development or changes often result in pressure to reduce or move layover sites. This pressure can be particularly acute in dense urban areas, where development pressure is intense but where layover space is most needed because of the large amount of transit service starting and ending at major destinations. Many areas are seeing increasing competition for limited curb space. In 2015, Metro’s layover sites accommodated approximately 530 buses. Transit service network changes envisioned in METRO CONNECTS would affect both the number of layover spaces needed and their location. We estimate that 270 additional layover spaces would be needed to accommodate the 2040 network—approximately 50 percent more than in 2015. This increase reflects our expectation that some current on-street layover spaces would no longer be available in the future because of development. Many of these spaces would be needed in dense urban areas, including downtown Seattle. We would need to update and renegotiate many current layover agreements, develop new ones, and invest in off-street layover facilities.

Profile for King County Metro Transit

METRO CONNECTS Long-Range Plan  

King County Metro Transit’s vision for bringing you more service, more choices, and one easy-to-use system over the next 25 years.

METRO CONNECTS Long-Range Plan  

King County Metro Transit’s vision for bringing you more service, more choices, and one easy-to-use system over the next 25 years.