The Transit Master Plan project team met with the Council’s Transportation Committee this morning to propose 15 corridors for further analysis. These 15 corridors represent only a small portion of the existing transit network, but they form an important backbone for the system. After all, when you’re in a time of tight budgets, it’s critical to prioritize your investments.
Identifying just 15 priority corridors is no easy task. The project team used a combination of quantitative criteria—mostly land use and transit ridership data—and qualitative service design principles to select the corridors. You can think about service design principles as a way to describe the elements of a strong transit corridor: mixed land uses, diverse demographics, desirable destinations, priority over auto traffic, high quality pedestrian and bicycle access, and convenient connections to other transit services. In the case of the Transit Master Plan, the service design principles are closely tied to the goals of the plan and include social equity, network and system connectivity, getting people where they want to go, and leveraging already planned investments. You can see the 15 corridors that resulted from our analysis on the map below.
Now that we’ve selected 15 corridors, the project team—with input from its public and technical advisory groups—will prioritize the corridors to develop a better understanding of where certain types of investments will best serve Seattle residents. These 15 corridors will be prioritized into two groups.
The top three to five corridors will be evaluated for high capacity transit (including rail and bus rapid transit), and the remaining 10 to 12 corridors will be analyzed for speed and reliability improvements to the bus services that exist or are planned in the future. What’s a “speed and reliability” improvement, you ask? It can be anything from bus-only lanes to bus bulbs to priority for transit at traffic signals. The Transit Master Plan recommendations for the 15 corridors are expected sometime in July.