On Monday, my wife took the “new” Metro 26 to her office in Lower Queen Anne. Prior to Metro’s March 26 reroutes and reschedules, that particular bus was usually half-full by the time it hit her stop on Thackeray Pl NE. On Monday it was standing room only, and by the time it arrived at Durn Good Grocery, the bus was completely filled and the driver had to bypass the rest of the scheduled stops in Wallingford, stranding dozens of commuters.
My wife overheard a few commuters discussing if they should begin a carpool, rather than being packed like sardines in a giant metal can or running the risk of not getting on the bus at all. I don’t think adding another car to the morning commute is what Metro had in mind when they altered their routes in conjunction with the opening of the new light rail station at Husky Stadium, so it would be a shame if that was a result.
A single day (especially the first day) of new bus schedules and routes is an anecdote, not a trend, but folks in Wallingford should be aware that Metro’s changes could have a major impact on their morning commute. The deletion of the 16 and the 72, along with the reroute of the 71 and 73, put big burdens on the 26 and the new 62. Only time will tell if these routes have enough capacity to handle our population, which will grow significantly in the next year or two with the Stone Way housing boom. For now, feel free to share your observations in the comment section here.