Goodbye to 47 | SCH Capitol Hill Seattle
Some obituaries of the COVID-19 pandemic will never be recorded. CHS is here to bury Bellevue Ave’s Metro line 47.
He’s been dead and gone for months, but we’ve never reported his passing and as the economy reopens more fully and immunization levels rise, more and more of us are moving, more and more neighbors around the west side of Capitol Hill ask, “What happened to 47?” “
It was more than the pandemic. The 47 was one of King County Metro The sacrifices of COVID-19, being one of a handful of all-day suspended routes and overall service cuts required due to falling ridership and fare revenues during the health and economic crisis.
But as Metro bounced back, the 47 was definitely left behind.
The route, Seattle’s shortest electric trolleybus line, connected downtown with one of the densest census tracts on the West Coast.
It was only recently saved from budget cuts. Seattle voters in 2015 approved a new transportation benefits district that included cash to purchase and restore thousands of hours of Metro bus service in the city. In May 2015, neighbors again celebrated the sight of the 47 cart traveling on Bellevue Ave.
But, six years later, the 47 is off the streets and the old road stops are obscured.
Metro officials say they completely ditched the 47 after the Seattle Department of Transportation chose not to include the road in funding for the recently renewed Transportation Benefit District. Without the city’s commitment to pay for the route, the 47 was not even listed in community surveys used by Metro to plan its restoration of service as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Its silent closure now marks the end of decades of public transport service in the neighborhood along the route.
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