Metro bus routes in Maple Valley, Covington changing in February

Starting in February King County Metro will replace Route 149, which serves Maple Valley and Black Diamond, with DART 907.

Starting in February King County Metro will replace Route 149, which serves Maple Valley and Black Diamond, with DART 907.

At the same time, the King County Council is also considering eliminating Route 912, which goes from Covington to Enumclaw.

The decision to convert Route 149, which goes through Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Enumclaw, was announced by David Hall from the King County Department of Transportation at the Maple Valley City Council’s Dec. 5 meeting.

“We’re looking at ways to do what we see as the right size for the service,” Hall said in a phone interview.

Hall cited several factors which contributed to the decision, one of which was financial.

“We’re able to operate that service cheaper,” he said. “It’s a service that we contract with a private provider, so the rate is cheaper than our in-house rates.”

According to Hall, DART 907 will have what he called a “fixed route with deviation.”

Although it will have regular stops and specific time schedules, the van will also have various areas where it can deviate from its route in order to pick people up closer to their homes so they don’t have to walk all the way to the bus stop. Riders would call the service provider in advance in order to be picked up.

Hall stated this fixed route with deviation is on a first come, first service basis, and that the vans will not always be able to make the deviations because of time constraints.

Overall, however, he said it should be easier for residents who currently use the bus route.

“We’re trying to make it more convenient for seniors,” he said.

At the same time, an ordinance has recently been sent for approval by the County Council which would eliminate Route 912.

Hall explained that Metro has begun to use a new service guideline which emphasizes the productivity of a bus route. After studying the bus routes at peak hours, they determined that a Route 912 bus carried 1.92 people per platform hour and took each passenger .64 mile for every mile the bus traveled. Additionally, the route also had a 90 minute interval.

Hall added there would not be much change since the new DART 907 route replaces much of the 912 route.

“They’re duplicating one another today,” he said.

According to Hall, the County Council is expected to vote on the ordinance by the end of January. If passed, the service change would be eliminated in June.

For more information about the current changes and proposed ordinance, go to