Downtown

As you return to the activities you need and want to do, we want you to be informed and prepared for significant construction impacts that continue to change the way you get around.   

Welcome back to Downtown Seattle and the region. The recovery is underway, the economy is opening back up, events are happening again, and people are returning to the office. 

Photo: SDOT Flickr 

As people return to work and businesses reopen, our local transportation and transit agencies are working to ensure that transportation and transit are efficient and safe for the traveling public.  

  • It’s time to dust off that ORCA card! Transit has returned to full capacity to get where you need to and from downtown: busesferries and the water taxis are accepting full capacity for passengers now. In addition, the Link light rail has increased service. Metro is once again a great way to get around, with over 85% of bus service running again.  But check before you ride – your bus service may be different than the last time you rode.   
  • Welcome back to Downtown events are happening to encourage people coming back downtown to take transit, bike, walk, roll, or take a ferry. 

While traffic was light in downtown due to the pandemic, we kept working on the projects that help you get around and that continue to transform the region.   

Photo: SDOT Flickr 

There are more ways than ever to walk, bike and roll in your neighborhood, or to take transit in and out of downtown.   

  • We rebuilt and reopened the Fairview Avenue Bridge between South Lake Union and Eastlake so that it meets modern seismic standards and supports the future RapidRide J Line and Seattle’s growing bike network. 
  • The Scooter Share program can help you run a quick errand, take a trip to light rail, or make a climate-friendly commute trip. 
  • Travelers can utilize Stay Healthy Streets, which are open for people walking, rolling, and biking, and closed to most car traffic. East Columbia Street is one of the Stay Healthy Streets that can get you from Central District into downtown. 
  • The new Good To Go! System makes it easier to pay bills and manage your account online for tunnels and bridges.   

Remember the Seattle Squeeze? It’s not over.   

Photo: SDOT Flickr 

We continue to experience significant construction impacts as we respond to emergencies, maintain our infrastructure, and build transformative transportation projects. Our transportation system is strained by the impacts of these important construction projects. We need your help to reduce the number of people driving themselves into and around Seattle.     

  • We are working to repair the West Seattle Bridge and are managing detour route traffic to minimize disruptions to surrounding communities. The bridge is on schedule to reopen in mid-2022. Visit our West Seattle Bridge portal to find out more about your travel options while the bridge remains closed and travel is congested on the detour routes.   
  • WSDOT is Reviving I-5 through regular inspections, maintenance, and preservation work on the region’s most-used freeway and ensure that the interstate continues to perform at its best for as long as possible. This does mean many weekend closures of I-5 in 2021 and 2022. Sign up for WSDOT traffic alerts to stay in the know!  
  • Repairing the Montlake Bridge will improve reliability and meet the growing multimodal traffic demands of northeast Seattle. This work requires the bridge to be closed to vehicular traffic from August 8 through September 3, with up to five additional weekend closures this fall. WSDOT wants drivers to be prepared and for people walking and biking to know that the pedestrian and bicycle pathways over the bridge will remain open.   
  • Construction continues on the Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock, which is a Washington State Ferries project to replace the aging and seismically vulnerable structure. Signing up for WSF Rider Alerts is a great way to stay up-to-date on changes.   
  • This September, we will start to construct and build the Madison Bus Ride Transit – RapidRide G Line, which will ultimately provide fast, frequent, reliable, and safe public transportation between downtown, Capitol Hill and Madison Valley. This will help connect people to hospitals, schools, businesses, and other destinations as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal. 
Photo: WSDOT (via SDOT Flickr) 

More travel improvements are in the works!  

We want you to be informed and prepared as transformational transportation projects continue to affect how we get around. 

  • We will be responding to your needs for increased transit service as more people return to work and activities.  Metro will continue to restore more all-day and peak-commute service in October to support the region’s economy and well-being. 
  • Link light rail will extend to Northgate on October 2, adding three new stations in Seattle, two underground (U District and Roosevelt stations) and an elevated station at Northgate, which will feature frequent bus connections, a park-and-ride and a bicycle/pedestrian bridge to North Seattle College. Metro will be making changes to routes throughout North Seattle to make it easier than ever to connect to fast, reliable light rail service into Downtown.   
Photo: SDOT Flickr 
  • Bus-only lanes will open on the Waterfront this fall, creating a dedicated pathway for buses coming from the south – including those from West Seattle and Burien – that used to be on the viaduct.