We’re ensuring that there are more buses to downtown, that travel times for transit customers are maintained or improved, and that transit continues to be the most convenient and reliable way for local and regional commuters to arrive downtown. Over 75% of commuters traveling to and from downtown during peak periods use transit, walking, bicycling, or other shared ride modes, and we, along with our partners at King County Metro and Sound Transit, want to keep service reliable for you.
- We extended transit priority hours on Third Avenue (August 2018) to move buses more quickly and reliably while maintaining access for commercial vehicles.
- We added peak and shoulder period bus trips to key Metro routes in September 2018 – this includes the routes 3, 8, 17, 18, 28, 40, 41, 56, 57, 62, 63, 70, 111, 114, 120, 212, 217, C line, D Line, E Line. (More shoulder trips make it easier to come to work early or stay late.)
- We’ve made signal improvements on 2nd and 4th Avenues that improve transit speed and reduce conflicts between turning vehicles, pedestrians and buses
- We’re expanding access to ORCA. The ORCA Opportunity card is being distributed to all of the City’s high school students. Through the Seattle Squeeze, we’ll continue our efforts to provide ORCA cards to downtown employees and low-income travelers
- Also this January, we’re working with Metro to make it easier to take West Seattle Water Taxi by adding another boat and making it easier to get there by shuttle, Uber or Lyft.
- We’re building a northbound transit pathway on 5th and 6th Avenues to maintain transit travel speeds when the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel becomes light-rail only in March 2019.
- The first phase of the Columbia St two-way transit corridor project is complete, with red paint on the bus-only lane that extends from 3rd Ave down to 1st Ave.
- In addition, in March 2019, King County Metro bus routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, 255 and Sound Transit Express Route 550 buses will no longer use the transit tunnel and will operate on surface streets.
- In Spring 2019, SDOT and Metro will implement 3rd Ave all door boarding at all stops along the Third Avenue corridor in downtown Seattle (between Yesler Way and Denny Way) and along Westlake Avenue through the South Lake Union area. As part of this project, the southbound 3rd Ave and Jefferson St bus zone will be moved one block north, between Cherry St and James St.
- SDOT and Metro are also working to improve the Howell St corridor by shifting the transit lane to the north side of the street.