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.
What we’ve done:
- We extended transit priority hours on 3rd Avenue in August 2018 to move buses more quickly and reliably while maintaining access for commercial vehicles.
- Through the Seattle Transportation Benefit District, we added peak and shoulder period bus trips to key Metro routes in September 2018, including 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 made signal improvements on 2nd and 4th Avenues that improve transit speed and reduce conflicts between turning vehicles, pedestrians, and buses.
- We worked with Metro to make it easier to take the West Seattle Water Taxi during the SR 99 closure in January by adding another boat, and we implemented the Ride2 shuttle service in West Seattle.
- We completed the first phase of the Columbia St two-way transit corridor project, with red paint on the bus-only lane that extends from 3rd Ave down to 1st Ave.
- We installed a bus-only lane on Cherry St between 1st and 3rd Avenues to maintain reliability for buses traveling along 1st Ave in order to get onto 3rd Ave.
What we’re doing now:
On March 23, 2019, King County Metro bus routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, 255 and Sound Transit Express Route 550 buses will no longer use the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and will operate on surface streets. In all, 15 bus routes will be changing which bus stops they serve. Additionally, all-door boarding will launch on 3rd Avenue, with 21 of 30 locations active starting March 23. Find whether your bus stop is changing locations and see more details on Metro’s website.
- In partnership with Metro, we’re implementing 3rd Ave all-door boarding at all stops along the 3rd 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. We’re beginning construction on 3rd Ave.
- We’re building a northbound transit pathway on 5th and 6th Avenues to maintain transit travel speeds.
- We’re adding midday and shoulder period trips to key Metro bus routes.
- We’re rechannelizing Seattle Blvd between 4th and 5th Avenues.
- We’re partnering with Metro to provide Ride2 service to SE Seattle light rail stations.
- We’re shifting the bus lane on Howell St to the north side of the street, and we’re adding a protected/permissive right-turn lane on Yale Ave and adding a queue jump for transit.
- 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.