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Final recommendation approved by King County Council on March 27.

The King County Council has approved an expansion of Metro’s late-night (Night Owl) bus network. Feedback from late-night transit riders—and potential riders—helped shape the plan. Routes 82, 83, and 84 will be replaced with new service on neighboring routes. There will also be new connections to more neighborhoods as well as direct Night Owl trips to Sea-Tac Airport.

Approved changes  Have a say

Survey results

We got more than 4,500 survey responses, talked with bus riders, and worked with groups that represent the diverse needs of our customers.

People told us their highest priorities were better late-night transit options for late- and early-shift workers, customers enjoying Seattle’s nightlife, workers and travelers heading to and from Sea-Tac Airport, and people with lower incomes. We incorporated this input into the changes that will go into effect this September.

Seattle's investment

The City of Seattle contributes significant funding to late-night transit service and covers the full cost of late-night service on several routes. With this expansion, the city more than doubles its investment, funding about 75 percent of the added service. Seattle’s investments will also establish new late-night connections throughout the city and provide late-night cross-town transit options for the first time.

Background

As our metropolitan region continues to grow, our need to travel 24/7 is also growing.

Today, Metro has about 40 routes with some level of late-night service (between midnight and 5 AM) throughout King County. Of these, 20 provide trips after 2 AM. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) funds all service on Night Owl Routes 82, 83, and 84, and partners with Metro to fund additional Night Owl service on the C and D Lines between 2 AM and 5 AM.

It’s been many years since we looked in detail at how well this service is working, so Metro and SDOT reached out to riders in spring 2016 to learn more about their transit experiences between midnight and 5 AM.

That feedback helped us create an initial proposal, and we went back to the public for feedback on that proposal in fall 2016. We used that input to shape the final recommendation, which was approved by the County Council on March 27.

Contact us

Metro Transit Division
King County Department of Transportation
KSC-TR-0411
201 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3856

Tristan Cook
Send Tristan an email
or call 206-477-3842

Approved changes

Features

Change:

  • All-night service on the C Line, D Line, and E Line will be increased to hourly.
  • Two more late-night round trips each will be added to routes 3, 5, 11, 44, 48, 65, 67, 70, and 120.

Sea-Tac Airport operates 24/7, but doesn’t have easy transit access late at night for travelers and airport employees.

Change: Metro will extend Route 124 to Sea-Tac Airport between around 1 AM and around 3:30 AM when Link light rail isn’t running.

Routes 82, 83, and 84 are night routes only, providing service that begins and ends in downtown Seattle between 2:15 AM and 4:30 AM. Their routing does not match that of bus routes that run at other times of day. Throughout our outreach, people told us they find these routes confusing.

Change: Replace routes 82, 83, and 84 with new all-night trips on the C, D, and E lines and routes 3, 5, 11, 44, 48, 65, 67, 70, and 120.

This change will provide connections to nearly all the same destinations, along with many new ones, using more-familiar routes. Note: Some parts of some streets will lose night service with this change. They are shown with red lines on this map.

Today, most of Metro’s late-night bus routes meet at Third Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle at 2:15 AM and 3:30 AM. They park for five or more minutes to allow riders to transfer between routes.

Change: Routes will serve Third Avenue and Pike Street about every 20-30 minutes, giving riders more transfer opportunities throughout the night.

These changes will also create a more-efficient network by reducing the amount of time buses spend parked in downtown Seattle at night, and eliminate the current 5-10 minute delay for riders who want to continue past Third Avenue and Pike Street without transferring.

See map (PDF)

Recommended changes by route

This recommendation would change service on 16 Metro routes. Use the route buttons below to see a description of the recommended change for each route.

3

Route 3

Seattle Pacific University – Downtown Seattle – Judkins Park

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

5

Route 5

Shoreline Community College – Greenwood – Downtown Seattle

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

11

Route 11

Madison Park - Capitol Hill - Downtown Seattle

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

44

Route 44

Ballard – Wallingford – UW Station

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

48

Route 48

Mt Baker to University District

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

65

Route 65

Jackson Park – Lake City – University District

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

67

Route 67

Northgate – University District – Children’s Hospital

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

70

Route 70

University District – Eastlake – Downtown Seattle

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

82

Route 82

Downtown Seattle - Queen Anne - Green Lake - Greenwood

Change: Delete Route 82 and replace it with new service on routes 3, 5, and 44 that provides similar coverage.

83

Route 83

Downtown Seattle - University District - Maple Leaf - Ravenna

Change: Delete Route 83 and replace it with new service on routes 48, 65, 67, and 70 that provides similar coverage.

84

Route 84

Downtown Seattle - Madison Park - Madrona

Change: Delete Route 84 and replace it with new service on routes 3 and 11 that provides similar coverage.

120

Route 120

Burien Transit Center - Westwood Village - Downtown Seattle

Change: Add Night Owl trips between about 2 AM and 5 AM.

124

Route 124

Tukwila International Boulevard Link station - Downtown Seattle

Change: Extend Route 124 to Sea-Tac Airport between around 1 AM and around 3:30 AM when Link light rail is not operating. Trips at other times of day will still end at Tukwila International Boulevard Station.

C

RapidRide C Line

Westwood Village - South Lake Union

Change: Provide hourly all-night service on the C Line.

D

RapidRide D Line

Crown Hill - Ballard - Seattle Center (west) - Downtown Seattle

Change: Provide hourly all-night service on the D Line.

E

RapidRide E Line

Aurora Village - Downtown Seattle

Change: Provide hourly all-night service on the E Line.

Have a say

Metro’s public comment period for this project is now closed. Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation thank the thousands of people who gave us their input and helped us shape these changes.

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