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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

Results show regional benefits of integrating Metro and Sound Transit services


Joint planning and integration of King County Metro and Sound Transit services will create greater operating efficiencies, a more seamless rider experience, and enable future service expansion in our growing region.


As the executive in charge of Metro Transit, and chair of the Sound Transit Board of Directors, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced actions under his initiative to integrate services between the two agenciesactions that will create a more seamless experience for riders and enable future service expansion.

"By further integrating the planning and operations of our transit agencies, we can create efficiencies as new lines open and provide innovative services that better serve the needs of a growing region," said Executive Constantine.

The report, Getting There Together, outlines further actions under the integration initiative issued in June by Executive Constantine as an executive order to Metro and as a motion unanimously adopted by the Sound Transit Board of Directors.

The report identifies "efficiency dividends" where transit agencies can provide more overall service with fewer resources. Efficiency dividends include stretching dollars and achieving significant long-term improvements in service for customers, including:

  • Redeployment of services to places that need them,
  • More bus service connecting to rail or bus rapid transit (BRT, such as RapidRide),
  • Further investment in the region's high-capacity rail and bus systems,
  • Redeployment of investment to capital improvements, and
  • Improved financial health and stability of agencies.

Recommendations include near-term collaboration on a range of customer tools:

  • New smartphone app for joint trip planning, and a pilot program that will enable riders to pay fares with their smartphones,
  • Pilot project to provide parking availability information for transit riders.
  • Launching a pilot project to display real-time arrival information at selected transit station, and
  • Providing cellular service inside the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and the underground University Link line.


Planning for integration

Near-term work will also include managing impacts of upcoming Metro service reductions. For example, restructuring Metro services in Kent/East Hill to connect with Sounder trains, and coordinating service along State Route 522 to shift riders from Metro to expanded Sound Transit service.
Many long-term opportunities are created by the more than 30 miles of light rail extensions that Sound Transit is on track to complete by 2023. Light rail and RapidRide bus rapid transit services create important opportunities to modify bus to move riders onto services with significantly greater operating speeds, reliability, and capacity while avoiding duplication.
In preparation for the early 2016 opening of Sound Transit's University Link light rail extensionwhich offers six-minute trips between UW and downtown Seattle regardless of traffic conditionsthe agencies will plan for integrating services to provide easy connections with bus routes. Near-term planning for rail/bus integration will also put particular focus on connections at Mercer Island and Northgate. The agencies will study fully integrated bus/rail networks in planning for a potential future Sound Transit ballot measure.

The agencies will also work on longer-term customer-focused improvements such as potential coordination to improve rider alerts; jointly evaluating highest and best use of facilities such as Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and bus bases; and exploring opportunities for operational efficiencies in areas such as security and public safety.

Regional partners

Other agencies joining to increase collaboration on regional transportation services include Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Everett Transit, Kitsap Transit, Washington State Department of Transportation, Puget Sound Regional Council, and the City of Seattle.

Relevant links


By further integrating the planning and operations of our transit agencies, we can create efficiencies as new lines open and provide innovative services that better serve the needs of a growing region.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair

We've accomplished a lot through partnership and we can accomplish more. We need to provide an alternative to gridlock by ensuring transit riders can make seamless transfers between services and getting the most from every transit dollaright rail.

Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive and Sound Transit Board Member

As Central Puget Sound continues to grow, we must work together to improve the way we provide transportation options across the regionional light rail.

John Lovick, Snohomish County Executive and Sound Transit Board Member

More than 40 percent of Seattle commuters already depend on transit to get to jobs downtown, and demand will only increase as we grow and increase the density of urban areas. In order for transportation in Seattle and around the region to work, we must intensify our focus on seamlessly integrating our future transit investments, including City streetcar expansions, bus service, and regional light rail.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member

Keeping a growing region like the Puget Sound moving requires a transportation system in which all modes integrate seamlessly and transit plays an increasingly important role. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the region's transit agencies as this initiative gets under way.

Lynn Peterson, Washington Secretary of Transportation

Everyone throughout the entire region will benefit by creating greater efficiency in planning and operating public transit. I and other members of the Puget Sound Regional Council's Transportation Policy Board are eager to roll up our sleeves and do our part to make this initiative successful.

Claudia Balducci, Bellevue Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member

Excellent transit service ensures King County residents have a great place to live, with commuting options that sustain our economy and protect our natural environment. Greater integration of Metro and Sound Transit will not only stretch public dollars but enhance citizen trust needed to expand investment in transit.

Larry Phillips, King County Council Chair and Sound Transit Board Member

The significant population growth Snohomish County and Everett will see in the coming years ahead will make greater efficiency and innovation a necessity, not a nice-to-have. Our greatest opportunity is building more light rail extensions that dramatically expand the capacity of our transportation system, and ensuring excellent integration of bus and train services. Rail expansions can keep bus riders out of the worst traffic and free up buses for more productive uses.

Paul Roberts, Everett City Councilmember and Sound Transit Board Vice Chair

I fully support an integrated regional transit system where all transit agencies work together to achieve operating efficiencies and cost savings wherever possible.

Fred Butler, Issaquah Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member

This effort will help ensure transit lives up to its potential in our region. Strengthening this partnership will lead to greater efficiencies and will help earn public support for the further transit expansions we need to shape a truly vibrant and sustainable region.

Mike O'Brien, Seattle City Councilmember and Sound Transit Board Member

For more information, contact:

Frank Abe, King County,, 206-263-9609
Geoff Patrick, Sound Transit,, 206-398-5313

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography