North Link Connections Mobility Project
Metro has an opportunity to significantly improve the current transit network in north King County with the opening of the three new Link light rail stations in north Seattle.
Goals: Improve mobility for historically un(der)served populations, equitably inform and engage with current and potential customers traveling in the project area, and deliver integrated service that responds to Link expansion and meets customer needs.
Areas: North Seattle, U-District, Shoreline, Bothell, Kenmore and Lake Forest Park
Affected Routes: 5X*, 26, 31, 32, 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 49, 62, 63*, 64, 65, 67, 70, 71*, 73, 74, 75, 76*, 77*, 78*, 301, 303, 304, 308*, 309, 312*, 316*, 330, 331, 345, 346, 347, 348, 355*, 372, 373 and Sound Transit Express 522 (*Identified routes that are not operating as of fall 2020, including routes 5X, 63, 71, 76, 77, 78, 308, 312, and 316, due to the pandemic).
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King County Metro Transit will be making changes to bus routes in north Seattle and north King County to connect people to light rail, respond to changing transportation needs, and continue to improve mobility and access for historically underserved communities. The North Link Connections Mobility Project was guided by engagement with community through the formation and convening of a local Mobility Board made up of those who live, work, and travel within the project area; dialogue with community through community-based organization (CBO) partnerships; and broad outreach activities with those who travel or live in the project area, including community members, CBOs, and jurisdictional partners.
The North Link Connections Mobility Board explored and identified the needs, opportunities, and gaps in service, and then evaluated possible options to integrate local service with Link light rail to best serve the communities in north Seattle and north King County.
About the project
Sound Transit will open three new Link light rail stations in north Seattle in 2021, extending from the University of Washington – Husky Stadium to Northgate Transit Center. Metro is planning for a September 2021 opening.
Metro will be making changes to bus routes and introducing new mobility options in north Seattle and north King County in order to connect people to light rail, respond to changing transportation needs, and improve mobility and access for historically underserved populations. The project will be done in coordination with Sound Transit, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Community Transit, Washington Department of Transportation (WAshDOT) and many other partners.
An updated network of mobility options will be implemented at Metro’s service change in September 2021.
North Link Mobility Board
Metro recruited community members who live, work, or travel in the area to help Metro develop bus service changes and new mobility options as well as advise on ways Metro can engage with the community.
Metro aimed to convene a Mobility Board that equitably represents groups of people who have historically been left out of decision-making conversations related to transit and who are disproportionately affected by these decisions. These groups of people include black, indigenous, and people of color; people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities; people with low- to no-income; people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; immigrants and/or refugees; and people with linguistic diversity. Metro recognizes that people can have multiple identities from which they experience both privilege and oppression, and we encouraged those who identify as coming from multiple un(der)served groups to apply to serve on the North Link Connections Mobility Board. The result is a diverse group representing the above communities mentioned.
Partner Review Board
In addition to Metro’s individual engagement with project partners and stakeholders, Metro convened a team to serve as a concept review board of external stakeholders. The board includes representatives from jurisdictions and major institutions in the project area, leaders of community-based organizations, and representatives from partner transit agencies. The Partner Review Board’s primary role will be to review and provide comment on service concepts developed by the Mobility Board and Metro and provide guidance on both engagement opportunities and implementation plans that will ultimately result in successful adoption and implementation of the service change. The Partner Review Board will provide an opportunity to engage with other project partners and take a more holistic view of the project as the sum of these many parts.
The Mobility Board helps Metro draft changes to service and new options, and Metro shares this concept network with the public, stakeholders, and local jurisdictions to gather feedback.
The Mobility Board helps Metro refine the network concept into a final proposal for changes to service and new options. Metro shares this final proposal with the community to resolve remaining tradeoffs (e.g. community prefers Route XX to come every 10 minutes rather than operate past 10 p.m.) in order to finalize a recommendation to the King County Executive.
Metro finalizes the recommendation and drafts service change legislation for King County Executive and King County Council consideration and adoption.
The service change legislation was transmitted to King County Council who passed it with a vote of 8-1.
The Fall service change goes into effect and the three new Link light rail stations open.