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We’re working to connect the cities of Renton, Kent and Auburn with fast, frequent and reliable bus rapid transit service

Public transit is an important part of how we will meet the diverse needs and priorities of our rapidly growing region. Our current growing demand for transit requires access to public transportation that is fast and on-time.

Learn more about the changes coming in 2020.

RapidRide I Line improvements

The I Line will upgrade the current Route 180 between Auburn Station and Kent Station combined with current Route 169 from Kent Station to Renton. When RapidRide launches in 2023:

  • Buses will come more often and reliably on-time.
  • Metro will add service at night and on weekends.
  • Buses will get you where you need to go faster.
  • Stations will be upgraded with lighting, real-time arrival signs and off-board ORCA card readers.
  • Improved sidewalks and street crossings will make it easier and safer to get to/from bus stations.

Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Plan

Metro is working on an area mobility plan in south King County to serve communities within the West Valley and East Hill. The plan will integrate RapidRide, other fixed-route and dial-a-ride transit (DART) buses and Metro's Community Connections Program, which could include cost-efficient transportation options in areas that don’t have the infrastructure, density, or land use to support typical bus service. Some services will begin in September 2020, and the RapidRide I Line will begin service in 2023.

As we plan this transition, we'll gather input from affected communities and riders on all changes we consider. We'll also gather input on changes to the broader mobility network as part of the Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Plan.

What’s happening now?

We heard from communities this spring and summer and considered their input as we developed a preferred concept. Now we're sharing our preferred concept, including I Line route, stations, and priority areas for improving access for people walking, biking, and rolling to the bus. We'll continue to work with these communities and our other partners to gather input to inform decisions on:

  • Projects that improve safety for all kinds of travel in the corridor.
  • Projects that improve access to transit by making it easier, safer, or more convenient to get to-or wait for-the bus.
  • Ways to improve bus speed and reliability while balancing buses and cars on congested roads to keep people moving as our region grows.

Visit the project team at an event to learn more about the project and provide input on service changes and RapidRide.

What we heard?

This spring we introduced the project to community members and gathered feedback on priorities for transit service. We conducted a second round of engagement this summer to gather input on station locations.

Community engagement included two surveys, an online open house, stakeholder interviews with community-based organizations, onboard outreach, tabling at community events, briefings to local Councils and city staff, and convening a Mobility Board, made up of community members representing diverse backgrounds.

Community members and stakeholders who participated in the first and second phases of engagement overwhelmingly support RapidRide expansion. A few key themes emerged from the survey, stakeholder interviews, and Mobility Board meetings.

  • Support for faster, more reliable, and frequent bus service.
  • Interest in more bus service throughout the day, into the evening, and on weekends.
  • Provide a range of transit options including RapidRide and more flexible options that meet the needs of the communities served.
  • Serve community amenities and services such as shopping centers, transit centers, medical centers, schools, and residential areas.
  • Provide even spacing between stops.
  • Offer more transit connections and better access to stations (i.e. improved sidewalks and pathways to stations).
  • Continue to lead with equity and prioritize serving communities who have been historically underserved and people with mobility challenges.

Why upgrade to RapidRide?

Current ridership

Routes 169 and 180 are two of the busiest Metro routes in south King County carrying nearly 8,000 riders each weekday, nearly 6,000 of them in the areas that will be served by the RapidRide I Line.

Transportation connections

Over two-thirds of current Route 169 riders, likely future RapidRide I Line riders, use the route to transfer to or from other transit service including the RapidRide F line, Sound Transit’s Sounder Train and Sound Transit buses.

Community needs

Improvement to Metro’s service in South King County will serve both existing and future communities in Auburn, Kent and Renton.

Upcoming milestones

  • Engage communities on local needs and priorities:
    Metro engages riders, community members, and stakeholders to gather input about how they would like to use transit to get around.
  • Develop concepts:
    Metro works with partners, including the Mobility Board, to develop draft concepts based on community input.
  • Feedback on concepts:
    Community members, stakeholders, and partners give feedback on draft concepts and I Line station locations.
  • Develop proposal:
    Metro works with the Mobility Board and other partners to refine concepts to develop a preferred Area Mobility Plan proposal and I Line concept based on public feedback.
  • Feedback on proposal:
    Community members, stakeholders, and partners review final proposal.
  • Recommendation:
    Metro finalizes recommendation.
  • Transmit recommendation to King County Council for adoption.
  • If adopted, the recommendation becomes part of the Fall 2020 service change.

Community involvement

Contact us

Robyn Austin
RapidRide Communications and Engagement Manager
Send Robyn an email
or call 206-263-0694

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