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The north Eastside is growing and changing. We have an opportunity to improve transit service there and adapt it to new conditions so it stays convenient and reliable.

Goals: Expand transit service and improve mobility in the north Eastside, and strengthen connections to important destinations

Areas: Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville

Affected routes: 234, 235, 236, 238, 243, 244, 248, 255, 277, 930, ST 540, ST 541, ST 545

We reached out to these communities last spring to learn about their mobility needs. People told us they want increased and dependable service, more transportation choices, and an integrated transportation network that connects them to local destinations as well as fast, frequent transit options like Link light rail.

We used this input to develop a proposal for expanding and improving transit service in the north Eastside beginning in September 2019. Learn more below about the proposal—and also about what will happen to service if we don’t make changes.

Learn more

Plan details

What won’t change

Under both options, some existing mobility services would remain unchanged in the north Eastside:

Metro and Sound Transit’s proposal

Even if we don’t make changes to Metro service in the north Eastside, other changes are coming to the regional transit network.

  • In March 2019, all seven bus routes that use the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (41, 74, 101, 102, 150, 255, ST 550) will move permanently to surface streets (learn more). This will probably increase traffic congestion and travel times for everyone traveling in the downtown core, including Route 255 buses.
  • Also in March 2019, the Washington State Department of Transportation will permanently close the Montlake freeway flyer bus stop (see WSDOT’s website and blog post). Riders of all routes that currently use that stop (252, 255, 257, 311)—including Route 255—will have to transfer at Evergreen Point Station, on the east side of the floating bridge, to get to or from the University of Washington and north Seattle.
  • In the coming decade, several new bus rapid transit and light rail services are coming to the region. If Metro service in the north Eastside remains as-is, riders may not have direct or convenient ways to connect with these new options when they become available.
    • Link light rail service to Bellevue, Overlake, and downtown Redmond (2023-2024)
    • Sound Transit Bus Rapid Transit along I-405 between Lynnwood and Burien (2024)
    • Metro RapidRide service between Totem Lake and Eastgate via downtown Kirkland and downtown Bellevue (2023)
    • New bus rapid transit in the State Route 522 corridor connecting Woodinville, Bothell, and Kenmore with Link light rail in Shoreline and Seattle’s University District (2024)

    See Metro’s interactive system maps to learn more about existing service.

Under this proposal, Metro would make several changes to streamline transit service and increase transit reliability in the north Eastside. We would also integrate alternative, flexible transit options into areas of the transit network that don’t support traditional bus service through Metro’s Community Connections program.

  • Replace routes that are not serving the community well (234, 235, 238, 243, 244, 248, 277) with new ones that are more efficient. Remove seldom-used bus stops. Invest resources saved by these actions to improve other parts of the north Eastside transit network.
  • Change Route 255 to serve the University of Washington Link station instead of downtown Seattle. Riders could transfer to Link to reach Capitol Hill, downtown Seattle, and Sea-Tac Airport, or transfer to other bus routes. Riders would also regain direct access to Montlake and the University District.
  • If Route 255 is changed to serve the University of Washington Link station instead of downtown Seattle, Sound Transit will consider reallocating resources from ST Express routes 540 and 541 to deliver new direct connections to South Lake Union via new ST Express Route 544. This route would run during peak periods between the Overlake Park-and-Ride and South Lake Union via the South Kirkland Park-and-Ride. For more details about ST Express changes related to this project, visit the Sound Transit website.
  • Redesign bus stops at the Montlake Triangle to make transfers easier and improve rider safety. See the plan developed by Metro, Sound Transit, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Department of Transportation.
  • Continue providing one-seat rides to downtown Seattle with routes 252, 257, and 311.

This option would also add new, flexible Community Connections transit services to existing ones in the north Eastside. (Learn more about Community Connections)

  • Community Ride is a reservation-based transportation service, driven by paid drivers, that travels within a service area instead of along a route. Riders request trips over the phone or online for rides during established hours of service. Riders pay a standard Metro fare.
  • Community Van provides prearranged, recurring, or one-time group trips. Volunteer drivers pick up riders at prearranged stops. Trips are arranged by a Community Transportation Coordinator. Riders pay a standard Metro fare.

See the maps of current service evaluated for change, and of the proposed improvements and new transit service network in the north Eastside.

Did you know?

Paying with ORCA is easier!

If you transfer between Metro and other services like Sound Transit Express buses or Link light rail, ORCA offers the best fare. Transfers are free between Metro buses, but if you pay with cash and use more than one transit system you pay a fare each time you board unless you use ORCA or the mobile ticketing app.

Affected bus routes: 234, 235, 236, 238, 243, 244, 248, 255, 277, 930, ST 540, ST 541

Existing service

  • New routes: N/A
  • Unchanged routes: B Line, 221, 226, 237, 252, 257, 271, 311, 312, 342, 372, 931, ST 522, ST 532, ST 535, ST 540, ST 541, ST 542, ST 545, 234, 234, 236, 238, 243, 244, 255, 277
  • Route revisions: N/A
  • Routes replaced by others: N/A
  • Other mobility services: Community Connections

March 2019 adopted

  • New routes: N/A
  • Unchanged routes: N/A
  • Route revisions: 252, 255, 257, 268, 311, ST 542, ST 545, ST 550, ST 555
  • Routes replaced by others: N/A
  • Other mobility services: Community Connections

Sept. 2019 proposal

  • New routes: 225, 230, 231, 239, 250, ST 544, Kirkland-Kenmore Community Ride, Bothell-Woodinville Community Ride, Additional Community Van in South Kirkland
  • Unchanged routes: B Line, 221, 226, 237, 252, 257, 271, 311, 312, 342 372, 931, ST 522, ST 532, ST 535, ST 542
  • Revised routes: 255, ST 545, 930 DART
  • Replaced routes: 234, 235, 236, 238, 243, 244, 248, 277, ST 540, ST 541
  • Other mobility services: New Community Connections services added to existing options

What’s happening now

This fall, we asked community members to help us finalize our recommendation for this project. We’ll use their input to finalize a recommendation that we’ll submit to the King County Council in early 2019. If the council adopts the recommendation, changes to regular bus service will take effect in September 2019.

North Eastside Mobility Board

We recruited community members who live, work, and travel within north Eastside communities to advise Metro about service change concepts and proposals as well as our community outreach process.

Board members attend regular meetings and participate in public meetings and outreach events to hear from the local community.

They help Metro identify and prioritize transit service needs, examine inefficiencies in current service, evaluate tradeoffs given existing resources, and develop recommendations for the final proposal for the North Eastside Mobility Project.

Meetings are open to the public. There is no public comment period, but comment forms will be available at meetings.

Next board meeting TBD

TBD
Kirkland City Hall
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Community involvement

This year, Metro has engaged the public as we developed a proposed North Eastside Mobility Project Plan. We'll submit a final proposal of that plan to the King County Council in early 2019. If the council adopts the proposal plan, any changes to regular bus service will take effect with Metro's September 2019 service change. If the final proposal plan includes other types of mobility solutions, it's possible that they could take effect either before or after the service change.

Contact us

Jenna Franklin
Community Relations Planner
Send Jenna an email
or call 206-477-6679

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Timeline

  • Public outreach on routes that cross Lake Washington on SR-520
    Metro reaches out to riders, the public, and stakeholders in north Eastside communities to gather input about service that crosses Lake Washington.
  • Public outreach on local needs and priorities
    Metro reaches out to riders, the public, and stakeholders in north Eastside communities to gather input about current transit service.
  • Metro develops draft mobility concepts based on public input received during our public outreach.
  • Public outreach
    Metro discusses community priorities and future transit network options with stakeholders, businesses, service organizations, and neighborhood groups in north Eastside communities.
  • Public outreach (options analysis)
    Metro shares new mobility proposals with stakeholders, businesses, service organizations, and neighborhood groups in north Eastside communities and gathers feedback.
  • Metro finalizes a recommendation based on public input.
  • King County Council reviews and votes on Metro’s recommendation.
  • If the recommendation is adopted, any changes to scheduled bus service take effect with Metro’s September service change.

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