Helping our buses stay on time
After finishing their trips, Metro buses often wait for a few minutes before starting their next trips. These planned layovers are important. They help late buses start their next trips on time. Layovers also allow bus drivers to take their breaks, helping them stay alert behind the wheel.Learn more Timeline
Today, Metro and the City of Seattle work together to find layover spaces for buses along city streets. But the growing demand for bus service means more buses will need to lay over between trips. Meanwhile the city is growing too, and has other uses for its on-street spaces.
So Metro plans to create new off-street layover facilities, called bus hubs, for buses to use while getting ready for their next trips. We’ll create our first hubs north of downtown Seattle, where many of our bus routes start or end their trips.
Some bus hubs will be designed for use by buses only. Others may combine bus layovers with other uses, like shopping, restaurants, offices, or housing. Some may be needed only for a limited time, like during major construction or as light rail service is being extended. Others will be permanent.
- Help keep buses on time
- Free street space for other uses
- Move “out of service” buses into off-street hubs instead of scattering them around city streets
- Provide safe and reliable restrooms and break areas for bus drivers
- Support future extensions of bus service to new neighborhoods
Metro and the City of Seattle are working together to update Seattle’s Land Use Code to allow off-street bus layover facilities. The city needs to create standards for fitting the facilities into neighborhoods, and establish a permitting process for them. We expect this process for the area north of downtown Seattle to be finished in mid-2018.
We’re already working to design and build our first bus hub, a permanent, surface-level facility on the east side of Eastlake Avenue E. It will be on state-owned land next to Interstate 5, between Roy and Republican streets. Some buses are already using on-street space there for layovers.
Public outreach to get feedback about the design of this hub will begin in early 2018. We expect the finished Eastlake Bus Hub to open in 2020.
We’re also working to find sites for more Metro bus hubs north of downtown Seattle. Before we choose another site, we’ll reach out to nearby communities for public input.
Phase 1 outreach: Gather public feedback about design features for the Eastlake Bus Hub. Inform Seattle and King County councils and the community about our bus hub program, changes needed to Seattle land use code, and our first planned facility, the Eastlake Bus Hub in South Lake Union.
Continue outreach about off-street bus hubs, Seattle code amendments, and the Eastlake Bus Hub site. Draft legislation for Land Use Code change ready for public review. State environmental review (SEPA) decision expected. After phase 1 outreach ends, summarize public feedback received.
Phase 2 outreach: Share what we heard about the Eastlake Bus Hub site during Phase 1 and introduce concepts reflecting that feedback for public comment. The Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee considers the proposed Land Use Code change.
Continue education and outreach about Metro bus hubs. As new sites are identified, share information with the public for feedback.