Skip to main content
King County logo
Today, some buses lay over along Eastlake Avenue East between trips. But with the growing demand for other street uses, such as pedestrian access and bike lanes, and the desire to keep bus operators safe and comfortable, a layover facility is needed.


View map

Eastlake Layover Facility
Watch our final design presentation to learn more about the Eastlake Layover Facility.

Learn more

After finishing a trip, Metro buses often wait for a few minutes before starting their next trip. These planned layovers are important. They help late buses start their next trips on time. Layovers also allow bus operators to take necessary breaks, helping them stay alert behind the wheel.

  • Help keep buses on time
  • Free street space for other uses
  • Move “out of service” buses into off-street sites instead of scattering them on city streets
  • Provide safe and reliable restrooms and break areas for bus operators

The Eastlake Layover Facility will be on the east side of Eastlake Avenue East on state-owned land next to Interstate 5, between Roy and Republican streets. The site is ideal for a new facility because of its central location and its proximity to high-demand bus routes.

When built, the facility will accommodate 11 new bus layover spaces (six off-street and five on-street), as well as a comfort station that will provide bus operators with secure restrooms, break space, and operations space.

The surface-level facility will not be open to the public or transit riders, but some of its design elements were informed by community input during our initial public outreach. Members of the public recommended installing a metal and wood panel exterior, colorful accents and native plants evoking the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

There will be several roadway changes for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists once the project is complete:
  • Metro is working in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation's Eastlake Layover Facility Mobility Improvements Project to construct the south segment of the protected bike lanes between Roy and Stewart streets. The north segment of the Eastlake Layover Facility Mobility Improvements, between Fairview Avenue North and Roy Street, is expected to complete design in spring 2021 and begin construction as soon as summer. Please contact Ching Chan with the Seattle Department of Transportation via email or by phone at (206) 257-2263 for more information.
  • Other roadway change include:
  • Impacts to some on-street parking stalls on the west side of the roadway. Parking will be:
    • removed between Roy and Mercer streets
    • reduced to six stalls between Mercer and Republican streets
    • removed between Harrison and Thomas streets
    • restricted to weekend-only between Thomas and John streets
  • Permanent lane reductions – from four to two lanes – between Roy and Stewart streets.
  • A shared-use path on the east side of Eastlake Avenue East between Roy and Mercer streets.
  • Replacement of the northbound right-turn slip lane to Lakeview Boulevard East with a right-turn-only lane at Roy Street.
  • New or improved pedestrian crossings.
  • New traffic signal installation at the Eastlake Avenue East and Republican Street intersection.
  • Removal of the existing bus stop at Mercer Street and Eastlake Avenue East (which serves routes 355 and 304). An alternative stop will be Route 70 at Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue. Please refer to Metro’s North Link Connections Mobility Project for more information.

We completed final design of the Eastlake Layover Facility in summer 2020. Construction is expected to begin as early as spring 2021 and last until fall 2022.

Have a say

We conducted an initial phase of public outreach between November 2017 and January 2018 to get feedback on the design of the facility. We conducted a second phase of public outreach in late 2019 to introduce the updated designs at the 60% milestone and report back on how community input influenced specific elements of the design.

From input received through stakeholder meetings, door-to-door outreach, and an online open house with survey, several key themes emerged.

People told us they would prefer bright, colorful concrete and structures that stand out rather than blend in. They would also prefer vegetation and natural, plant-based screening over physical barriers or walls that are textured or painted. This feedback informed the design you see today.

In general, for any future layover projects, people told us it’s important that Metro design facilities that are safe and secure, as well as pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Off-street layover facilities should provide comfort for bus operators, fit in with their surrounding neighborhoods, and minimize noise and environmental pollution and congestion. People cited landscaping, lighting, and screening as the most important features for future off-street layover facilities.

More detail about the public outreach process and what we heard is available in the Final Design Outreach Report   PDF.

Environmental review process

Metro completed environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the Eastlake Layover Facility. After completing a SEPA checklist, a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) was issued on Dec. 14, 2018. The DNS was published in the Seattle Times and mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the proposed facility. The 14-day public comment period ended at 5 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2018.

Get in touch

Documents to view or download:

Contact us

Michelle Huynh
Community Relations Planner
Send an email
or call 206-263-9768

Translation disclaimer