RapidRide I Line
We’re working to connect the cities of Renton, Kent and Auburn with 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 reliable and on-time. View our project fact sheet for more information.
Learn more about the Renton-Kent-Auburn Mobility Project.
We want to hear from you
Metro is committed to working closely with community members throughout the RapidRide I Line design and construction process. Please visit our online open house at RapidRideILine.com from December 28, 2020 – January 25, 2021 to learn more and provide feedback on roadway and intersection changes that allow the bus to arrive more often and be more reliable.
RapidRide I Line improvements
RapidRide I Line will upgrade Route 160 (previously Route 180, combined with former Route 169) connecting the cities of Auburn, Kent, and Renton. When RapidRide I Line launches in 2023:
- Buses will come more often and more reliably.
- Metro will add service at night and on weekends.
- Many stations will be upgraded with lighting, seating, and real-time arrival information.
- 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 implementing 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 began in September 2020, and RapidRide I Line will begin service in 2023.
More information about the mobility plan and changes can be found on the project webpage.
What’s happening now?
In 2019 we heard from communities and included their input in the development of a preferred design concept.. In late 2019 we presented our preferred concept, including the RapidRide I Line route alignment, stations, and priority areas for improving access for people walking, biking, and rolling to the bus. We're continuing to work with our communities and other partners to gather input to inform decisions on
- Projects that improve safety for walking, biking, and rolling 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 on congested roads to keep people moving as our region grows.
Visit the online open house at RapidRideILine.com from December 28, 2020 – January 25, 2021 to learn more about the project and provide input.
What we heard?
In Spring 2019 we introduced the project to community members and gathered feedback on priorities for transit service. We conducted a second round of engagement last summer to gather input on station locations. In the fall we presented the concept we developed with community input, including route, station locations and access improvements.
Since 2019 we’ve conducted two surveys, two online open houses, 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 our engagement activities overwhelmingly support RapidRide expansion. A few key themes have emerged.
- Support for faster, more reliable, and frequent bus service.
- Interest in more bus service throughout the day, into the evening, and on weekends.
- Interest in a range of transit options including RapidRide and more flexible options that meet the needs of the communities served.
- Desire for service to community amenities and services such as shopping centers, transit centers, medical centers, schools, and residential areas.
- Support for even spacing between stops.
- Support for more transit connections and better access to stations (i.e. improved sidewalks and pathways to stations).
- A mandate for Metro to continue to lead with equity and prioritize serving communities who have been historically underserved and people with mobility challenges.
Read the full engagement summary.
Why upgrade to RapidRide?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Routes 169 and 180 (now combined to form the new Route 160) were 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.
In an analysis performed in 2019, over two-thirds of 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.
Improvement to Metro’s service in South King County will serve both existing and future communities in Auburn, Kent and Renton.
Engaged communities on local needs and priorities:
Metro engaged riders, community members, and stakeholders to gather input about how they would like to use transit to get around.
Metro worked with partners, including the Mobility Board, to develop draft concepts based on community input.
Feedback on concepts:
Community members, stakeholders, and partners gave feedback on draft concepts and RapidRide I Line station locations.
Metro worked with the Mobility Board and other partners to refine concepts to develop a preferred Area Mobility Plan proposal and RapidRide I Line concept based on public feedback.
Feedback on Area Mobility plan proposal and RapidRide I Line concept:
Community members, stakeholders, and partners reviewed final proposal and RapidRide I Line concept.
Metro finalizes recommendation.
Metro transmitted the Area Mobility Plan recommendation and RapidRide I Line concept to King County Council for adoption.
RapidRide I Line 30% design:
Refined the conceptual design based on feedback and available funding.
Area Mobility Plan recommendations were included in the Fall 2020 service changes. Routes 180 and 169 were combined to form the new Route 160.
Continue refining the conceptual design. Begin right of way acquisition process as needed.
Finalize the route, station locations, access improvements and capital projects.
Approve final design
Award contract to build the new station locations, access improvements and capital projects.
Begin service on the new RapidRide I Line.