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King County, Tukwila and Westfield Southcenter celebrate Tukwila Urban Transit Center improvements

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton and representatives of Westfield Southcenter celebrated $7.5 million in transit improvements today at the Tukwila Urban Transit Center, home to RapidRide F Line and other routes serving Westfield Southcenter.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton and representatives of Westfield Southcenter celebrated $7.5 million in transit improvements today at the Tukwila Urban Transit Center, home to RapidRide F Line and other routes serving Westfield Southcenter.

The project, located at the heart of Tukwila’s urban center at Andover Park West and Baker Boulevard, was funded jointly by state and federal grants, the City of Tukwila and Westfield Southcenter, and was completed earlier this year. About 2,700 riders board or exit transit service at the center, served by RapidRide F Line and routes 128, 156 and 906.

“It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we launched the RapidRide F Line, which carries more riders every day,” Executive Constantine said. “Frequent, efficient service here in Tukwila strengthens both our economy and our commitment to equity by serving communities that need transit the most.”

Nearly 100 percent of F Line boardings happen in census tracts that have more minorities than the county average and lower income than the county average. The Tukwila Urban Transit Center is mid-point on the east-west traveling F Line, which connects from the east, Boeing, The Landing, and Renton Transit Center with Link light rail and Metro buses at Tukwila International Boulevard Station and Sounder trains at Tukwila Sounder Station.

“By everyone chipping in and working together, the Tukwila Urban Transit Center is going to be an awesome place for people to catch buses and connect to trains, to jobs, and even to shopping at the mall,” King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove.

From the west, transit from the Burien Transit Center and SeaTac also connect in Tukwila. June marks the first anniversary of the launch of RapidRide F Line, which now carries 5,600 riders daily – 47 percent more than the predecessor route 140. In a recent survey, riders gave it an 88 percent satisfaction rating.

Tukwila Transit Center helps complete a trifecta of transit hubs in this community: Tukwila International Boulevard Station and Tukwila Sounder Station and this additional center at the mall.

“This transit center is another critical piece of infrastructure to help Tukwila achieve its goal of turning the Southcenter Urban center into a vibrant neighborhood where people live, work, shop and play,” commented Jim Haggerton, Mayor of Tukwila.

In all, King County Metro’s RapidRide fleet carries 57,000 daily rides on six routes, about 14 percent of the 400,000 countywide daily total bus rides. The network provides frequent, cost-effective and dependable service, according to a recent RapidRide evaluation report.

Key facility features: Real-time arrival information signs, off-board ORCA payment, custom bus shelters that incorporate durable time-tested materials with a bright distinctive yellow flare, patterned concrete to connect the two bus bay zones along Andover Park West, rather than requiring riders to cross the street; more accessible; includes lighting and safety and security features used in transit facility designs.