Next round of service expansion: King County Metro adds 1,350 new bus trips per week
King County Metro is adding more transit service in more places in the 10th consecutive expansion since 2015. Hundreds of new trips will be added seven days per week on more than 35 routes throughout King County – 1,350 weekly trips in total – thanks to Metro investments and Seattle Transportation Benefit District funds from City of Seattle.
As part of a semi-annual service change starting Saturday, Sept. 21, King County Metro is increasing service, adding 200 new trips each weekday, 150 trips on Saturdays, and 200 trips on Sundays. These additions, totaling 1,350 trips per week, are thanks to Metro investments and Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) funds from City of Seattle.
More service on 24 routes, including several that connect Seattle with other cities, is made possible by voter-approved STBD investments – funding that’s designed to address overcrowded trips, improve east-west connections, provide better 24-hour service, and build out the city’s frequent transit network.
These 24 increased routes include: 3, 5, 5X, 7, 11, 14, 17, 21, 28, 36, 40, 41, 44, 48, 50, 65, 67, 120, 124, 372, 373, RapidRide C Line, RapidRide D Line, and RapidRide E Line.
Metro funding will allow south King County routes 105, 164, 183, 346, and 906 to double in frequency, shifting from service every 60 minutes to service every 30 minutes. Investing in these five highly-productive routes in historically underserved south King County communities offers better connections, and access to jobs, school, and childcare.
Additional service change highlights include expanded hours of 10-minute service on RapidRide E Line; expanded hours of 15-minute service on routes 1, 14, 40, 41, 65, 67, and 120; new midday and Saturday service on Route 635; and later evening service on routes 40, 101, and 150.
“Adding nearly 1,400 new bus trips each week will make it easier to travel in downtown Seattle and across the county. With this latest service expansion, we’re doubling frequency on five of our most popular routes in south King County. Transit means access to opportunity, and we’ve added buses to meet rider demand for the last ten semi-annual service changes, making sure every resident can get to work, school, and all this region has to offer,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
“The City has committed to an additional 50,000 hours of bus service with King County Metro this fall, which means expanded service on some of our busiest routes," said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. "Our residents know that the best way to get around in this new era of tough traffic is transit. That is why they support the Seattle Transportation Benefit District which will fund an additional 937 weekly bus trips in every part of the City.”
Additional Metro Transit service starting Sept. 21
Comprehensive updates are available on Metro’s Service Change website.
• More trips on the shoulders of peak service: 3, 40, 65, 67, 218, 252, 255, 271, 311, C Line, and E Line
• More frequent service: 1, 14, 40, 41, 65, 67, 120, and E Line
• Expanded hours of 30-minute service: 105, 164, 183, 346, and 906
• New midday and Saturday service: 635, in partnership with City of Des Moines
• Night Owl: 40, 101 and 150
Next chapters in the Seattle Squeeze
The “Seattle Squeeze” will continue over the next five years as Seattle’s downtown experiences major construction and improvements. Regional transportation partners including the City of Seattle, King County Metro, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Sound Transit, and the Port of Seattle are working together to keep people and goods moving safely to and through downtown.
The next chapter of the Seattle Squeeze begins this fall with the ongoing demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, construction of the new waterfront, and the beginning of WSDOT’s tolling of the SR 99 tunnel, all of which will continue to change travel behavior and shift how people travel to and through downtown. This will extend into the New Year with “Connect 2020,” a 10-week process that will close sections of Sound Transit’s Link light rail tracks to connect the existing system with the East King County line opening in 2023. Trains will run less frequently, and riders travelling both north and south through downtown will need to transfer between trains at Pioneer Square Station.
As transportation partners including Metro and City of Seattle have suggested since the Seattle Squeeze began in early 2019, travelers should plan ahead, adjust travel times when possible, prepare for impacts to downtown traffic, and exercise patience.
In the long term, post-Squeeze, the region’s transportation network will be further enhanced with better, faster ways to get around, including Metro’s robust transit service connected to an expanded Sound Transit Link light rail network across the Puget Sound region.
Stats at a Glance
Since fall 2014, Metro has increased its service hours by 25 percent, surpassing 4.5 million total annualized service hours in 2019. Starting in 2015, over 350,000 of these service hours have been provided by $50 million in annual STBD investments to better connect Seattle neighborhoods to downtown Seattle. Since 2017, Metro has added more than 328,000 annual service hours – the equivalent of 75 buses operating 365 days per year for 12 hours per day – to increase frequency and improve reliability on key corridors. The mobility agency, with support from City of Seattle, now offers more than 13,233 bus trips every weekday.
Passengers can read details about changes on Metro’s website and begin pre-planning trips using Metro’s Trip Planner app by entering a travel date of Sept. 21 or later. Changes also are included in a red Rider Alert brochure, and new green timetables that will be distributed on buses and at customer service locations.
Adding nearly 1,400 new bus trips each week will make it easier to travel in downtown Seattle and across the county. With this latest service expansion, we’re doubling frequency on five of our most popular routes in south King County. Transit means access to opportunity, and we’ve added buses to meet rider demand for the last ten semi-annual service changes, making sure every resident can get to work, school, and all this region has to offer.
The City has committed to an additional 50,000 hours of bus service with King County Metro this fall, which means expanded service on some of our busiest routes. Our residents know that the best way to get around in this new era of tough traffic is transit. That is why they support the Seattle Transportation Benefit District which will fund an additional 937 weekly bus trips in every part of the City.
We are committed to providing transportation services that connect all people and all communities of King County, and September’s service enhancements directly support that work. We will continue to focus on creating innovative mobility solutions that offer convenience and reliability, while also strengthening social equity, public health and our environment.
For more information, contact:
Torie Rynning, Metro, 206-263-3233