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RapidRide K Line

Coming to Kirkland and Bellevue

Metro is working to bring new RapidRide service to Eastside, to provide better, more reliable bus service to communities in Kirkland and Bellevue. By 2030, Metro plans to bring RapidRide K Line to the fast-growing communities between Totem Lake Transit Center in Kirkland, downtown Bellevue and the Eastgate Park-and-Ride.

We want to hear from you!

We want to make it safer and easier for you to catch the bus! Take Metro's K line survey by July 24 to help us plan the future of RapidRide K Line.

Project overview

Metro plans to bring RapidRide to more Eastside communities by 2030. The RapidRide K Line will serve an 18-mile north-south corridor between Kirkland and Bellevue as part of Metro Connects, Metro’s long-range vision approved by the King County Council in 2017.

Several high-ridership Metro lines already serve the Eastside. Routes 239, 250 and 271 are expected to carry nearly 14,000 riders per day by 2040. RapidRide will bring riders high-quality, more frequent and reliable service with better connections to other buses and modes of transportation.

Improving the Eastside transit network is necessary to serve the fast-growing communities of Kirkland and Bellevue. The RapidRide K Line will provide connections to major transit services in the area, including Sound Transit’s Link light rail 2 Line, the I-405 Stride Bus Rapid Transit and the RapidRide B Line. The K line will serve many major employers in the medical, technology and aerospace industries, as well as several universities and other popular destinations.

Originally planned to begin service in 2025, Metro paused work on the RapidRide K Line do to funding issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Metro is committed to engaging key partners and eastside communities as project work starts up again.


  • Continue to conduct and document a purposeful, inclusive and equitable community engagement process by using feedback and ideas from the community to design a service that meets the community’s needs.
  • Ensure community partners are aware of the project and understand how RapidRide will impact and benefit their communities.

Benefits of RapidRide

Buses first

In many areas, RapidRide travels in red “bus only” lanes, with special traffic lights timed for faster service.

More access

Enjoy all-door boarding. Tap your ORCA card to pay at a station or by any door inside the bus.

More often

Buses that come more often and provide consistent service.

Community engagement

People who live, work, and play in Kirkland and Bellevue helped Metro decide where to bring RapidRide K Line. Now we need to hear what you think of proposed station locations and projects, like sidewalks and crossings, that make it easier to get to the bus. Take our survey or stop by a community event to chat with Metro staff.



Between October and December 2019, Metro engaged eastside communities to determine needs and priorities for RapidRide service between Kirkland and Bellevue. To hear from communities historically underrepresented in transit planning, we led an inclusive engagement campaign. We gathered feedback from community-based organizations (CBOs), businesses and community members on their current transit use — and how and where they need to travel — and proposed routes throughout Kirkland and Bellevue.

In addition to community interviews, we produced an online survey and held in-person engagement events, including informational sessions,, tabling and transit center and onboard bus outreach. WWe translated outreach materials into Spanish and simplified Chinese, the languages most commonly spoken in this engagement area.

What we heard

  • Community members want transit that will get them to important destinations within the community.
  • Speed of travel is important.
  • Community members want to be certain the bus will be there when they need it.
  • Many expressed concerns for planned changes to Route 255 and the resulting lack of direct connections to Downtown Seattle.
  • Some noted a need for better service to people with mobility, vision, hearing or other disabilities.
  • Safety is important at stations, including lighting and crosswalks, as well as surrounding sidewalks.
  • Difficulty getting to and from the bus stop can make it hard for people to use transit.
  • Buses take much longer than other transportation methods, which creates barriers to getting places on time.

These community-identified priorities from Eastside residents are aligned with the East Link Connections priority mobility needs that were developed in 2021-2022, and reconfirmed in 2024.

Next steps

The feedback Metro collected during Phase 1 helped inform how and where we plan to engage with community members and groups in future phases. In Phase 2, we will re-introduce the project to the community and gather feedback on design plans for the RapidRide K Line, which Metro developed in partnership with local agencies and address project and agency goals. Specific areas for conversation include:

  • Proposed RapidRide K Line station locations.
  • Potential locations for projects to make it easier for people who walk, roll and bike to get to the station.
  • Roadway improvements to make the bus faster and more reliable.
  • Additional ways to share information and gather input from the Eastside.

Phase 3 will focus on presenting a complete vision of the proposed project, with the goals of getting even more detailed feedback. The project team will use this feedback to adjust the project vision, ensure that the project meets community priorities and complete the project’s planning stage through a formal adoption of the Locally Preferred Alternative by the King County Council.

Project timeline

  • 2019 - 2020

    Planning: Needs and priorities
    In this first phase of engagement, Metro connected with community members, community-based organizations, businesses and agency partners to plan the RapidRide K Line route.

  • 2024 (current)

    Planning: Early design
    Metro further engages community members in two more phases:

    • Gather input on early design plans
    • Report back to share how community input shaped designs and and present concepts to King County Council for adoption.
  • 2025 - 2029

    Final design and construction
    Metro continues engaging commnunities in finalizing designs and building new stations, roadway changes and other elements to create a safe, comfortable RapidRide experience.

  • 2030

    Service launch
    Planned RapidRide K Line start of service.

Resource Library

Early Design Flyer (Summer 2024)

Double-sided document that provides an overview of the planned project, where and how to provide feedback during this period, as well as contact information.

Right-of-Way Property Informational Letter (Summer 2024)

These letters were shared with property owners identified to have property potentially impacted by the RapidRide K Line. along ½ mile of the to-be RapidRide K Line.

RapidRide K Line Community Engagement Summary (Fall 2019)

Provides a summary of the engagement conducted from September to December 2019 during the needs and priorities assessment.

RapidRide Restart Report (March 2022)

Plan provided by King County Metro which describes the work completed up to March 30, 2022, in preparation to restart the planning work for RapidRide K and R Line.

Blog posts



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