RapidRide

Always there.

RapidRide buses come so often, you don't need a timetable. Just show up to your closest RapidRide stop and a bus will arrive shortly to take you on your way. You don't need to rely on a schedule or worry about catching a particular trip.

  • Service at least every 10 minutes during the busiest morning and evening travel hours.
  • 15 minute service during off-peak periods.
  • Scheduled service for late night/early mornings.
  • Full service seven days a week!  

Simple and easy to use

RapidRide bus driving along its route.
The bus always follows the exact same route coming and going, just like a train.

With RapidRide everything is easier, and the guesswork is eliminated.

  • The bus always follows the exact same route coming and going, just like a train.
  • Inside the bus, the next stop is displayed on illuminated overhead signs.  
  • RapidRide stations have electronic signs that tell how many minutes it will be until the next bus will arrive.
  • RapidRide stations include large maps of the routes showing all the stops and destinations.

Faster boarding for everyone

Passenger in wheelchair entering the bus using the ramp.
Wheelchar users simply wheel into place without operator assistance, greatly speeding up boarding time.

RapidRide buses let you get on and off quickly. The inside of the bus has been designed to make it easier for you to move to seats and exits.

  • Low floor buses with three doors, so people can get on and off quickly.
  • All RapidRide buses are accessible. Most have a passive wheelchair restraint system that lets users roll into place without assistance from the bus driver, greatly speeding up boarding time.
  • ORCA card readers at stations let riders with ORCA cards pay before they board, and get on at any door.

Move more, stop less

RapidRide bus zooming past.
Roadway improvements such as HOV lanes, bus bulbs, and queue jumps keep buses moving, even in heavy traffic.

RapidRide stations are being placed where most riders gather, within easy walking distance along the corridor. Metro planners worked with the communities along the lines to choose the best places for stations.

  • Roadway improvements such as HOV lanes, bus bulbs, and queue jumps keep buses moving, even in heavy traffic.
  • RapidRide buses send signals to traffic lights, so green lights stay green longer or red lights switch to green faster.

Increased safety and security

RapidRide shelters are designed for safety.
RapidRide shelters and buses are designed for safety and work to deliver a safe, comfortable overall RapidRide experience.

RapidRide shelters and buses are designed for safety and work to deliver a safe, comfortable overall RapidRide experience.

  • Shelters are well lit so people can see around themselves and be seen.
  • Fare enforcement officers monitor RapidRide buses and stops.
  • All RapidRide stops feature stop request signals at the bus stop flag which let you trigger a light at night to signal to the driver that you are waiting.

Integrated, intelligent transportation systems

Real time passenger information at the stops and in the bus.
Real time passenger information at the stops and in the bus.

RapidRide's innovative features are powered by integrated, intelligent transportation systems. Each RapidRide line has a fiber-optic backbone that runs the entire length of the route with a string of access points that provides continuous wireless coverage. This allows all the transportation systems to operate under one common architecture platform. The A Line has 11 miles of fiber cable network installed. When all RapidRide lines are deployed, about 70 miles of new network fiber will be in place. Systems include:

  • Transit Signal Priority to help synchronize traffic lights with an approaching RapidRide bus.
  • Real time passenger information at the stops and in the bus.
  • ORCA off-board payment system
  • Automated Vehicle Location system that quickly polls the RapidRide buses to determine their actual location on the route.

Funding for RapidRide

Learn more about Transit Now

Voters launched RapidRide when they passed the Transit Now initiative in November 2006. Some Transit Now funding for RapidRide comes from the sales tax in King County, and some comes from special partnerships with cities, employers, and other organizations that will benefit from RapidRide service.

  • More recently, Metro has been successful in obtaining state and federal grants to help fund the program.
  • In Seattle, the Bridging the Gap initiative, passed in November 2006, will help fund traffic signal and roadway improvements. These modifications are critical to improving transit travel times and schedule reliability.
Updated: April 30, 2014