Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Bus service in southwest King County may change

Metro Transit and Sound Transit want to hear what you think about potential changes

This information and the questionnaire are available in traditional Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. To request materials in these languages, contact 206-296-4135 or ellen.hansen@kingcounty.gov

King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit are working together on potential changes to bus routes serving Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, SeaTac, Tukwila, and the Sounder Tukwila Station. The changes would be phased in after Sound Transit’s Link light rail service reaches Sea-Tac Airport in late 2009 and Metro’s new RapidRide A-Line service begins along Pacific Highway S /International Boulevard in 2010.

Link will provide frequent, fast, and reliable service between Sea-Tac International Airport, Tukwila, southeast Seattle, and downtown Seattle (see page 8 for details about Link light rail service).

RapidRide is Metro Transit’s new bus rapid transit service that will provide frequent, all-day service in five high-ridership corridors. The A Line, which will run between Tukwila International Boulevard Link station and Federal Way on Pacific Highway S/International Boulevard (State Route 99), will be the first to launch in 2010.

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Graphic of RapidRide bus at stop

RapidRide: bus service with a difference

Everything about RapidRide—the buses, the stops, the way it operates—is being designed to keep people moving quickly throughout the day in heavily used transit corridors. Buses will arrive frequently—every 10 to 15 minutes during the busiest morning and evening travel hours.

RapidRide buses are being designed to let people get on and off quickly, and the stops will be placed where the most riders gather. At the busiest stops, Metro will build stations with shelters and benches. Electronic signs at the stations will provide real-time information about when the next bus will arrive. Riders who have passes or transfers will be able to board at any door, and Metro will be testing a new fare system that allows people to pay before getting on the bus.

Metro is planning to launch RapidRide in five corridors: the A Line (Pacific Highway S) in 2010, the B Line (Bellevue-Redmond) and C Line (West Seattle) in 2011, the D Line (Ballard-Interbay-Uptown Queen Anne) in 2012, and the E Line (Aurora Avenue) in 2013. RapidRide is funded by Transit Now, the initiative to expand transit service that voters approved in 2006.

Why are Metro and Sound Transit considering changes?

To connect communities to new Link and RapidRide stations. Metro wants to help you get to Link for fast, reliable trips to the airport and downtown Seattle.

To avoid duplication. Metro and Sound Transit are working together to create an efficient, coordinated transit system that will serve as many people as possible. By discontinuing bus routes that largely duplicate Link and RapidRide service, Metro might be able to improve service on other routes.

To improve bus service in southwest King County. The upcoming start of Link light rail and the RapidRide A Line give Metro, Sound Transit, and the communities they serve an opportunity to take a fresh look at transit service in southwest King County. How can the future network of bus routes be set up to best serve the community?

These changes may be possible because Link and RapidRide can replace some Metro bus service, freeing resources that can be used to expand service on other routes. Changes might include more frequent service, more weekend or evening trips, or new service in areas not served today.

Metro is facing financial challenges that could affect its ability to make all the changes suggested in this newsletter. Metro is paying higher fuel costs and receiving far less sales tax revenue than expected, creating a strain on its budget. Metro is committed to making the best use of its funds so it can meet the growing demand for bus service.

Metro developed the options in this newsletter after considering potential changes in riders’ travel patterns when Link light rail and the RapidRide A Line start serving the area. Metro also considered requests from customers and community organizations in Southwest King County for faster east — west service, improved local connections, and more frequent service in the Pacific Highway S corridor.

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What changes do you think make sense?

You can help Metro decide what changes to make. The options in this newsletter are a starting point for conversation with the community — Metro wants to hear what you think.

The options outlined in this newsletter include the following:

  • Changes to routes 128, 140, 154, 175, 180, 190, Sound Transit (ST) Express 574, and ST Express 594
  • Creation of new routes serving Des Moines, SeaTac, and the SODO district
  • Discontinuation of routes 126, 170, 174, 191, and 194.

Changes are also being considered for the following bus routes that serve southeast Seattle: 7, 7 Express, 8, 9 Express, 14, 32, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 42 Express, 48, 60, 106, and 107. The proposed changes to southeast Seattle service are described in a separate newsletter which can be viewed online or requested in printed form from Sarah Luthens, community relations planner, at 206-684-1154 or sarah.luthens@kingcounty.gov

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Community discussion schedule

Metro Transit and Sound Transit invite you to participate in a community discussion to learn more about these potential changes and express your views directly to transit staff and community sounding board members.

Wednesday, Oct. 22: Federal Way
6:30-8:30 p.m.,* City Council Chambers, Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Avenue S
Served by Metro Transit Route 903

Thursday, Oct. 30: SeaTac
1:30-3:30 p.m.,* SeaTac City Hall, 4800
S 188th Street
Served by Metro Transit routes 180, 194, and 574

Thursday, Oct. 30: Tukwila
6:30-8:30 p.m., Foster High School, 4242
S 144th Street
Served by Metro Transit routes 128 and 174

Community discussion format:* 6:30-7 p.m. – Informal discussions with transit staff members
7-7:15 p.m. – Introductions and overview
7:15-8 p.m. – Small-group discussions
8-8:30 p.m. – Summaries, next steps, and evaluations

* The afternoon meeting on Oct. 30 will have the same structure, but will begin at 1:30 p.m. If you need disability accommodations or an interpreter for American Sign Language or another language at one of these meetings, please request this service at least five business days before the event by contacting Ellen Hansen, King County community relations planner, at 206-296-4511 (TTY Relay 711) or ellen.hansen@kingcounty.gov

Ways to comment on the options

The comment period is over; responses were due by Nov. 6, 2008

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What happens next?

Staff members from Metro Transit and Sound Transit will review all comments on service options with help from the Southwest King County Transit Connections Sounding Board, a community advisory group. This board is made up of about 12 people who live or work in southwest King County. (A similar board has been formed for the southeast Seattle area, and the two boards will coordinate their work.)

Metro Transit will develop proposed changes to Metro bus service based on comments from the community. In January 2009, Metro will mail information about the revised proposals to everyone who lives in the affected communities and will invite the public to comment.

After considering public comments about the proposals, the sounding board and Metro staff members will develop recommendations for King County Executive Ron Sims to consider. Executive Sims will then send a proposed ordinance to the Metropolitan King County Council for review and a decision in April or May 2009.

Approved bus service changes will be phased in beginning in February 2010.

The Sound Transit board of directors will make a decision in April or May 2009 about proposed changes to Sound Transit routes 574 and 594.

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Oct. 3, 2008