Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Major Bus Service Changes Begin
Saturday, September 24, 2005


Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to close on Sept. 24, 2005

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will close, and will remain closed for up to two years while Sound Transit retrofits the tunnel for use by both buses and light rail.

This change means that all tunnel routes will operate on surface streets. Many non-tunnel routes will also be shifted to different streets or bus stops to handle the increased number of buses. Please refer to your route in this brochure to find out about routing, stop and schedule changes for your bus service. Refer to the maps for bus stop locations.

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Street Teams are here to help

Street Team members are Metro and partner agency employees knowledgeable about changes to downtown Seattle bus service. One week prior to Sept. 24, look for Street Teams wearing black Metro aprons and hats at downtown bus stops. They will assist you in understanding these changes.

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New shelter, bus stop and traffic improvements in downtown Seattle

In a joint commitment to keep downtown Seattle moving, the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, Metro and Community Transit are providing $16 million in downtown transportation improvement projects. As part of this effort, Metro has installed new bus shelters with improved lighting and other amenities. New bus stops will help ease the movement of buses and offer better bus access to freeways. Bus routes with similar destinations will serve common bus stops, offering more travel options. Additionally, Seattle Police and King County Transit Police will assist the movement of pedestrians and buses through critical intersections.

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Four changes that may affect your commute beginning Saturday, September 24

Listed below is an overview of changes in downtown Seattle that may affect your commute. See the numerical listing of affected routes. Also listed are changes throughout Metro's service area, not just those related to downtown Seattle. Most routes that serve downtown Seattle have schedule changes. Pick up a new RED timetable for complete route and schedule information.

1. Many routes will operate on different streets in downtown Seattle

To provide service to common destinations from a single bus stop and to move buses more efficiently, many routes will operate on different streets. Refer to your route here and pick up a new RED timetable for more information. There are no changes to downtown bus service on 1st Avenue.

Riders will board these routes on 2nd Ave:
177, 190, 194, 196, 212, 225, 229, ST 550

Riders will board these routes on 3rd Avenue:
26, 28, 34, 39, 41, 42, 71, 72, 73, 101, 106, 150, 160, 163, 301, 306, 312

Riders will board these routes on 4th Avenue:
255 256 266

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2. Major changes will happen to 3rd Avenue bus service

To improve service on 3rd Avenue and better serve customer needs, bus stops will be consolidated. Third Avenue buses will make alternating stops, just as 2nd and 4th Avenue buses currently do. This means buses will not stop at every bus stop on 3rd Avenue. Consolidation of bus stops offers riders more choices at bus stops and enables more efficient movement of buses. Only bus stops located between Stewart and South Jackson streets will be affected by this change.

To enhance the movement of buses during weekday peak hours, through traffic on 3rd Avenue will be restricted to buses only. From 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m., non-transit vehicles on 3rd Avenue must turn right at the next available intersection. This bus-priority operation, combined with alternating bus stops, will make it easier for buses to travel through downtown Seattle. Traffic control officers will be stationed at key intersections to aid traffic flow and compliance.

3rd Avenue bus routes affected by new alternating stops:

1   14   32   49   74E  150   308
2   16   34   66   76   160   312
3   25   36   70   77   163   316
4   26   39   71   79   301   355
7   27   41   72  101   304   358
13  28   42   73  106   306   ST 522

Refer to the map to find where 3rd Avenue buses will stop. Always look for your bus route number posted at the stop where you are waiting to board your bus.

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3. Some bus routes will change how they enter or leave downtown Seattle

To further ensure the efficient movement of buses in and out of downtown Seattle, bus access has been redesigned on 5th Avenue South just north of South Jackson Street, and on 9th Avenue between Howell Street and Olive Way. Several new bus stops will be added to take advantage of new freeway access lanes. Refer to the 2nd Avenue & 4th Avenue Boarding Locations map and the Virginia St, Stewart St & Olive Way Boarding Locations map for new boarding locations.

Routes affected:

41   106  150  212  229  257  268  311	
71   111  177  214  250  260  301  ST 522
72   114  190  216  252  261  306  ST 550
73   131  194  217  255  265  308  ST 554
101  134  210  225  256  266  312

If you now board or exit your bus on Olive Way, Stewart Street or south of South Washington Street, your bus stop may change. Refer to your route to see how you may be affected. Pick up a new RED timetable for detailed route information.

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4. Drop off locations may be different from boarding locations

Buses entering downtown Seattle may use a different routing or street than buses leaving town. Changes to some bus routes may require you to exit your bus on a different street than where you will board. Additionally, 3rd Avenue's new alternating stop pattern means that boarding and exiting locations may be one to three blocks apart. For drop-off locations on your route, pick up a new RED timetable.

Always look for the posted route number at your bus stop.

Plan now for the changes that begin on Sept. 24. Please be aware of how adjustments to downtown bus service may affect your routine. The new alternating stop pattern on 3rd Avenue means buses may no longer serve a particular bus stop. Seeing your route number on the bus stop sign and checking the posted schedule is your best assurance that you are waiting at the correct stop.

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Pick Up Your New Red Timetable

Pick up your new red timetable on your bus, at a Metro information rack, at your work site or local library beginning September 15.

If you ride Sound Transit, Pierce or Community Transit, pick up their new schedules or refer to their web site and look for changes that may impact your bus ride.

Please help conserve paper by taking only the timetables you need or by using these other information options:

  • Metro Online (New timetables and maps will be available by close of business September 23, 2005.)
  • Metro Trip Planner Enter a day/date of September 24 or later for itineraries in Metro's service area. Regional trip plans outside of King County may not contain complete information until September 24.
  • Rider Information: Voice: 206-553-3000, TTY: 206-684-1739
  • Bus Time: 206-287-8463

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Test your trip in advance with Trip Planner

You can plan your trip in advance with Metro's online Trip Planner and see what routes, times and locations are best for you. Trip plans using Metro's new schedules are available now. Enter a day/date of September 24 or later for itineraries in Metro's service area. Regional trip plans outside of King County may not contain complete information until September 24th.

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Westlake Pass Sales Office moves to "The Transportation Connection" in Rainier Square

The downtown Seattle Metro Pass Sales Office relocated in mid-September to a new store in Rainier Square named The Transportation Connection. The Rainier Square location, on 4th Avenue between University and Union streets, sells bus tickets and PugetPasses and provides timetables and brochures for Metro, Community Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit service. The Transportation Connection is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Route 140 Improvements

Major improvements will be made to weekend frequency on Route 140. Additional service will be added to both Saturday and Sunday schedules. Pick up a new RED timetable for more information.

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Changes to bay assignments at Bellevue Transit Center

Many bus routes will change bays at the Bellevue Transit Center (BTC). Bay assignments will be adjusted to ease transfers between routes. Additionally, some bus routes at BTC will change to take advantage of new HOV ramps to and from I-405. Look for specific information here and pick up a new RED timetable. Routes with new BTC bay assignments: (see the map)

230 	237 	253 	ST 530 	ST 555/ST 556*	
232 	240 	261 	ST 532 	ST 560	
233 	249 	271 	ST 535 	ST 564/ST 565

*New Sound Transit Route 556 Express connects Issaquah and Northgate via the University District

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VanShare and get connected to your bus, train or ferry

Let VanShare bridge the gap in your commute. Use VanShare to complete your trip on a bus to and from work. VanShare on the first or last leg of your trip to or from home, or to transit service connections at bus stops, park-and-ride lots, rail stations or ferry terminals. Plus, your van is available for personal errands during the day. To get started, phone us at 206-625-4500 or send e-mail to

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Metro wants to keep you moving with VanPool

If bus service isn't your solution, discover Vanpooling. It is another great alternative to driving alone. Vanpooling can be as flexible as you want. You can join an existing group or form your own. Pick your vehicle size from 8-, 12- or 15-passenger vans. You will feel good about the money you save, and you can enjoy preferred parking and the use of HOV lanes. For more information about VanPool, call 206-625-4500 or visit

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External links to partnering transit agencies

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