Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Metro Online Home

Archived page

This page has been archived and is no longer being actively maintained. Some of the links on the page may no longer work.

For current proposed changes to service, visit the Proposed changes to service page.
For the latest service change rider alert, visit the Service Change page.
For current news, visit the News page.

Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel Summary of Changes

The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel opens Monday, Sept. 24.

Routes 41, 71E, 72E, 73E, 74E, 101, 106, 150, 174, 194, 212, 217 (mornings only), 225, 229, 255, 256, 301 and Sound Transit 550 operate in the tunnel on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. See details below about service when the tunnel is closed.


Boarding Locations When the Tunnel is Closed

International District Station



41, 301

At the transit island, northbound on 4th Ave S just north of S Jackson St.

71, 72, 73, 74E

Westbound on S Jackson St just west of 5th Ave S.

101, 106, 150

Southbound on 3rd Ave S just north of S Main St.

174, 194

On 2nd Ave Ext S just north of S Jackson St.

212, 217, 225, 229, ST 550

Southbound on 5th Ave S just south of S Jackson St.

255, 256

Northbound on 5th Ave S just north of S Jackson St.

Table of Contents

Pioneer Square, University Street and Westlake Stations



41, 71E, 72E, 73E, 74E, 301

Northbound on 3rd Ave at James, Madison, Union or Pine streets.

101, 106, 150

Southbound on 3rd Ave at Pike, Seneca or Columbia streets.

174, 194, 212, 217, 225, 229, ST 550

On 2nd Ave at Pike, Seneca, Marion or James streets.

255, 256

On 4th Ave at James, Marion, University or Pike streets.

Table of Contents

Convention Place Station




Eastbound on Olive Way at 4th Ave or 6th Ave.

74E, 255, 256, 301

Eastbound on Olive Way at 8th Ave or Terry Ave.

71E, 72E, 73E

Eastbound on Howell St (weekdays and Saturday express), or eastbound on Virginia St (weeknights, Saturday local service and Sunday) .

101, 106

Westbound on Stewart St at 9th Ave, 7th Ave or 5th Ave.


Westbound on Stewart St at 7th Ave or 5th Ave.

174, 212, 217, 225, 229, ST 550

Westbound on Stewart St at 4th Ave.


Westbound on Stewart St at 7th Ave or 4th Ave.

Table of Contents

Getting Around in the Tunnel Stations

Each station has multiple levels - The Pioneer Square, University Street and Westlake stations each have a mezzanine below their street entrances and a platform below the mezzanine for boarding and exiting buses. The stations at each end of the tunnel - Convention Place and International District/Chinatown - have a plaza on the street level and a platform below for boarding and exiting buses.

Elevators, escalators and stairs connect levels within each station. Most elevators in the Westlake, University Street and Pioneer Square stations do not go from the street to the platform. Instead, you must transfer on the mezzanine to an elevator going to either the street or the platform. Do not cross the roadway between the platforms where buses are traveling in two directions.

Directional signs hang from above in station entrances, plazas, mezzanines and platforms. Other "way-finding" signs are next to rider information panels on all levels of each station. The signs direct customers to escalators, stairs, elevators and bays for boarding and exiting buses. Before heading for a platform, make sure buses there are going the direction you want to go. You cannot cross the bus roadway to reach the correct platform.

Information signs are located near boarding locations in the tunnel and on the mezzanine and plaza levels. They contain schedule information, maps and other transit related material to assist customers in planning their trips.

Bay Markers - Each side of a station platform level has two bays where buses pick up or drop off customers. Convention Place Station has four separate bays. Look for your route number and its major destinations on bay markers on the platform.

Tunnel signs - Bright yellow and red reflective tunnel signs are located along the walls between stations. They show the number of the fire zone your bus is passing through, the distance from the last station to the next, and the name of the cross street you're under.

Table of Contents

Ride Free Area

The transit tunnel is within the downtown Ride Free Area. From 6 am to 7 pm, riding the bus is free in downtown Seattle and at all tunnel stations. Regular fares are charged if you board a bus before it enters the tunnel or if you board in the tunnel and your ride continues beyond the tunnel. The Ride Free Area, including the tunnel, is not in effect from 7 pm to 6 am.

The Ride Free Area is bounded by S Jackson St, the waterfront, Battery St, 6th Ave north of Olive Way, and I-5 south of Olive Way. The Route 99 Waterfront Streetcar line is always free.

Table of Contents

Tunnel Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Weekends and holidays: closed
  • Emergencies: closed

Table of Contents

Holiday Schedules

The tunnel is closed on these holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Please refer to Holiday Information in your route's timetable for more details.

Table of Contents

Metro Customer Stop

You can talk with Metro staff about transit service at the Metro Customer Stop on the west end of the mezzanine in Westlake Station, near Macy's. The Customer Stop is open weekdays during regular business hours.

Transit passes and ticketbooks are not sold at the Customer Stop. You can buy passes and ticketbooks downtown at the Transportation Connection in Rainier Square at 4th Ave and University St and at King Street Center, 201 S Jackson St. They're also available downtown at Bartell Drugs.

Westlake Station is the only tunnel station where you can talk with Metro staff and get timetables. Timetables are available on racks near the Customer Stop, and other transit information is available at the east end of the Westlake mezzanine near Nordstrom.

Table of Contents

Attention Bicyclists

On tunnel routes, load and unload bikes only at the Convention Place and International District/Chinatown stations. Bicycles must be walked at all times and may not be transported on escalators. In International District/Chinatown Station, use caution when stepping off or onto the 14-inch-high curb. Please note that the roadway surface is uneven next to the curb.

Always let the bus driver know before you load or unload your bike from the bicycle rack.

From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., bicycle loading and unloading is not allowed at bus stops in the downtown Seattle Ride Free Area, except at the first and last Ride Free stops on each route.

Table of Contents

Accessible Service

Tunnel stations are completely accessible to people with disabilities. All buses using the tunnel have wheelchair ramps at the front. Most tunnel entrances have an elevator for people unable to use the stairs or escalators. If you must use an elevator and it is not working, please use the red button on the emergency phones in each tunnel station to ask for help.

Table of Contents