Seattle DOT’s Madison Street BRT receives $59.9-million Small Starts grant

Aug. 10, 2021
The 2.3-mile BRT line will begin construction this fall and will serve historically underserved, densely populated neighborhoods on its east-west route when it opens in 2024.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded a $59.9-million grant through its Capital Investment Grants program to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for the Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project.

The RapidRide G Line, as it has been branded, will provide fast, frequent, reliable and safety transportation along a 2.3-mile route. The funds for the project and three additional Small Starts projects were allocated in April 2021. The federal portion of the Madison Street BRT Project represents 44.9 percent of the project’s $133.38-million cost.

“Public transit helps us combat climate change and connect riders—particularly from underserved communities—to jobs, education, services and opportunity,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This bus rapid transit project is a smart investment in Seattle’s transportation future, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to modernizing and expanding public transit around the region and the country.”

The project will benefit historically underserved neighborhoods, as well as provide an east-west connection from densely populated neighborhoods to downtown Seattle, with SDOT expecting the new BRT line to improve transit capacity, travel time, mobility and reliability along the corridor.

“FTA is proud to join our partners in Seattle to improve transit connections and expand the RapidRide Bus Rapid Transit network in King County,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Transit riders on the Madison Street BRT line can look forward to more efficient service and other amenities that will improve travel times in this busy corridor.”

Construction on the Madison BRT – RapidRide G Line is expected to begin this fall with service anticipated to begin in September 2024. The line will be operated by King County Metro and will feature transit signal priority, a real-time bus arrival information system, off-board fare collection using ORCA readers at stations, all-door boarding and the purchase of nine low-floor diesel electric buses. In addition, the new BRT line will provide multi-modal connections with the Seattle Streetcar System, Washington State and King and Kitsap County ferries at Colman Dock, Sound Transit’s Link light-rail system and other King County Metro RapidRide BRT services.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.