King County Executive Constantine proposes new transit services to King County Metro bus network

Feb. 9, 2024
If the proposed changes are adopted by the King County Council, initial upgrades to the King County Metro bus network will begin with the Aug. 31 service change alongside the launch of the RapidRide G Line.

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed new and enhanced transit services that will allow riders in Seattle Wash., Shoreline, Wash., and Snohomish County to better connect with a growing regional transit system. If the proposed changes are adopted by the King County Council, initial upgrades to the King County Metro bus network will begin with the Aug. 31 service change alongside the launch of the RapidRide G Line on Madison Street. 

Thousands of community members in Seattle and north King County shaped the proposed integrated network changes to two dozen bus routes in their communities. Major construction efforts are wrapping up in the next few months, as the city of Seattle completes street and sidewalk improvements for the RapidRide G Line and Sound Transit prepares for the launch of Link 1 Line stations northward to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. Construction is 80 percent complete on Madison Street.  

The RapidRide G Line project and Sound Transit Link expansion represent more than $3.1 billion in public transportation projects scheduled for completion in 2024. With accompanying bus service upgrades, the integrated public transportation network will improve transit connections and expand service. 

“We are forging ahead this year to bring world-class transit to our region, launching the eighth King County Metro RapidRide Line and the first Sound Transit light-rail line to reach Snohomish County. With these new additions, we will deliver fast, safe, reliable service to thousands of people each day,” said King County Executive Constantine. “Upgraded bus networks are a proven path for connecting communities quickly, getting people where they need to go and opening doors to even greater opportunity.” 

“Riders across the region will have more ways to travel than ever with these two game-changing improvements,” said King County Metro General Manager Michelle Allison. “We are excited to maintain the momentum of bringing more people to transit and we do so by centering our service on the needs and voices of riders and that helps us deliver an all-day, all-week transit network that people want.” 

Fast, frequent, better connections for riders of RapidRide G Line, Madison Street area bus service 

King County Metro says the RapidRide G Line project delivers equitable and community-driven mobility. By integrating surrounding King County Metro bus routes with the new line launching Aug. 31, people traveling to, from and along Madison Street and the surrounding neighborhoods will gain access to faster, more reliable connections to jobs, education, recreation and essential services. 

Proposed revisions and improvements are for routes 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 47, 49 and 60. The improvements were guided by community members through more than 3,600 survey responses and in-person, with more than 600 people during information sessions.  

Service highlights include: 

  • Extending some Route 3 trips to western Capitol Hill where the former Route 47 operated. 
  • Streamlining service by shifting Routes 11 and 12 to better serve other destinations near Madison Street. 
  • Revising Route 11 to maintain connections to Capitol Hill Station and other destinations. 
  • Continuing frequent service where priority transportation needs are greatest and where rider demand is highest. 
  • Increasing frequency on Route 60 on weekdays and weekends between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. to provide more frequent north-south bus service connecting Capitol Hill, First Hill, Beacon Hill, South Park and southwest Seattle. 

The RapidRide G Line – Madison Street project includes significant funding from the Seattle Department of Transportation and the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle, as well as the Federal Transit Administration, Sound Transit, King County Metro and the state of Washington. In addition, the voter-approved Seattle Transit Measure funds bus service that will be adjusted with the proposal. 

Key RapidRide G Line project features include 2.8 miles of red bus lanes, 36 intersections with upgraded traffic signals, new center boarding platforms, approximately 50 blocks of improved sidewalks and 25 new ADA-accessible curb ramps. 

The RapidRide G Line will:  

  • Run 23 hours a day (5 a.m. to 4 a.m.)  
  • Provide bus service every six minutes for most of the day on weekdays and Saturdays.  
  • Expand late night service to the Madison Street area.  
  • Use new bus-only lanes and RapidRide stations, including center lane boarding along Madison Street.  
  • Offer easy all-door boarding with doors on both sides of the bus. 

‘Lynnwood Link Connections’ strengthen regional, community bus-train travel for riders 

In 2024, Sound Transit will extend Link 1 Line service 8.5 miles between Northgate and Lynnwood and open four new stations. Once launched, King County Metro will begin network upgrades that integrate new bus services with the Sound Transit system. The proposed legislation adds five new bus routes, revises nine routes and replaces 11 routes in phases. 

To prepare for the major expansion, King County Metro engaged for more than two years with riders and the community-based Lynnwood Link Mobility Board to guide and develop the proposed updates to the transit network to equitably serve the needs of riders. 

Riders have consistently experienced the benefit of integrated bus and rail network extension projects, offering King County Metro customers new, more frequent and more reliable connections to opportunities and services across the region. Highlights of the final bus network in the project area include: 

  • More overall weekday trips (plus nine percent) and weekend trips (plus 32 percent). 
  • More evening trips after 10 p.m. (plus 43 percent). 
  • Increased span of service on weekday and weekend routes. 
  • Net increase of three frequent routes that arrive every 15 minutes or better and four existing routes with frequency improvements. 
  • Three new and three improved east-west routes. 

King County Metro is introducing a new, on-demand Metro Flex service area in Lake Forest Park, north Kenmore, Brier and southeast Mountlake Terrace. The service will improve connections to community destinations, schools and other transit services, including Sound Transit’s Link light rail and future bus rapid transit

Proposed changes will be implemented in phases, contingent upon the completion of infrastructure changes by partner agencies. In addition, some routes may temporarily operate at lower levels of service than proposed until King County Metro is able to reliably deliver the new service changes. If adopted by the King County Council, King County Metro would implement the comprehensive set of changes in phases in 2024, 2025 and 2026. 


About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.