King County Metro Transit, SDOT readies to begin construction on Route 40 Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor project

May 28, 2024
The goals of the project, which is set to begin construction in early June, are to reduce transit travel times, improve transit reliability and increase safety and transit access along the Route 40 corridor.

King County Metro Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) could begin construction on the Route 40 Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor project. The goals of the project, which is set to begin construction in early June, are to reduce transit travel times, improve transit reliability and increase safety and transit access along the Route 40 corridor. 

Route 40 corridor improvements were first identified as part of the Levy to Move Seattle and King County Metro’s METRO CONNECTS program. Route 40 is one of King County Metro’s highest ridership routes, serving an average of more than 7,000 customers each weekday. The route travels through the neighborhoods of Northgate, Crown Hill, Loyal Heights, Ballard, Fremont, South Lake Union, downtown Seattle and Pioneer Square, Wash., and connects with some of the highest ridership routes in King County Metro’s system, such as the RapidRide C, D and E Lines, as well as Route 44. Additionally, Route 40 ends at the Northgate Transit Center, where many regional transit routes come together. 

King County Metro notes Route 40 buses are scheduled to arrive every five to 10 minutes during peak periods and stops are located approximately every quarter mile throughout the route. However, buses on the route are often slow and unreliable, impacting thousands of people who rely on transit. The project will identify and implement improvements that provide faster and more reliable transit service for Route 40 and other bus routes that share the corridor. 

Route 40 improvements include:  

  • Three miles of Businesses Access and Transit only lanes or Freight and Bus only lanes 
  • 47 upgraded curb ramps 
  • eight new bus bulbs 
  • 6,000-plus feet of upgraded sidewalks 
  • Three new or upgraded crosswalks 

Fremont bus stop  

King County Metro has started the process to move the proposed northbound bus stop on the northwest corner of Fremont Avenue North and Fremont Place North to approximately 250 feet west of it, next to the Lenin statue. As part of the new design change, the agency will be assessing what changes could be needed to other nearby bus zones along the new proposed bus stop. 

Improvements made as part of the Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor project will include:  

  • Dedicated bus lanes: Bus-only lanes that separate buses from traffic and improve transit travel times and reliability. 
  • Signal upgrades or optimization: Transit signal priority extends or activates green lights to reduce waiting times for buses at signals. 
  • Channelization changes or turn restrictions: Changes to lane markings and restricting turns for other vehicles so that buses can move faster and avoid right-of-way conflicts, making all travelers safer. 
  • Safety improvements: Improvements to crossings and transit connections to help people get to bus stops more easily and safely. 
  • Sidewalk upgrades: Repaving sidewalks and upgrading curb ramps to become ADA-accessible in key locations. 
  • Bike lane: New northbound bike lane connection on Fremont Avenue North and Neighborhood Greenway connection near 20th Ave. Northwest and Leary Way Northwest. 


Crews will begin construction starting on Holman Road Northwest and 3rd Ave. Northwest, as well as on North 105th St. and North Northgate Way and Aurora Avenue North. Construction will include installing updated sidewalks, ADA-compliant curb ramps and bus stop improvements. 

SDOT says construction in Ballard will most likely start this summer while Fremont is scheduled to begin in 2025. SDOT will proactively schedule this project to minimize conflicts and is coordinating with the 15th Ave. West/Northwest Paving and Ballard Bridge Safety Project, which will start this summer. 

Anticipated construction timeline  

  • 2024- Holman Road, North 105th St./ North Northgate Way and Aurora 
  • 2024/2025 – Ballard, Leary Way Northwest, Westlake Avenue North 
  • 2025/2026 – Fremont 

SDOT says the timeline may change depending on weather conditions, crew and materials availability or other circumstances.  

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.