The new shelters are in place. The buses have been driving the route without passengers, to make sure everything is working as it should. Fare enforcement officers have been out on Route 174, telling customers how they’ll be checking for proof of payment once RapidRide service begins on Saturday. (Show them your paper transfer, or let them check your ORCA card with their portable card reader.)
Expect to read more about RapidRide in the news. Here’s a piece that appeared in the Highline Times earlier this week, penned by King County Executive Dow Constantine and County Councilmember Julia Patterson.
Dignitaries will gather tomorrow to mark the launch, but the actual start of RapidRide may be witnessed by only a lucky few as the first RapidRide buses roll into service on Saturday morning—at 4:47 a.m. at the Federal Way Transit Center and 4:45 a.m. at the Tukwila International Blvd. Station.
Will you be there?
As part of a Transit Now and Speed and Reliability Service Partnership between Metro and the City of Seattle, the two agencies are working together to make RapidRide on the Ballard/Interbay/Uptown corridors as quick and reliable as possible. Current plans do call for bus bulbs to allow in-lane bus stops on 15th Avenue NW between NW 70th Street and NW 80th Street.
The bus bulbs will have several benefits:
1) Improved transit rider waiting facilities and amenities, as well pedestrian sidewalk space
2) Buses won’t have to wait to merge into traffic
3) Curbside parking will be available along 15th Avenue NW at all times of the day for access to businesses.
Yes, bus bulbs could delay traffic during its peak flow, but there will be other intelligent transportation systems in place to help move cars, buses, and people along, including a new fiber optic network that will synchronize signals, improved signal detection of vehicles, signal priority for buses, and real-time information signs at RapidRide stations to inform riders when the next bus will arrive.
Is Metro planning on “Bus bulbs” on 15th Avenue NW between Crown Hill and the Ballrd Bridge? I hope not as this will make the entire arterial slower as the bus stops in traffic every 5 blocks. Currently, because of the additional traffic from rezoning due to the city’s “Urban Village”, there has been a huge increase in traffic from all the new development. Don’t make things worse by slowing one lane of traffic for bus stops.
Will there be any celebration of the RapidRide A’s open on Sat?
All A Line passengers will ride free on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the launch of RapidRide. That’s the only official act by Metro (aside from the pre-launch event being held this morning). But rumor has it that some unofficial celebrations are being planned by members of the public. Got any ideas for one?
I’m definitely looking forward to the start of the RapidRide A, but I’m curious about the logic behind how the stops are laid out. Specifically, why does the NB stop at S 240th not have a shelter of any kind? And will it get an ORCA reader? That’s a highly-used stop when Highline CC is in session, as far as I can tell.
It’s hard to tell right now, but the northbound stop at S 240th Street is in fact a RapidRide station. Private property issues delayed its completion. Metro will install two smaller shelters, a full customer information sign with an ORCA reader, and a real-time information sign at this location. This work is scheduled to be complete by the end of October.
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