On Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood awarded $37.5 million to Metro for the RapidRide E and F lines, due to be launched in 2013. LaHood called the lines “an excellent investment in Seattle’s future economic growth and sustainability.”
The funds, from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program, will cover about half the start-up cost of last two lines in Metro’s six-line RapidRide system. The E Line will run between Shoreline and downtown Seattle, and the F Line will connect Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, and Renton.
Here’s an article that ran in the Seattle Times on Friday: RapidRide bus system receives $37.5 million grant. The grant was also covered on the KOMO Communities blog.
Learn more about the E and F lines on the RapidRide website:
E Line | F Line
I don’t think he even looked at the projects. What is F line connecting?! It’s a watered down version of route140 that currently serves as a last resort transportation option for kids who work at big retail stores. Each bus stop of 140 is separated by fields of parking lots to those stores as well. If commuting between Burien and the light rail station may make some sense for commuters bewteen Burien and Seattle, it makes absolutely no sense for commuters between Downtown Renton and Seatte since there much faster travel options available such as routes 101, 143, 102, and 167. Commuting between Renton and Burien is not a priority corridor today. Most activities are in Seattle and Bellevue, not Kent or Burien. The demand is not even in Downtown Renton but in Benson Hill and Highlands, the 2 very dense residential areas where most residents work in Bellevue and Seattle. Routes 101 and 169 combined into one, or routes 240 and 169 combined into one is where the traveling demand is. The proposed F line is not even stopping at the airport and by passing Valley Medical as well by about 7 blocks. We are talking about major regional hubs. A pretty bus line with no purpose, while crowded north-south corridor through Downtown Renton remains with no reliable commuting options. All north south routes just terminate in Downtown Renton, making it even less attractive to use transit. That’s why everyone drives in Renton, because no one lives in Downtown Renton and no one needs to go there, like all buses do. This seems like a very sloppy decision. I wonder how was the public really involved and were people even asked if this is a priority corridor. Could be a push from local governments to have pretty buses and bus stops with no purpose. Kind of like Seattle’s street car in SLU. Pretty but pointless.
With USDOT making a major committment to METRO for RapidRide E and F lines, METRO planning needs to be thinking about a G line for future implementation. The fully approved 2002 I-405 Master Plan (with a federal Record of Decision and approval of 27 local agencies, including King County Metro) includes a commitment for Bus Rapid Transit on I-405 from Renton to Bothell. Seems like a serious evaluation of a RapidRide route connecting the C line at the Renton Transit Center to the UW Bothell campus with stops in Newcastle, the Bellevue Transit Center (connecting to the B Line) and Totem Lake is in order.
Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion!
To just rename the old Aurora route 358 and now call is RapidRide E line is a collossial waste of money. There is nothing “rapid” about 30 stops on Aurora to get downtown. It currently takes an HOUR to get from Aurora Village to downtown on the 358 – that’s only 10 miles. So the 358 averages 10 mph!?!? The RapidRide E line will not be any faster with is planned 30 stops. A true RapidRide would have less stops and less frequency. They should keep the current 358 calling it a Local that runs more frequently with many more stops. The E line is never going to be full if it operates at that frequency. Metro should take a lesson from the typical Local/Express model of train systems around the world. Express trains do not stop at every station – the less frequent stops is what makes them ‘express’ or fast. The Local trains stop at every station and come by more frequently. If the Express doesn’t stop at your station you simply take the Local to the next station where the Express does stop. Aurora Village to downtown is only about 10 miles. There is now way that a bus labeled “Rapid” should take an hour to make that trip. Keep the 358 and all its stops and maybe even add more and keep it frequent. Then decrease the planned frequency of the RapidRide E lines while removing 60% of the stops. You can’t have high stop count and still be ‘rapid’.
I certainly hope that shelter replacement is better planned and quicker than Click Line. At least one stop has been without a shelter since February 16. Today is June 7.
I meant C Line, not Click!
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