The countdown has begun–in just a few weeks, transit riders across King County face major changes as Metro Transit focuses bus service to serve more people, begins a pay-on-entry system and launches two new RapidRide lines serving downtown Seattle.
Thousands of riders will see changes to their routes starting Sept. 29. Dozens of routes will have different bus stops, travel on different streets or have changed schedules. Some low-ridership routes will be eliminated and buses moved to serve more people.
Riders can now go online and see a summary of the changes Metro has planned and use the online trip planner to map out which routes work best for them. Printed rider alert brochures will be distributed in coming weeks and teams of Metro personnel will be on the streets at the end of September and first week of October to answer rider questions.
Sept. 29, Metro also is transitioning to a pay-on-entry system on all buses. Eliminating the downtown Ride Free Area, which has been in place nearly 40 years, will raise needed revenue and preserve transit service. Riders should prepare for initial delays as lines form to pay fares when boarding.
Riders can speed up boarding times and be ready for the pay-on-entry system by getting an ORCA card. For those who relied most on the Ride Free Area to reach services in downtown Seattle, a free circulator shuttle will be implemented in association with the city of Seattle to serve those who need to access downtown human services and health resources.
Metro also is launching two new RapidRide lines Sept. 29, with frequent service and special features. RapidRide C Line will travel between downtown Seattle and West Seattle, and RapidRide D Line will travel between downtown Seattle and Ballard via Uptown.
Tools for riders
Metro Transit has many tools online, with more planned in coming weeks.
• Route changes and Metro’s online trip planner are online at metro.kingcounty.gov/up/scvchange.html
• Pay-on-Entry/Ride free area elimination information:
• RapidRide information page: metro.kingcounty.gov/travel-options/bus/RapidRide
• ORCA card information page: www.orcacard.com
General information about Metro Transit services is online at www.metro.kingcounty.gov.