For bus riders commuting between Eastside communities and downtown Seattle, potential new connections between Metro and Sound Transit bus service and Link light rail offer an appealing option for beating traffic congestion on Interstate 5.
This month, Metro and Sound Transit invited Eastside residents to weigh in on potential changes in transit service along the State Route 520 corridor.
Those changes could include stopping cross-lake buses at the University of Washington light rail station so riders can transfer onto trains headed to downtown, or providing Eastside communities with new transit connections to destinations such as South Lake Union.
Connecting SR 520 routes to light rail could connect riders with congestion-free service to Downtown Seattle. Metro first considered this option when the University of Washington light rail station opened during the University Link Connections outreach process, but decided to hold a separate process with Eastside communities.
Routes potentially affected include the 252, 255, 257, 268, 277, 311, 540, 541, 542, 545, 555 and 556.
Feedback received during the public outreach process will be used to shape service concepts that will be presented for public review in May and June. Final proposals will be shared with the public later this fall for feedback, then presented to the King County Council and Sound Transit Board for consideration.
At Metro’s Link Connections SR-520 website, you can:
- Take an online survey through April 2,
- Apply to serve on the Sounding Board,
- Find the next Community Conversation meeting near you, and
- Sign up to receive e-mail updates.
Metro and Sound Transit are recruiting a sounding board of 15-20 community members to advise the agencies through the planning process. The sounding board will meet regularly through November 2017. People of diverse backgrounds who reflect the affected communities are encouraged to apply, via the website.
Nearly 230,000 people commute in and out of downtown Seattle from throughout the region, with many thousands more coming to shop and attend cultural events. Over the next 20 years, Seattle’s center city is projected to add 55,000 more jobs and 25,000 more households. That growth will occur as downtown traffic is affected by significant changes, including demotion of the Alaskan Way Viaduct; expansion of the Washington State Convention Center; and the long-planned conversion of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to a rail-only facility, which will send seven bus routes to the surface.
Changes outside downtown Seattle over the next five years include SR-520 construction and work along I-90 in preparation for the opening of East Link in 2023.
Additionally, an effort led by the Seattle Department of Transportation in partnership with King County Metro, Sound Transit and the Downtown Seattle Association called One Center City proposes potential strategies including bus route changes alongside street and traffic improvements and other measures in Downtown Seattle.