The intersection of 98th Avenue Northeast and Forbes Creek Drive in Kirkland recently got some much-needed improvements, helping thousands of bus riders every day get to their destinations faster and more reliably.

Buses traveling southbound on 98th Avenue Northeast were routinely experiencing delays while trying to merge back into traffic after picking up passengers from the bus stop near the intersection with Forbes Creek Drive.

On weekdays, more than 3,300 passengers travel this route, with eight buses per hour passing through this intersection during rush hour.

To keep buses moving, King County Metro and the City of Kirkland worked together, as part of Metro’s Spot Improvements Program, to add a bus lane and queue jump signal at this intersection.  A queue jump is a traffic signal that lets buses go through the intersection first, before other traffic, giving them a small but significant head start.

With these changes, travel time has been reduced by 24 percent, making bus trips faster, safer, and less stressful for the driver and passengers.

Metro’s Spot Improvements Program consists of low-cost capital investments aimed at improving bottleneck conditions that affect bus travel times, reliability, and safety. In 2018, the program partnered with the cities of Seattle, Kent, Bothell, Redmond, Renton, and Snohomish County to improve “hot spots” at 14 locations, benefiting 263,000 riders along 72 bus routes.