Two years ago, King County Metro embarked on a project to improve transit in Renton, Kent, Auburn, and surrounding areas. Aptly named the Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Project, it was informed by members of the community every step of the way. On Sept. 19, the results of this collaborative effort will be implemented at last, and residents will see improved bus service on their city streets.
At the onset of this effort, Metro’s project team had broad goals, partially informed by the fact that transit network changes should include creation of a single route from Renton to Kent to Auburn that could be upgraded to the future RapidRide I Line in 2023.
It had been over ten years since Metro made significant changes to transit routes in this part of the county, but there had been other significant changes in the area, including dramatic population growth and increased density, with higher concentrations of people of color, limited English-speaking populations, and low-income households. This growth led to evolving travel patterns and issues with transit service performance.
A major project goal was to increase transit efficiency, prioritizing investment where needs were greatest, such as communities historically underserved and these areas with higher percentages of people of color and residents with low income or limited English proficiency.
Another goal was to inform, involve, and empower these communities in project decision-making, and collaboratively develop a network of mobility services to meet the specific needs of each community.
Metro embarked on an 18-month community engagement process to hear from residents and riders about what they needed from their transit system. They also established a Mobility Board consisting of a diverse group 27 transit riders from the Renton, Kent, and Auburn areas with a range of mobility needs and experiences using the transit system. Members include native English, Somali, and Spanish speakers, and bilingual speakers who speak Somali, French, Arabic or Farsi. This board helped Metro’s expert transit planners prioritize mobility needs and develop service concepts.
Key themes Metro heard from residents was that the existing transit network was geared towards 9 to 5 commuters to downtown Seattle and lacked many options for people who travel or work midday, in the evening, or on weekends. Traveling east to west and accessing key destinations within each community were also challenging.
Coinciding with Metro’s twice-annual service change, residents will receive:
- A new, frequent powerhouse route, Route 160, which connects Renton, Kent, and Auburn and will convert into the future RapidRide I Line in 2023
- More evening and weekend service for shift workers and people who rely on transit
- Better east-west connections and integration with Sounder Commuter Rail
- Faster travel times and direct service to key community destinations, wherever possible
You can review all changes and enhancements that start Sept. 19 sorted by area here.
“The implementation of the Renton, Kent, Auburn Area Mobility Project means that south King County residents will receive a transit network that’s truly customized to meet their unique needs,” said Terry White, interim general manager of King County Metro.
Despite many challenges posed by COVID-19, Metro is pleased that this mobility project is moving forward to better provide historically underserved communities with access to jobs, school, childcare, and more.
This week I saw a mom with 3 children, one an infant, walking up Military road from Kent DesMones Road. It was pouring rain. There is no service for folks like her or my husband. I see that the bus stop signs are still up. please bring back bus service to our part of the world.
Yeah your system isn’t near what it should be you can not compare to the transit system I used in another country a communist one yeah, it cost about 40 cents to ride the bus guess what it always full to capacity not like here where the government is greedy as hell.you can’t even fix the roads because your IDIOT’S you steal from the people because your are LEFTIST greedy fucks you waste America dollars your governor is a fraud. The Seattle mayor is mentally ill because she has a gay disease. You along with California Oregon are the ruin of the side of 3rd world murica that I call a CUNTRY. Now go take your piss you leftist Greedy shit bags
Thanks for many transit service, Sunday service improvements and early morning and late night trips….
You need to also made service more frequent, for example: routes 153, 148, 165, 183 and 906 may need to have Saturday and Sunday service, running every 30 minutes instead of every hour… All these routes need o start from 5:30am/6am up until 10:30pm/11pm Monday thru Sunday. And every route running every 15/20 minutes in peak times.
Also, routes 153 and 183 may need to combine for better service and direct route Federal Way-Kent-Renton every 30 minutes in Saturday-Sunday from 6am until 10pm/10:30pm.
Routes 101, 105, 106, 107, 150, 160, 165 and 168 need to have longer device of hours, even maybe 24 hours…. Or at least add more early morning and late night trips for Safeway workers, Fred Meyer, restaurants, SouthCenter, Valley Medical Center and Downtown Seattle shift workers.
We’ve been waiting for bus service to improve from West Hill of Kent. Instead you cut it all together. What the hell? Cutting the 166 and the 192 is impossible. My husband would have to walk over a mile to bus service to downtown to catch another bus to Magnolia. This is very hard for Senior citizens.
What area of the Kent West Hill do you live in? Route 166 is being combined with Route 164 into Route 165, with some pathway changes on the Kent West Hill.
252nd & Military Road. He has to be at work by 6.30 on Monday & 7.30 the other days.
Thanks for finally eliminating all transit service from my home.
Hi Hank, sorry to hear of this. Can you let us know the area you live and the route you rode?
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