King County Metro continues its work to bring RapidRide to south King County. With service scheduled to begin in 2023, RapidRide I Line will connect residents of Renton, Kent, and Auburn to communities throughout the region.
Metro recently hosted an online open house to provide an update on design progress. We shared updated station locations and features, roadway and intersection changes to ensure frequent and reliable service, and new crosswalks and other projects to make it safer and easier to get to the bus.
Visit RapidRideILine.com for project information in English, simplified Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese. You can also watch a recorded RapidRide I Line presentation on YouTube. The recorded presentation is closed captioned and available with English, simplified Chinese, Spanish, Russian or Vietnamese subtitles by clicking the settings function.
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Metro is working to incorporate your feedback into design plans. In the meantime, we wanted to share answers to some frequently asked questions.
If RapidRide stations are spaced farther apart, will there be other transit options for those unable to walk or roll to the nearest stop?
While RapidRide stations typically are spaced between one-quarter mile and one-half mile apart to increase speed and reliability, some former route 160 stops will remain open for local bus service. This can help reduce the distance people will need to walk or roll to get to a RapidRide I line station.
As standard practice, about 18 to 24 months prior to the launch of RapidRide I Line, we will re-engage with customers who use Route 160 to hear from them and identify any outstanding needs. Your feedback shapes future transit service.
Why does it take so long to build RapidRide?
New RapidRide lines take time due to the extensive analysis, community engagement, coordination, planning, and building involved. The development of the RapidRide I Line, for example, includes not just the bus service, but also roadway and intersection changes to help service be more reliable, enhanced RapidRide stations, and access projects like new crosswalks and sidewalks to make it easier and safer to get to the bus. Each step requires ensuring we are addressing community needs in our design and giving our construction crews ample time to build the 17-mile route.
What is Metro doing to keep riders safe?
Metro designs RapidRide stations to encourage appropriate behavior at stations and create a more welcoming community space. RapidRide stations will have more lighting at and around the station, the shelters will be oriented to increase visibility, and Metro uses transparent panels on shelters to increase visibility.
Increased service will also help encourage appropriate behavior at stations. With buses coming every 10 minutes or sooner during peak, more riders and transit operators will be present throughout the day.
There have been a lot of changes to bus routes in south King County lately. Why is that?
As part of Metro’s Mobility Framework, Metro examined data about King County’s demographics and travel behaviors to learn how many communities which rely on transit most for access to jobs and education were not well served by our current system. Rising housing costs have pushed lower-income families and communities of color out to suburban communities, especially in South King County, where it can be harder to serve and connect people to the transit network and provide fast, frequent, reliable transit.
To address this unmet need in South King County, Metro partnered with the community and designed faster, more frequent, and reliable service through the Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Project (RKAAMP). In September 2020, service changes as part of RKAAMP began. This included increasing levels of service on route 160, which will be upgraded to RapidRide I Line, to arrive every 15 mins or sooner during peak periods and every 30 minutes of sooner the rest of the day.
How did Metro make decisions about where to place RapidRide stations?
Metro is placing RapidRide stations near the places community members go. Stations will be located about every one-quarter to one-half mile apart. This spacing helps Metro passengers reach their destinations more quickly, while causing fewer disruptions to other traffic because buses are not stopping as frequently.
Could Metro extend the pedestrian signal crossing time to allow more time for people with mobility issues to cross the street?
While local cities establish pedestrian signal crossing times, Metro is building several pedestrian islands. These islands will give people crossing busy streets a safe place to wait in the middle of the street if they do not get fully across in time.
Metro will host another open house as early as late summer 2021. In the meantime, if you have questions, or would like to talk with the project team, please reach out to Michelle Huynh, firstname.lastname@example.org 206 263 9768