In support of the region’s ongoing recovery and to serve riders better, King County Metro will restore and revise bus trips on six bus routes starting Saturday, June 26.
Metro currently operates more than 85% of its pre-pandemic bus service, providing about 11,000 bus trips carrying 150,000 riders each day. Further revisions and restored service are planned this fall across King County—including an additional 200,000 restored service hours as part of the Oct. 2 service change.
The added trips on weekdays and Saturdays will give riders access to more frequent bus service and provide service earlier in the morning and later in the evening.
“With vaccination rates reaching 70 percent and climbing, we want to expand travel options as quickly and safely as possible,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Adding trips on these Eastside routes delivers service to diverse areas, and connects people to jobs, education, and all this region has to offer.”
Service details are available in online timetables, Metro’s trip planner and downstream real-time apps.
“During the past year we have adapted to provide bus service where it is needed most,” said King County Metro General Manager Terry White. “By adding more than 150 bus trips a week, we are making targeted improvements in key parts of King County while also maintaining frequent service on workhorse routes in south Seattle and south King County. We continue to welcome more and more riders back to safe and reliable transit service as the region recovers.”
Routes and service improvements
- Route 208 (Issaquah, Snoqualmie, North Bend): five added weekday trips.
- Route 225 (Kenmore, Finn Hill, Kingsgate, Rose Hill, Redmond, Overlake Bellevue): eight added weekday trips to provide buses every 30 minutes midday.
- Routes 226 and 241 (Eastside loop connecting Eastgate, Factoria, Bellevue, Overlake Crossroads, Lake Hills and again to Eastgate): 12 added Saturday trips for buses every 30 minutes midday.
- Route 250 (Bellevue-Kirkland-Redmond-Avondale): five added nighttime weekday trips.
- Route 255 (Kirkland to Bellevue and UW Station): eight added weekday trips for buses every 10 minutes at times during midday.
The six routes that will have more trips after June 26 are currently operating at reduced levels and already were slated for more service this fall. The routes were selected for restored service based on an opportunity score, which evaluated where bus stops are located in equity priority areas, as well as a jobs equity score, which evaluated how well a route connects priority populations to jobs.
Metro is able to shift buses to these routes after relaxing passenger limits across the system in April, which in turn reduced the need to operate as many supplemental backup buses on some routes.
On Oct. 2, Metro plans to restore a number of suspended routes across King County and further ramp service up in response to rider input and to support expected growth in ridership demand. Metro also plans to implement route changes and improvements to connect riders with three new Link light rail stations in Seattle on the One Line.
Masks remain required on transit under federal law, even though King County’s mask mandate expires on June 29. Metro remains committed to its other health enhancements, too, including daily disinfecting, upgraded air filters, and encouraging contact-less payment. These steps, and county-wide vaccination rates that lead the nation, show that riding transit remains a safe, convenient, and environmentally responsible way for people to travel.
Service improvement details
Route 208 Weekday
- Currently 12 trips; adding 5 trips
- Eastbound: 5:04 a.m., 5 p.m., 8:36 p.m.
- Westbound: 7 a.m., 7:23 p.m.
- Benefit: Span of service increases in the morning and evening, and service increases to hourly during peak times, in the peak direction.
Route 225 Weekday
- Currently 55 daily trips; adding 8 trips
- Northbound: 9:07 a.m., 11:37 a.m., 12:37 p.m., 1:37 p.m.
- Southbound: 10:22 a.m., 11:22 a.m., 12:22 p.m., 1:22 p.m.
- Benefit: Midday service increases to every 30 minutes.
Route 250 Weekday
- Currently 129 trips; adding 5 trips
- Northbound: 7:35 p.m., 9:40 p.m., 11:55 p.m.
- Southbound: 8:37 p.m., 10:55 p.m.
- Benefit: Late night service increases to about every 30 minutes.
Route 255 Weekday
- Currently 149 trips; adding 8 trips
- Eastbound: 10:40 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2:20 p.m.
- Westbound: 9:32 a.m., 10:52 a.m., 11:52 a.m., 1:11 p.m.
- Benefit: Service will operate every 10 minutes at times during midday.
Route 226 Saturday
- Currently 26 trips; adding 12 trips
- Eastbound (leaving Bellevue Transit Center) 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
- Westbound (leaving Eastgate) 10:23 a.m., 11:23 a.m., 12:23 p.m., 1:23 p.m., 2:23 p.m., 3:23 p.m.
- Benefit: Service increases to every 30 minutes midday.
Route 241 Saturday
- Currently 36 trips; adding 12 trips
- Northbound: 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.
- Southbound: 11:05 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 1:05 p.m., 2:05 p.m., 3:05 p.m., 4:05 p.m.
- Benefit: Service increases to every 30 minutes midday.
Today my Burien neighbors told me the Normandy Park Community Ride met their needs better than the #631 shuttle. Please bring back the NP Community Ride, and also let it include the weekends too!
Current group of restored routes only covers the Eastside and North with Bellevue and Kirkland having multiple routes coming back. South King County areas seem to have been left out of the conversation until the Fall of 2021? With Seattle reopening and many folks commuting there from the South KC areas, please consider adding some of those back sooner.
But when are you going to give service to the areas that have had their routes completely suspended and have no service at all?
Please bring back route 167. It’s much easier to get from the UW to Renton and vice versa with that bus rather than going through Bellevue or downtown Seattle on two buses.
I’ve noticed the “seat closed” signs on busses seem to be gone now. Has metro stopped requiring social distancing on the busses? Will we not be allowed to keep the seat next to us open for safety? I’m vaccinated but still only about half of people in King County are.
We would like to have the #631 route expanded to include weekends and holidays. Here in Burien (Seahurst) there is no way to get to the Burien Transit Center on these days. We used to have it on the #139, but it got cancelled.
“The added trips on weekdays and Saturdays will give riders access to more frequent bus service and providing service earlier in the morning and later in the evening.”
thanks for the helpful edit!
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