Big changes are coming to transit service starting Oct. 2 as King County Metro launches updated connections to three new Sound Transit Link light rail stations in Seattle. Metro also will restore 36 previously suspended bus routes across King County, add hundreds of bus trips, and revise and improve other service in partnership with City of Seattle. Together, these changes will support the region’s recovery and connect more riders to destinations.

Metro is encouraging riders to review the revised bus connections for the new Northgate, Roosevelt and U District Link light rail stations, and take note of the restored service planned across King County.  Starting today, details are available on Metro’s service change webpage.

“The opening of three new light rail stations in North Seattle is a major milestone in our ongoing efforts to bring this region a world-class transit system,” said County Executive Dow Constantine. “As a part of this service expansion, King County Metro will be adding and restoring bus routes to better connect riders, offer more access, and ensure we continue to move our region’s recovery forward.”

Metro restoring service, shifting buses to provide Link connections

With guidance from riders and communities, Metro is bringing back 36 suspended routes and restoring service on a total of 48 routes across King County. The restored routes and trips will span both all-day and peak routes. In all, Metro is changing 116 of 194 bus routes.

“We’re asking riders to study up on these changes and understand how the expanded transit network opens up more opportunities,” said King County Metro General Manager Terry White. “We are on the path to recovery and are doing all we can to support riders through these exciting changes in our region.”

To support travel to new light rail stations, Metro is adding new bus routes and replacing and revising old routes to better serve riders in North Seattle and north King County. Riders will have access to improved east-west connections and stops located near the new stations for swift and convenient transfers. Riders who will travel using both buses and trains can avoid paying two fares if they transfer using an ORCA card and should review the available ORCA card options.

Within the coming weeks, riders will be able to access updates to Metro’s Trip Planner for dates after Oct. 2.

Overall, these changes will bring Metro’s service to about 90% of pre-pandemic levels and deliver nearly 11,400 bus trips each weekday. Bus ridership has gradually increased throughout the summer, with a recent August peak of 172,000 daily boardings. In the coming year, Metro plans to restore further routes and trips.

Sound Transit 1 Line extends north
Link light rail service to Northgate, Roosevelt and U District stations launches Oct. 2 and will offer service every eight minutes during peak hours times on weekdays and every ten minutes midday and on weekends. The stations establish a 26-mile network that is scheduled to extend to 62 miles with additions to Bellevue in 2023 and Redmond, Lynnwood and Federal Way in 2024.

“The opening of Northgate Link marks the start of a transformative period for transit in our region,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “Link light rail will nearly triple in size over the next three years, offering riders even more options for reliable, traffic-free travel. We’re partnering with King County Metro to ensure that riders will benefit from the greatly expanded system.”

Seattle adjusting service, supporting mobility for riders

Since 2015, the City of Seattle has purchased transit service through the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD). This partnership funding thanks to voters will deliver service on these key Seattle routes, as well as trips on many other routes.

  • Route 50: 39 additional weekday trips on the direct connection between Alki and SODO stations, and helps more people choose transit to and from West Seattle.
  • Route 60: 19 additional weekday trips; eight restored Sunday trips.
  • Route 120: 19 additional weekday trips.
  • RapidRide C Line: eight additional weekday trips.
  • STBD will continue to fund trips on these North Link area routes: 20 (new route), 40, 44, 48, 70, 49, 65, and 67.
  • Trips will be deleted on 20 routes to adjust service levels to revised STBD funding.

“Last November Proposition 1 passed with over 80% of the vote because Seattle residents support transit. Today we’re delivering on our Seattle Transportation Benefit District commitment to a rapid, reliable transit network by again expanding service including to Seattle’s newest light rail stations,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “As we build back from the pandemic, we must continue our investments in a robust, connected transit system in Seattle. An equitable COVID-19 recovery depends on getting our residents, particularly the front line workers who have delivered for Seattle during the pandemic, where they need to go.”

By the numbers (some routes appear in multiple lists.)

  • 48 bus routes with restored or added service: 9, 15X, 17X, 18X, 22, 29, 60, 113, 114, 120, 121, 167, 177, 190, 204, 208, 214, 216, 217, 221, 225, 226, 232, 237, 241, 246, 249, 250, 255, 268, 271, 342, 630, 891, 892, 893, 894, 895, 981, 982, 984, 986, 987, 988, 989, 992, 994, and RapidRide C Line.
  • Six new bus routes: 16X, 20, 79, 302, 320 and 322.
  • 27 routes with routing or stop revisions: 31, 32, 40, 44, 45, 48, 49, 64, 67, 70, 73, 75, 177, 255, 301, 303, 304, 345, 346, 347, 348, 372, 987, 988, 994, Sound Transit Express routes 522 & 550.
  • Deleted trips on 20 routes in response to reduced STBD funding: 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 24, 28X, 33, 56, 57, 106, 107, 125, RapidRide C Line, D Line and E Line.
  • 18 deleted and replaced bus routes: 5X, 26X, 41, 63, 71, 74, 76, 77, 78, 308, 309, 312, 316, 355, 373, 628, 980 and 995.
  • 18 bus routes will remain fully suspended as of Oct. 2: 19, 37, 47, 116, 118X, 119X, 122, 123, 143, 154, 157, 178, 179, 197, 200, 219, 252 and DART 931.