July 30, 2012
County council approves alignments for RapidRide lines from Shoreline to Seattle and Burien to Renton
E and F lines to provide faster, more frequent service
With RapidRide E and F lines set to begin service next year, the Metropolitan King Council today approved alignments and station locations for the transit lines connecting Shoreline with Seattle, and Burien with Renton.
“Increasing speed, reliability, and safety is at the heart of RapidRide service, improving the commutes of 4 million transit riders per year with the addition of E and F Line,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Environment, and Economy Committee, co-sponsor of the motion, and representative of communities served by the E Line. “RapidRide E Line serves one of the most popular transit corridors in Metro’s system and RapidRide F Line connects bus riders to light rail and commuter rail.”
“This is a very important day for the people of South County, as well as transit riders throughout the region,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson, prime sponsor of the legislation and representative of communities served by the F Line. “People are ready and eager for Rapid Ride and this service is expected to increase ridership as much as fifty percent in some corridors. Rapid Ride allows more people to leave their cars at home and rely on transit to safely travel to work.”
“As a regular bus commuter, I am looking forward to the improved service we will see as a result of implementing these RapidRide lines,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, whose Council district includes north Seattle and Shoreline. “Adding RapidRide service from Shoreline to Downtown on the Aurora corridor will improve transit mobility along one of the region’s most heavily used bus corridors.”
“RapidRide F will provide an important East-West corridor for residents in South King County,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, who represents the Eighth Council District. “This is an important part of our efforts to provide quick and reliable transit service to keep our region moving.”
The E Line will run the length of Aurora Boulevard from Shoreline and north Seattle to downtown Seattle. It will offer frequent service to the busy Aurora Village Transit Center, and provide key connections for residents who live east and west of Aurora.
The E Line will benefit from at least six additional lane-miles of BAT lanes and transit signal priority at 17 intersections.
The F Line in South King County will travel from the Burien Transit Center – via SeaTac and Tukwila – to downtown Renton, with a possible future extension to The Landing in North Renton. It will stop at both the Link light rail and Sounder train stations in Tukwila, plus connect workers to jobs at Sea-Tac Airport, Boeing worksites, and the Southcenter retail area.
The overall travel time savings for riders on the RapidRide E and F Lines will be 7 to 10 minutes. The improved travel time is a result of:
- Faster boarding, especially at stations, where ORCA card users and other pass holders can enter through any of the three doors;
- Signal priory for transit at intersections and in-lane stops, which keep the buses moving;
- Business Access Transit (“BAT”) lanes; and
- Consolidated stops.
At the highest ridership stops, RapidRide stations will be installed, which feature a shelter, benches, bicycle racks, electronic signs indicating how soon the next bus will arrive, and an ORCA card reader so riders can “tap on” before the bus arrives and enter through any of the RapidRide bus’ three doors.
RapidRide distinctive red-and-yellow buses are energy efficient, low-emission hybrid vehicles with low floors and three doors for easier, faster boarding.
Since RapidRide debuted in 2009, Metro has seen significant ridership growth in those corridors compared to the regular bus routes they replaced. Similar ridership gains are expected for the C and D lines that debut this September in Ballard/Uptown and West Seattle, and again when the E and F lines start up.