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RapidRide is coming to the Rainier Valley in 2024

We’re working to upgrade the Rainier Valley’s Route 7 to RapidRide to provide high quality and reliable bus service between Downtown Seattle, Chinatown-International District, Little Saigon, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Hillman City, Rainier Valley, and Rainier Beach.

Public transit is an important part of how we will meet the diverse needs and priorities of our rapidly growing region. Our current growing demand for transit requires access to public transportation that is frequent and on-time.

RapidRide R Line improvements

The R Line will upgrade the current Route 7 along Rainier Avenue South. When RapidRide launches in 2024:

  • Reliable service: RapidRide buses will be more frequent and stay on-time more often, with added service at night and on weekends.
  • Bus stop upgrades: New stations will include improved lighting, signs with real-time arrival information, and ORCA card readers that allow you to pay before you board.
  • Better access: Metro is working with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to improve sidewalks, street crossings, and other pathways to bus stops to ensure a safe and convenient experience.

What’s happening now?

Metro is talking with area communities to learn about your needs and priorities for the new RapidRide service and other services to help you get around. Your input will help us make decisions about:

  • The new RapidRide R Line route and station locations
  • Other projects, such as dedicated bus lanes, added crosswalks and improved roadways that enhance safety for all kinds of travel in the area
  • Ways to improve access to transit by making it easier, safer or more convenient to get to—or wait for—the bus.

Visit the project team at a summer event to learn more about the project and provide input on service changes and RapidRide bus station locations.

What we heard?

We are building on previous engagement in the Rainier community. The following themes from the community are shaping conceptual design:

  • People want faster, more reliable buses.
  • People want better access to transit, especially walking connections.
  • Riders use the current route as a local service, not just for commuting.
  • People have concerns about station locations, accessibility and affordability.

Read the Phase 1 Engagement Summary.

Upcoming milestones

  • Community engagement on local needs and priorities:
    Metro reintroduces the R Line and gathers input to inform design concepts.
  • Concept development:
    Metro develops draft concepts based on community input.
  • Feedback on concepts:
    Community members, stakeholders and partners give feedback on draft concepts.
  • Recommendations:
    Metro refines design concepts, gathers community input, and presents final design concepts to King County Council for adoption.
  • Seattle Department of Transportation logo SDOT completes roadway improvements to enhance bus speed and reliability.
  • Construction:
    Metro builds new stations, sidewalks, and paths, and other elements needed to create a safe, comfortable RapidRide experience.
  • Sound Transit logo Judkins Park Link light rail station opens.
  • Service launch:
    RapidRide R Line service begins.

Community involvement

Contact us

Robyn Austin
RapidRide Communications and Engagement Manager
or call 206-263-9768

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