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We’re working to upgrade the Rainier Valley’s Route 7 to RapidRide R Line to provide better, more 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 features

Metro is upgrading the current Route 7 along Rainier Avenue South. When RapidRide launches in 2024, riders can expect:

  • Reliable service: Buses will come reliably on-time, with added service so more buses run in both directions all day, at night, and on weekends.
  • Bus station upgrades: RapidRide R Line stations will be open and bright so people can see and be seen. Upgraded amenities may also include seating, shelter, signs with real-time arrival information, and ORCA card readers, allowing for faster boarding using any door.
  • Better access: Metro is coordinating with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)'s projects to improve sidewalks, street crossings, and other pathways to make it easier and safer to get to/from bus stations whether you are walking, rolling, or biking.

What’s happening now?

Metro is talking with Rainier Valley 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:

  • RapidRide R Line station locations.
  • Ways to improve access to transit by making it easier, safer, or more convenient to get to, and wait for, the bus.
  • Other improvements that keep buses moving safely and ensure your bus arrives on time.

We are hosting information tables, open houses, and briefings throughout the Rainier Valley community. Stop by to meet the project team, ask questions, and share feedback.

Upcoming events

What we learned from Phase 1

We are building on previous engagement in the Rainier Valley community. The following themes gathered from the community in the summer and fall of 2019 are helping to shape RapidRide R Line design:

  • People want more reliable bus service.
  • People want better and safer access to transit, especially those with mobility challenges.
  • Riders use the current route as a local service, not just for commuting.
  • People have concerns about station locations, accessibility and affordability.
  • People support RapidRide upgrades that increase safety, such as lighting, better crosswalks and crossings, and roadway improvements.
  • Metro needs to be transparent and communicate how and when community members can influence decision-making.

We used community feedback to develop our proposed design concepts as well as to inform our overall community engagement approach.

Read the Phase 1 Engagement Summary.

Upcoming milestones

  • Community engagement on local needs and priorities:
    Metro reintroduced RapidRide R Line and gathered input to inform design concepts.
  • Concept development:
    Metro developed draft concepts based on community input.
  • Feedback on concepts:
    Metro shares draft design concepts, including station locations, for community feedback.
  • 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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