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After finishing their trips, Metro buses often wait for a few minutes before starting their next trips. These planned layovers are important. They help late buses start their next trips on time. Layovers also allow bus drivers to take their breaks, helping them stay alert behind the wheel.

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Today, Metro and the City of Seattle work together to find layover spaces for buses along city streets. But the growing demand for bus service means more buses will need to lay over between trips. Meanwhile the city is growing too, and has other uses for its on-street spaces.

So Metro plans to create new off-street layover facilities, called bus hubs, for buses to use while getting ready for their next trips. We’ll create our first hubs north of downtown Seattle, where many of our bus routes start or end their trips.

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Some bus hubs will be designed for use by buses only. Others may combine bus layovers with other uses, like shopping, restaurants, offices, or housing. Some may be needed only for a limited time, like during major construction or as light rail service is being extended. Others will be permanent.

  • Help keep buses on time
  • Free street space for other uses
  • Move “out of service” buses into off-street hubs instead of scattering them around city streets
  • Provide safe and reliable restrooms and break areas for bus drivers
  • Support future extensions of bus service to new neighborhoods

Metro and the City of Seattle are working together to update Seattle’s Land Use Code to allow off-street bus layover facilities. The city is creating standards for fitting the facilities into neighborhoods and establishing a permitting process for them. We expect this process for the area north of downtown Seattle to be finished in mid-2018.

Learn more on the city’s website 

We’re already working to design and build our first bus hub, a permanent, surface-level facility on the east side of Eastlake Avenue E. It will be on state-owned land next to Interstate 5, between Roy and Republican streets. Some buses are already using on-street space there for layovers.

Public outreach to get feedback about the design of this hub will continue through 2018. We expect the finished Eastlake Bus Hub to open in 2020.

We’re also working to find sites for more Metro bus hubs north of downtown Seattle. Before we choose another site, we’ll reach out to nearby communities for public input.

Have a say

Metro and the City of Seattle gathered public input between November 2017 and January 2018 through stakeholder meetings, door-to-door outreach in the Eastlake project area, and an online open house.

Several key themes emerged in the input we received, which will inform the preliminary design for the Eastlake Bus Hub, Metro’s Bus Hubs program, and the City of Seattle’s Land Use Code and Design Guidelines for Bus Hubs in north downtown.

Both stakeholders and the public told us it’s important for Metro to design bus hubs that are safe and secure as well as pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Bus Hubs should provide comfort for bus drivers, fit in with their surrounding neighborhoods, and minimize noise and environmental pollution and congestion. They should remove as little street parking as possible. Landscaping, lighting, and screening were the features people ranked as the highest priority for Bus Hubs.

Regarding the Eastlake Bus Hub, people told us they would prefer bright, colorful concrete and structures that stand out rather than blend in. They prefer vegetation and natural, plant-based screening over physical barriers or walls that are textured or painted, and their preferred neighborhood amenity would be seating.

More detail about the public outreach process and what we heard is available in the Bus Hubs Phase 1 Public Engagement Report  PDF.

Documents to view or download:

Contact us

Cindy Chen
Community Relations Planner
Send Cindy an email
or call 206-263-8952

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