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Today, some buses lay over along Eastlake Avenue East between trips. But with the growing demand for other street uses, such as pedestrian access and bike lanes, and the desire to keep bus operators safe and comfortable, a layover facility is needed.

Learn more

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

  • Help keep buses on time
  • Free street space for other uses
  • Move “out of service” buses into off-street sites instead of scattering them on city streets
  • Provide safe and reliable restrooms and break areas for bus operators

The Eastlake Layover Facility will be on the east side of Eastlake Avenue East on state-owned land next to Interstate 5, between Roy and Republican streets. The site is ideal for a new facility because of its central location and its proximity to high-demand bus routes.

When built, the facility will accommodate 11 new bus layover spaces (six off-street and five on-street), as well as a comfort station that will provide bus operators with secure restrooms, break space, and operations space.

The surface-level facility will not be open to the public or transit riders, but some of its design elements were informed by community input heard during our initial public outreach, such as metal and wood panel exterior, colorful accents and native plants evoking the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

There will be several roadway changes for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists once the project is complete:

  • Metro is working in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation to deliver Phase 1 of the Eastlake Avenue Protected Bike Lanes Project between Roy and Stewart Streets. Phase 2 will be installed between Fairview Avenue North and Roy Street as early as spring 2021. Please contact Adonis Ducksworth with Seattle Department of Transportation for more information.
  • Some on-street parking stalls will be impacted on the west side of the roadway:
    • removed between Roy and Mercer streets
    • reduced to six stalls between Mercer and Republican streets
    • removed between Harrison and Thomas streets
    • restricted to weekend only between Thomas and John streets
  • Permanent lane reductions – from four to two lanes – between Roy and Stewart streets.
  • A shared-use path on the east side of Eastlake Avenue East between Roy and Mercer streets.
  • Replacement of the northbound right-turn slip lane to Lakeview Boulevard East with a right-turn-only lane at Roy Street.
  • New or improved pedestrian crossings.
  • New traffic signal installation at Eastlake Avenue East and Republican Street intersection.
  • Removal of the existing bus stop at Mercer Street and Eastlake Avenue East (which serves routes 355 and 304). An alternative stop will be Route 70 at Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue. Please refer to Metro’s North Link Connections Mobility Project for more information.

The project is still in design. We expect design to be complete in spring 2020, with facility construction starting as soon as late 2020.

Have a say

We conducted an initial phase of public outreach between November 2017 and January 2018 to get feedback on the design of the facility. From input received through stakeholder meetings, door-to-door outreach, and an online open house with survey, several key themes emerged.

People told us they would prefer bright, colorful concrete and structures that stand out rather than blend in. They would also prefer vegetation and natural, plant-based screening over physical barriers or walls that are textured or painted. This feedback informed the design you see today.

In general, for any future layover projects, people told us it’s important that Metro design facilities that are safe and secure as well as pedestrian- and bike-friendly. Off-street layover facilities should provide comfort for bus operators, fit in with their surrounding neighborhoods, and minimize noise and environmental pollution and congestion. People cited landscaping, lighting, and screening as the most important features for future off-street layover facilities.

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

Environmental review process

Metro completed environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the Eastlake Layover Facility. After completing a SEPA checklist, a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) was issued on Dec. 14, 2018. The DNS was published in the Seattle Times and mailed to property owners within 500 feet of the proposed facility. The 14-day public comment period ended at 5 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2018.

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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