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New transit information kiosks make their debut on Third Ave. in Downtown Seattle

Summary

The first of nine transit information kiosks was unveiled today at a Metro RapidRide stop on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle.

Story

Kiosks displaying real-time bus arrival times, ORCA card readers a first for downtown Seattle

Boarding a bus on Seattle’s busiest transit corridor is about to get easier and more convenient.

The first of nine transit information kiosks was unveiled today at a Metro RapidRide stop on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle. Three kiosks are being activated this week at Third Avenue and Pike Street (northbound) and at Third Avenue and Columbia Street (north and southbound); the remaining six are expected to be activated within the next few weeks. The electronic kiosks will display the real-time arrival and destination of all buses with scheduled stops at the Third Avenue kiosk locations.

And the kiosks will be a welcome addition for the thousands of riders who use Metro’s RapidRide C and D lines. After swiping their ORCA card at any Third Avenue kiosk, those riders will be able to board through the back doors of their RapidRide coach – and that should help speed up boarding. 

The wider availability of off-board ORCA readers is yet another attractive element of Metro’s RapidRide service, which has already experienced significant ridership growth. The C and D lines handle more than 16,000 boardings each weekday – and that number will grow with the launch of the new RapidRide E Line in February.

The kiosks are part of a partnership between King County Metro Transit, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Federal Transit Administration to improve travel and access though the downtown core – the region’s largest employment center. More than 2,700 buses use Third Avenue to carry riders to jobs and businesses each weekday.

Look for the electronic kiosks and ORCA card readers at the following stops on or adjacent to Third Avenue between:
• Pike & Pine streets
• Spring & Seneca streets (ORCA card reader activated at the northbound bus stop with the start of E Line service)
• Cherry and Columbia streets (ORCA card readers activated with the start of E Line service)
• Yesler Way & Fourth Avenue – west side of Prefontaine Place           
     South (ORCA card reader activated with the start of E Line service)
• Second & Third avenues – south side of Seneca Street
• Second & Third avenues – north side of Columbia Street

“These kiosks are another important investment Metro and the City of Seattle are jointly making to keep people moving downtown while preparing for the additional job and population growth we know is coming,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “I’d also like to thank the Federal Transit Administration for being such a strong partner in helping us fund these Third Avenue transit improvements.”

“By installing these transit kiosks, SDOT, Metro and the Federal Transit Administration are providing 42,000 daily bus riders better information and speeding their trips,” said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. “Critical investments like this will help make transit a more attractive option for current and future bus riders.” 

The kiosks are part of a larger Third Avenue transit corridor project designed to link bus, rail, ferry and streetcar services in the downtown core. Other elements of the project will provide a more attractive, safe and convenient environment for visitors, commuters and residents.

The kiosks, funded in large part by a Federal Transit Administration grant, will rely on actual bus arrival times provided by OneBusAway.org displayed on a large LCD screen. The eight-foot-tall kiosks were fabricated locally and are designed to be sturdy and able to withstand heavy usage.