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King County Metro seeking community input on future RapidRide R Line in Rainier Valley

Summary

King County Metro is planning to upgrade Route 7 to become the RapidRide R Line. Visit our virtual open house or join us at community meetings to Have a Say on future station locations and projects to make the bus more reliable.

Story

Metro is working to upgrade and replace the Rainier Valley’s Route 7 with better, more reliable bus service. The RapidRide R Line will serve Downtown Seattle, Chinatown-International District, Little Saigon, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Hillman City, and Rainier Beach.

“We’ve heard from many folks who rely on Route 7 to get where they need to go—to medical appointments, work, school, grocery stores, and more,” said Bill Bryant, King County Metro’s managing director of Service Development. “We need community input to help Metro make good decisions on how best to serve the Rainier Avenue corridor with more reliable, faster and more frequent transit than ever before.”

What is RapidRide?

RapidRide R Line will keep the best of Route 7 electric trolley service, with upgrades to give riders Metro’s highest investment in service, amenities, and reliability. This means more frequent and on-time buses, with more buses running in both directions all day and all night, every day of the week. We’re designing open and bright stations so people can see and be seen. Stations will also feature other amenities, such as real-time bus arrival information, ORCA card readers, route maps, seating, and shelter.

We need to hear from you now to make decisions about:

  • Station locations. We’ve heard community support for Route 7 as an important local service. Now we need feedback on proposed changes to bus stop locations to improve safety and keep the bus moving on-time.
  • Projects, such as dedicated bus lanes and roadway changes, that improve bus speed and reliability and enhance safety for all who travel in the area.
  • Additional projects, including crosswalks and sidewalks that enhance access to transit by making it easier and safer to get to the bus.

How can the community get involved?

1) Visit Metro’s online open house and provide comments through March 10: As Metro plans the RapidRide R Line, we need input on station locations and projects to keep the bus moving on-time. The online open house is available in English, Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Somali. 

2) Attend an open house, interpreters available: Learn more about RapidRide R Line, ask questions, and share your thoughts with the project team in person at an open house. All open houses will include refreshments and an activity area for kids.

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m. at Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle. Interpretation in Spanish available.
  • Tuesday, March 3, 6-8 p.m. at Dunlap Elementary School,  4525 S. Cloverdale St., Seattle. Interpretation in Somali and Spanish available.
  • Thursday, March 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Hirabayashi Place 442 S. Main St., Seattle. Interpretation in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese available.

3) Talk with us in your community: We are hosting information tables where you can ask questions and share feedback. Check the project website for a calendar of events.

4) Visit the project websiteLearn more, view our event calendar, and sign-up to receive email updates at kingcounty.gov/metro/rline.

About King County Metro and RapidRide

King County Metro is creating a world-class, integrated public transportation network with far-reaching and innovative solutions to help build healthy communities, a thriving economy, and a sustainable environment. King County Metro is the region’s mobility leader, operating the nation’s leading vanpool program, water taxi service and operates one of the 10 largest bus systems provided 122.45 million bus rides in 2018.

RapidRide planning began in 2006 and the RapidRide A Line launched in 2010.

Today, Metro operates RapidRide A-F lines across King County, offering more frequent and reliable service, efficient ORCA fare payment, unique buses and stations, fast all-door boarding, and on-board Wi-Fi for riders. King County Metro and local cities make investments in the streets, traffic signals, and intersections used by RapidRide to speed the service and make it reliable. RapidRide routes carry about 67,000 rides each weekday—about 70 percent more than the bus routes that served the same areas before the RapidRide lines were launched. RapidRide is up to 20 percent faster, saving an average of about five minutes per trip