What the new timeline for Convention Place Station means for riders

Crossposted from KCDOT’s Inside Transportation blog

This week’s King County Council approval of the sale of Convention Place Station for expansion of the Convention Center will bring a steady and reliable stream of revenue to Metro Transit – an aggregated $275 million over 32 years to support service and reliability improvements that begin to address the need for sustainable growth in bus service throughout the region.

Architectural rendering of the planned Washington State Convention Center expansion

Courtesy LMN Architects

Construction for Convention Center expansion will require closure of the site. The station was always slated for permanent closure – light rail already bypasses it by going straight from Westlake to Capitol Hill, and Metro has been planning for removal of all buses from the downtown transit tunnel as early as September 2018.Convention Place Station serves Metro and other bus routes

With the sale now complete, here’s what riders can expect:

  • Removal of the remaining seven bus routes that use the tunnel in March 2019 or September 2019, depending on when the Convention Center secures needed permits.
  • Initial work to continue at the site to relocate a transit power station which sends electricity to trolley buses in the area. A new traction power substation is being installed this weekend. Later, riders will see construction of a temporary ramp at Convention Place Station – providing a path for the seven bus routes up to temporary surface stops on Ninth Avenue.
  • Increased constraints on mobility for all modes of traffic in downtown Seattle, as private commercial construction (just count the number of cranes) and many public projects – including demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, waterfront construction, and new streetcar tracks – constrict downtown streets from 2019 to 2023.
  • Continued opportunities to tell Metro what you think about revisions to bus service which will be needed to maintain a reliable public transit system connecting downtown Seattle and the rest of the region.

With the new timeline for Convention Place Station and the Downtown Transit Tunnel, Metro is reassessing its plans and opportunities for the public to weigh in, and will have more information in the coming months on when and how the public can “Have a Say.”

In the meantime, Metro is continuing work with the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, and downtown businesses in a One Center City process to minimize impacts and provide reliable transit service to our customers.

Keep in touch on all these changes by following our social media:

Weekend construction: no bus service inside the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel July 1-2; Link light rail remains in service

Due to scheduled weekend construction at Convention Place Station, buses will not be operating in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel July 1-2. Customers who normally ride bus routes 41, 101, 150, 255 & Sound Transit Express Route 550 in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will instead board or exit buses on surface streets.

Photo of rider alert sign posted at International District Station

This Rider Alert is posted at International District Station. Alerts are posted at each tunnel station with instructions to riders about changes to bus service July 1-2; Link trains will continue to operate in the tunnel.

NOTE! Sound Transit Link light rail will continue to operate in the tunnel. Buses are scheduled to return to service in the tunnel Monday morning, July 3.

Tunnel buses will travel the surface street routing they use when the tunnel is closed, as indicated on Rider Alerts posted at tunnel stations and on surface street bus stop signs along Second and Fourth avenues, Fifth Avenue South, Olive Way, Stewart and Virginia streets. Details are in Metro’s Alert Center.

Construction crews are scheduled to install a new traction power substation, which powers area electric trolley buses, as Metro’s Convention Place Station property is prepared for sale.

Nighttime construction continues after 9 p.m. on weekdays at Convention Place Station, during which riders board buses only at Bay letter “Ι.”

Convention Place Station will have nighttime construction

The Convention Place Station at the north end of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will undergo construction activity from spring to fall 2017. Most work will take place on weeknights after 9 p.m.

Impacts will be minimal to customers, and signage will be posted at the facility to help customers understand what changes will be taking place that may impact their route or bus stop locations. Customers should follow signs to access available escalators, stairs and elevators to reach transit service.

Beginning May 2, on weeknights from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Metro routes 101, 150 and Sound Transit Route 550 will serve Bay letter “I” at Convention Place Station for both boarding and exiting buses, instead of Bays C, D and E.  At all other times, all buses that serve Convention Place Station will serve their normal stops. No schedule impacts are expected.