Metro and Seattle DOT team up to ease Route 8 traffic choke points

Route 8 riders can look forward to more-reliable service starting in 2017.

That’s when Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation are scheduled to begin work on a number of traffic and parking revisions from Lower Queen Anne to Capitol Hill that will help keep Route 8 on schedule.

Plans include more green time for traffic signals at Denny Way and Fifth and Sixth avenues, and left-turn restrictions at several intersections to avoid traffic tie-ups that slow everyone down.

The most significant change will convert the center westbound lane of Denny Way between Stewart Street and Fairview Avenue into an eastbound bus-only lane. This measure alone will cut Route 8 travel time by about 60 seconds, with minimal impact on traffic according to our traffic studies.route8_map_blog

On Capitol Hill, on-street parking will be restricted on short sections of Denny Way, Olive Way, East John Street, and East Thomas Street. Also in the works are two expanded bus stops on Olive Way and East John Street so buses don’t have to leave and re-enter heavy traffic, and to provide more space and amenities for waiting passengers.

Many of these improvements will help traffic flow a little more smoothly for everyone, a win-win for both transit riders and motorists.

Metro received grants from the Federal Transit Administration to fund the improvements. The funds will cover SDOT’s costs to design and make the improvements, and also Metro’s costs to add new shelters, benches, and better lighting at bus stops from Denny Way and Second Avenue to 15th Avenue East on Capitol Hill.

To reduce construction impacts, Metro and Seattle are working to coordinate improvements with nearby projects such as the Denny Way Substation Project at Fairview Avenue.

Route 8 serves an estimated 10,000 riders a day, connecting people in Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, Judkins Park, and Mount Baker to the Capitol Hill and in Mount Baker Link light rail stations as well as major employment hubs like South Lake Union.

Though reliability increased when Route 8 was divided into two separate routes in March 2016, late buses are still a problem, especially during rush hour and major events at the Seattle Center.

The project improvements will be made in phases during 2017 and 2018.

Transit service connections, reroutes for Fourth of July celebrations

MetroFireworksAvatar_largeFourth of July daytime parades and nighttime firework shows are planned across King County, and are expected to draw tens of thousands of people. As you explore how to get to these events using transit, please review planned reroutes and service adjustments that are scheduled to be in place for the holiday. We also have some tips for how to get home after the big show on Lake Union.

In observance of Independence Day on Monday, July 4, Metro Transit will operate a Sunday schedule, with 25 additional buses put in service following the major fireworks display at Lake Union. Metro offices, including the Customer Information office and the Lost and Found, will be closed.  If a Metro bus route does not normally operate on Sunday, it will not operate on Independence Day.

Transit service Monday night following the Lake Union fireworks display
While crowds will trickle into the Gas Works Park area throughout the day for festivities, everyone is leaving at about the same time after the fireworks, leading to likely service delays and overloaded buses. Here is some information to help get you home:independence_day2

  • Ride routes 32 & 44 from the Wallingford area to the Link light rail University of Washington Station; 10-15 minute service after 10:00 PM; Route 44 service until 2:00 AM; Route 32 will be rerouted between Stone Way N and the U-District.
  • To downtown Seattle, ride routes 5, 40 or 62 from the Fremont area; service operates about every 10-15 min until almost 1:00 AM.
  • From Aurora Av N, the RapidRide E Line operates to downtown every 15-30 minutes until about 2:00 AM.
  • Ride routes 26 & 40 to Northgate from Fremont and Wallingford respectively; service operates about every 30 minutes until about 1:30 AM; Route 26 will be rerouted off of NE 40th St.
  • Between downtown Seattle and the University District, ride Route 70 via Eastlake Av E; service about every 15 minutes until 1:00 AM; last trip northbound from downtown is 1:06 AM; last trip southbound from the University is 1:51 AM.
  • The South Lake Union Streetcar is operating additional trips after the fireworks display ends.
  • Additional buses will be used to mitigate overloads.

Other holiday transit service notes include: Continue reading

Metro is correcting map label errors

Metro has identified and is correcting minor map label errors on printed timetables for some routes – labels that depict connections to some routes that are were deleted or changed as part of the March 26 service change.

Once these errors came to our attention, we quickly updated and corrected our online maps and timetables. If new ones emerge, we will address them just as quickly. Next up: we are working to print pocket cards to notify riders of the identified errors and then will take steps necessary to reprint timetables.


No, that’s not how to spell Loyal Heights, nor University District

These are the routes identified as having map discrepancies in map reference boxes, transfer points or footnotes: 10, 26, 28, 40, 41, 47, 48, 49, 63, 64, 65, 67, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 169, 197, 249, 252, 255, 257, 268, 271, 308, 345, 347, 348, and 372.

Other errors we are addressing: We found two missing letters in the cover map of Route 45 (Which should read Loyal Heights and University District). Also, one southbound 6:53 a.m. trip for Route 308 was mistakenly left off of that timetable, and it will be reprinted.


The 242 was deleted, so will not be serving Northgate



If you think you have found an error, please let us know so we can quickly address it, in online or in printed materials. We work hard to offer clear accurate information about Metro service and want to correct any errors in materials as they are found. Contact us by phone (206-553-3000) email ( or on Twitter (@kcmetrobus) or Facebook (@kcmetro).

We REALLY don’t like finding errors in our materials that could confuse our customers – we know you rely on our maps and timetables to be accurate. We’re focused on meeting that expectation.

Changing bus service to create a better transit network serving neighborhoods and Link light rail on March 26 has meant a lot of planning – and now putting buses on new paths for riders. Thanks for your patience as we make these transit improvements and our apologies for any confusion these errors have caused.

Bus changes start March 26: Where to get help, ORCA

UPDATE! ORCA LIFT staff will be at UW Station 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26; they will be at Capitol Hill Station 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 26. Background on qualifying for reduced fares is at our ORCA LIFT site.

If our online information about the March 26 bus changes doesn’t quite answer your questions, Metro Transit is extending its customer service phone and sales hours to help support riders during this upcoming weekend’s big service change.

purple_timetables3_croppedCALL: The Metro Customer Information  phone lines  will be open on Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Customers can call and talk to a live operator for complete route information, and translation services, too. The number is 206-553-3000, TTY Relay:  771.

VISIT: In addition, Metro will be at the main entrance at both the UW and Capitol Hill link stations with their mobile ORCA To Go sales. Metro will be staffing these locations on Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.   Customers will be able to buy all types of ORCA cards, including youth, adult, senior, and RRFP (regional reduced fare permit) cards directly on site, and load E-purse or transit passes on them.

Any customer with an existing ORCA card can load E-purse value and passes at the ORCA vending machines also located at both stations.   The days of operation for the on-site mobile ORCA To Go will be dependent on customer demand, but Metro anticipates them to be active through April 2.

More frequent, reliable bus service will soon connect more riders to congestion-free light rail



You’ve heard that this is a huge month for Metro and Sound Transit and the City of Seattle. Not only is University Link light rail opening (March 19), Metro is restructuring service (March 26) to make better, more frequent connections for riders. Also, Metro is implementing the extension of the RapidRide C Line to South Lake Union as part of voter approved Prop 1.

Purple timetables will soon be on the street, but our online resources are king. You can see route changes that might affect you on our service change website. Customer service folks also are available (206-553-3000) to help with trip planning and any questions you might have. Also, there are maps showing the network of service near the University of Washington and Capitol Hill stations, and Sound Transit’s ULink info page is chock-a-block full of info for the launch of train service to Capitol Hill and UW.

Key to all of this is helping people make sure they are informed and ready for the changes in service, as well as understanding that using an ORCA card allows for free and easy transferring between buses and trains.

Overall, tens of thousands of people across Seattle and King County will soon benefit from better integration of Metro and Sound Transit service that connects more riders to expanded light-rail service. An estimated 80,000 daily bus riders will see buses coming more often at more times of the day on designated corridors in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill, with better local service connecting neighborhoods with the new light rail stations. Metro’s bus changes will deliver more reliability and frequency, helping more people commute or make spontaneous trips without needing a car.

As part of restructuring service, three dozen routes will see changes in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill. The more frequent grid of bus service will triple the number of households in Northeast Seattle neighborhoods near 15-minute service. The changes will double the number of Capitol Hill households near 12-minute service. This launches a new era of transit options that will help people reduce driving and meet our climate goals. Continue reading

Metro surveying bus riders ahead of Link light rail extension to Capitol Hill, UW

As Metro Transit gears up to revise and improve bus service in March, you’ll see transit and research staff aboard buses, asking riders about their experiences and travel patterns in the Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill areas.

The on-board survey – planned 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays from Feb. 19 through March 18 – will help establish a baseline of customer satisfaction and ridership patterns on Metro routes in areas around the upcoming Link light rail expansion. A follow-up study is planned later this year to learn how the changes have affected passengers and to learn their opinion of the changes.

Survey workers wearing Metro vests will be riding a sample of bus trips during the weekday, handing out and collecting surveys from customers. Surveys will be available in six languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Amharic, Somali and Vietnamese. Routes where riders can expect to see staff include routes 8, 10, 15, 26, 28, 30, 43, 48, 49, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 242, 316, 372 and 373.

Metro worked with riders last year to understand what bus service you wanted in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill. Planned revisions will better connect riders to new Link light rail stations and establish a frequent, reliable network of bus service that riders have asked for. An estimated 80,000 daily riders will see more frequent service on designated corridors in Northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill – this doubles the frequency of buses along some key corridors that have never seen more than half-hourly service.

Thanks in advance riding transit and helping us improve your service!

Six peak bus routes relocated from downtown Seattle transit tunnel

With more peak hour trains – coming every six minutes – a handful of Metro peak bus routes have relocated from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and are now serving surface street stops in Seattle. The change affects routes 76, 77, 216, 218, 219 and 316, effective Sept. 28, 2015.SnipOfNewPaths_tunnelroutes

Having more frequent train service in the tunnel is part of Sound Transit’s efforts to extend Link light rail service to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium in 2016. To make room for more trains during peak commute times meant removing about 100 daily bus trips from the tunnel out of a total of about 1,200.

We are hoping for help from riders to keep the tunnel moving smoothly for trains and buses – easy things like having your fare ready and keeping pathways clear. Also, bus divers that are third in line at a platform will direct customers to board when the bus reaches either the first or second position, a move intended to help maintain or speed up the flow of tunnel service.Keep-Boarding-Areas-Clear Have-Fare-Ready Dont-Delay-Bus Know-Your-Schedule Use-Rear-Door-To-Exit

We appreciate riders’ patience as these changes take place and as Metro and Sound Transit undertake expansion and improvements to our transit network!