RapidRide bus service to expand to Seattle

This weekend marks huge milestones for public transit in Seattle and beyond: the Sound Transit Link light rail is opening three new stations Saturday morning, extending service from Husky Stadium to Northgate.

Additionally, King County Metro and the Seattle Department of Transportation will soon expand RapidRide bus service with a new “G” line, connecting Seattle’s densest neighborhoods to a growing transportation network.

Bus rapid transit was introduced in our region nearly 10 years ago. The RapidRide G range will go live in 2024. The authorities bear a large part of the cost of the project. Until the line is operational, Madison Street will be a sea of ​​construction.

“It’s so much more than a physical point to a point for all of us,” said Terry White. “I grew up on public transport.”

White knows the transformative power of mobility. He’s been riding the bus since he was a kid and has worked for King County Metro for decades. He is now the agency’s general manager. Its vision is to empower others by ensuring access to affordable transportation.

“Mobility should be a human right,” he said. “We are careful not to leave anyone behind.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation officially announced on Thursday that the RapidRide G line is expected to begin construction soon. The route will move passengers between downtown Seattle along Madison Street to Madison Valley. During peak journeys, buses will arrive every six minutes thanks to dedicated traffic lanes and priority signals.

When voters approved the 2015 Move Seattle tax, taxpayers’ money was to cover some of the costs. The Federal Transit Administration is paying nearly $60 million, Sound Transit is offering over $35 million to help bring passengers to the Link light rail.

“Anyone who relies on public transit here knows that east-west connections have always been the toughest in Seattle,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said.

Construction along Madison Street is required to make the roadway suitable for the new buses. Funding concerns initially delayed the line’s completion until 2024 and pushed the final cost to over $130 million.

Without help from federal dollars, President Joe Biden’s administration says projects like the G line may never have a chance to reach those who need help getting around.

“Communities are not able to raise the dollars they need to replace, not just to maintain the investments they have made,” Fernandez said. “But also to pursue new expansions and better build their existing investments.”

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Melvin Z. Madore