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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Seattle buys 20,000 hours of new bus service

9/19/2008  2:00:00 PM

Seattle buys 20,000 hours of new bus service
“Bridging the Gap” program adds new routes starting this Saturday

SEATTLE – For the first time, the city of Seattle is purchasing 20,000 hours of new bus service, which will start Saturday, Sept. 20. Buses will arrive every 15 minutes or less for many routes serving Ballard, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Madison Park, Mount Baker, Queen Anne, the University District and Wallingford. Buses on Routes 3 and 4 between downtown Seattle, First Hill, and the Central Area will arrive every eight minutes, or less during weekday daytime hours.

“In this time of high gas prices and high bus ridership, the city of Seattle is helping deliver more bus service for Seattle riders through our ‘Bridging the Gap’ program,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “These additional hours give residents and visitors more options for traveling around the city without a car.”

The city will provide $1.5 million in annual funding for the transit improvements, supported by the voter-approved, nine-year “Bridging the Gap” transportation levy.  There will be an additional 25,000 hours added in 2009 and 2010. The new bus service, secured through a partnership between the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro, will continue through the end of 2015. 

Purchasing more bus service will contribute to the city’s goal of reliable transit on critical corridors connecting neighborhoods with active business centers. The 20,000 hours per year of new service in Seattle will be the equivalent of five buses running twelve hours per day for 365 days a year. 

Frequent, reliable transit service offers residents and visitors options other than driving and helps fight global warming. Approximately half of the service additions will
improve electric trolley bus service, which results in virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Riders will notice increased service on the following bus routes: 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 14, 26, 28 and 44.

Approved by voters in 2006, the $365 million “Bridging the Gap” levy enables much-needed work by SDOT, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Safe Routes to School program, enhanced transit connections and large Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

Visit the mayor’s Web site at Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at



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