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Third Avenue Transit Enhancements
King County Metro Strategic Plan
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Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements

Third Avenue is downtown Seattle’s most heavily used transit corridor. More than 2,500 buses travel the corridor every weekday, and about 42,000 people board at bus stops on the corridor each week. Thousands of visitors, workers, shoppers and area residents also use Third Avenue daily.

To help create a positive and inviting environment for transit users and pedestrians, the City of Seattle and King County Metro Transit are working together to make the corridor an inviting, accommodating, safe and attractive place where people want to be. Our Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements Project will complement and be coordinated with the many other improvement projects underway in the downtown area.

Project Updates

July, 2014

Sidewalk construction now complete! East side of Third Avenue – Pine Street to Stewart Street (Macy’s bus stop).  More transit improvements coming!
Construction to rebuild the sidewalk and bus stop on the east side of Third Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets (on the west side of Macy’s) has been completed.  This particular bus stop/sidewalk rebuild is the first of a number of similar improvements we expect to make at bus stops along Third Avenue over the next few years.  The construction in this particular block includes a number of features, some new to Seattle:

  • A transit information kiosk (similar to other kiosks located along Third Avenue)
  • Ticket vending machine (coming soon!)
  • New sidewalk paving with “smog eating” photocatalytic material
  • A sidewalk widened by six feet to better accommodate bus commuters and passing pedestrians
  • New trees at the north end of the block (near Stewart Street)
  • An expanded  bus stop during most hours of the day to allow more buses to serve the stop at the same time
  • New transit canopy (coming soon!)
  • New lighting to improve visibility and comfort
  • A new “street elements zone” to organize trash cans
  • A new red curb treatment to emphasize the loading zone and improve safety

Project Background

The Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements Project is part of a larger plan to create a vibrant, safe and thriving Third Avenue. It will improve transit function and create a more welcoming urban environment along the corridor between Denny and Jackson streets. The project will extend transit priority measures approximately .75 miles north through the Belltown neighborhood.

The initial phase of the project was focused on the blocks between University Street and Stewart Street. Beginning this summer, the project team will refine initial design details that were developed for those blocks and expand this conceptual design through the entire corridor.

Potential corridor-wide concept design details could include these features:

  • Improved lighting
  • New bus shelters and waiting areas
  • New artistic elements to make Third Avenue feel welcoming and enjoyable

SDOT and Metro are committed to working with area residents, businesses, commuters and other stakeholders throughout the project to ensure that designs consider the needs of a variety of users.
Concept plans early in design can be viewed here, by individual block:

Full Third Avenue University to Stewart 10% Design Report


This work is supported by federal and local funds and jointly sponsored by the City of Seattle and King County Metro. Both agencies allocated local funds to match federal grants that provide about $9.6 million for design and construction of physical improvements.


  • Preliminary corridor design | University to Stewart – summer 2013
  • Draft 10% concept design | University to Stewart – fall 2013
  • 10% concept design | Denny Way to Jackson Street – October 2014
  • 30% preliminary design | February 2015
  • Final design | Mid-to-late 2016

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming fall 2014 events coming to Third Avenue! 

More information

SDOT Contacts:

KC Metro Contact:



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