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Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit

Updated June 7, 2016

Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will provide high-frequency, all-day, fast, reliable, and safe public transportation between First Avenue in downtown Seattle and Martin Luther King Jr Way.

Madison Street was identified in the 2012 Seattle Transit Master Plan as a priority corridor for BRT service. From 2014-2015, SDOT completed a design concept study, including public and stakeholder engagement. Community input was essential to refining the concept design, including major routing decisions such as extending the BRT service further east to Martin Luther King Jr Way and using Spring Street for eastbound routing through downtown Seattle. In February 2016, City Council formally adopted the concept design, also called the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

Check out this video for an overview of the Madison BRT project!

Highlights from the LPA include:

  • Route extends from First Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Madison Valley
  • Route uses Spring Street for eastbound travel through downtown Seattle
  • On weekdays during peak hours, buses will arrive every six minutes
  • Different sections of the route have bus lanes on the side of the street (while maintaining access to driveways and turns), dedicated bus lanes in the center of the street, or the buses will run in a lane shared with other traffic
  • BRT stations will include seating, weather protection and real-time information so you know exactly when the next bus will arrive
  • BRT vehicles will allow passengers to step directly onto the bus without climbing steps
  • Other improvements to make the areas near stations safer and more passenger-friendly, including improvements to sidewalks, curb ramps, landscaping, and bicycle facilities

Project Overview

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Map

The Seattle Transit Master Plan (2012) identified Madison Street between Colman Dock Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle and 23rd Avenue E as a future high-capacity transit bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor.

Madison Street was selected based on an evaluation of potential to generate ridership, land use and demographic characteristics, and a screening of potential transit modes, considering factors, such as passenger carrying capacity and constructability. SDOT and King County Metro have and will continue to work closely together on this project.

Madison Street BRT will serve densely developed neighborhoods in First Hill, the Central Area, and downtown Seattle, connecting dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.

We will use new state-of-the-art electric trolley buses (ETBs) that produce zero emissions and are extremely quiet. Surface rail transit is not an option for this corridor due to the steep east-west street grades.

Madison Street BRT is partially funded by the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. We are pursuing other funding sources for final design and construction, particularly Federal Transit Administration funding. Estimated project cost is $120 million.

How can I get involved?

If you would like us to attend a meeting or briefing for your neighborhood or community organization, please contact us. More details and opportunities to get involved this summer will be announced as they are scheduled.

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Questions and comments can be directed to Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or 206-615-1485.

Milestones and Schedule

The table below outlines the project's key milestones and basic schedule.

Timeline

Activities/Milestones

Jan 2013 - May 2014

Project scope refinement

June 2014 – April 2015

Developed and analyzed concept design alternatives, began community engagement

May 2015 – October 2015

Refined concept design with community engagement

November 2015

Finalized and shared draft concept design

February 2016

City Council approved concept design to move forward (also called Locally Preferred Alternative)

February – May 2016 Validated cost assumptions from concept design before beginning 30% design

Spring/Summer 2016

Community engagement on 30% design, including individual meetings, community briefings and a series of open houses (stay tuned for more info!)

Fall 2016

Finalize and share 30% design

Fall 2016 – Fall 2017

Continue design process, including environmental review and community engagement

Late 2017

Final (100%) design complete, advertise for construction bids

2018-2019

Construction

Late 2019

Madison BRT service begins

Madison Corridor BRT Library

January 22, 2016 City Council Meeting

November 16, 2015 Open House

October 2015

July 2015

May 2015 Online Survey Results

In May, the Madison Street BRT project  hosted an online survey to seek input on:

  • BRT design options, routing, terminals, and station locations
  • Priorities for transit service and capital investments
  • Design concepts for a Central Area protected bike lane

The results of the survey can be found here.

May 2015 Open House

Reports

January 2015 Online Survey

November 20, 2014 Open House

September 30, 2014 Open House

September 2014 - Stakeholder Outreach

How can I get involved?

More details and opportunities for public involvement will be announced as they are scheduled.

Questions and comments can be directed to Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or 206-615-1485.

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