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Madison Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit

Updated December 21, 2015

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

Project Update

For a description of the technical and outreach steps taken to arrive at a draft Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) recommendation and a description of the LPA, please access the Madison Corridor BRT Study LPA Summary Report. An outreach summary report from the November meeting and subsequent comments is here. Highlights from the LPA Summary Report include:

  • Project extent from downtown (1st Ave) to Madison Valley (Martin Luther King Jr. Way)
  • Peak headways of 6 minutes on weekdays
  • Transit signal priority to keep the bus moving through the corridor
  • Mix of side-running, center-running, and mixed traffic segments
  • Station and vehicle features, such as off-board fare payment and level boarding, to reduce dwell time at stations
  • Intersection improvements for people who walk, bike and visit the Madison Corridor

Next Steps

Our next steps are to finalize the preferred alternative and request City Council approval, followed by preliminary design and environmental assessment in early 2016.  We will continue to gather input as the next phase of design begins.

If you have any questions and comments, please contact Maria Koengeter, Transit Strategic Advisor, at or (206) 733-9865.

Project Overview

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Map

The Seattle Transit Master Plan (2012) identifies 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. The proposed transit investment is based on an evaluation of the Madison Street Corridor’s potential to generate ridership, supported by its 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 are working closely to coordinate planning for the project.

Madison Street BRT service will be fast, reliable and frequent. It 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.

Madison Street BRT 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.

Project Definition Study

The Madison Street corridor is an opportunity for Seattle to design and implement, in phases, state-of-the-art bus rapid transit (BRT) improvements. The 2.1-mile corridor runs from Colman Dock to 23rd Avenue and will improve access to ferries, Third Avenue transit, First Hill medical institutions and housing, Seattle University, the Central district, Link light rail, and the First Hill Streetcar.

In June 2014, the City will begin studying this BRT corridor. The study will evaluate roadway channelization options, station locations and features, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and streetscape improvements for the Madison corridor. The study will engage transit agencies, stakeholder, and the broader community to discuss options and tradeoffs. It will also evaluate implementation options, such as phased speed and reliability improvements and funding opportunities.

The Seattle Transit Master Plan identifies a planning-level total capital cost estimate of $87 million. The Seattle City Council identified $1 million in the City’s 2013/2014 budget for a project definition study of the Madison Street corridor. This effort will result in a refined project cost estimate.

Milestones and Schedule

The table below outlines the study’s key milestones and basic schedule.



Jan 2013 - May 2014

Project Scope Refinement

June 2014 – April 2015

Concept Design Alternatives Development, Analysis, and Community Engagement

May 2015 – October 2015

BRT Concept Design Alternative Refinement and Community Engagement

November 2015 Draft Concept Design Community Engagement

Early 2016

Complete Concept Design/Request City Council approval

Madison Corridor BRT Library

November 16, 2015 Open House

October 2015

July 2015

May Online Survey Results

In May, the Madison Corridor 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 6 Open House


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 Maria Koengeter, Transit Strategic Advisor, at or (206) 733-9865.

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