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Updated May 25, 2006

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro are looking for ways to improve transit service to Ballard and West Seattle. The goal is to develop a fast, frequent and reliable transit system that connects your neighborhood to downtown and our regional transit network. Improvements are also needed to ensure that buses can move through traffic during construction of the Alaskan Way Tunnel/Viaduct (2010).

To achieve this, SDOT and Metro are developing a Bus Rapid Transit concept. This means both improving transit service and managing the streets to keep buses moving.

SDOT is working closely with the Alaskan Way Tunnel/Viaduct project to identify transit needs through Downtown, and using additional consultant resources to evaluate transit improvements for the neighborhood corridors. Transit improvements and additional bus service could be made as a part of on-going capital projects and new funding opportunities, including:

SDOT Report to City Council Transportation Committee, March 29, 2006

Schedule

SDOT consultant work on neighborhood transit improvements: Summer 2006

Alaskan Way Viaduct/Seawall Replacement environmental review:

  • SDEIS: Summer 2006
  • Final EIS: Fall 2007

Potential funding measures and vote: Fall 2007

For more information contact:
Calvin Chow, Seattle Department of Transportation, 684-4652

What is Bus Rapid Transit?

Bus Rapid Transit means improving bus service & facilities and managing the streets & traffic signals to keep buses moving through traffic. SDOT is working with Metro to look at a number of transit improvements that work together and improve bus service to Ballard and West Seattle.

City decisions: Streets and Signals

  • Dedicated or managed bus lanes
  • Transit signal priority and queue jumps
  • Parking removal or peak-hour restrictions
  • General purpose traffic restrictions

Metro decisions: Buses and Facilities

  • Changes to existing routes, improved service
  • New bus stops with real-time bus information
  • Improved payment systems and transfers
  • Branded low-floor, low-emission buses

SDOT is focusing on Bus Rapid Transit because it can be implemented incrementally, if needed. If resources are limited, key transit speed and reliability improvements can be prioritized to keep buses moving during Alaskan Way Tunnel/Viaduct construction. City investments in our streets for transit speed and reliability can be made to match the level of service that Metro can provide.

In the long-term, Bus Rapid Transit will establish transit's presence in these corridors and could set the stage for future transit investments like fixed-rail.

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