Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor – Rainier

Updated: October 24, 2018

What’s happening now?

During early program planning, SDOT and King County Metro anticipated upgrading the Route 7 to RapidRide as soon as 2021. Based on an assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle and King County Metro’s proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP), we now expect the RapidRide Rainier Line to open in 2024. SDOT is planning to make improvements to the street and signals that improve transit speed and reliability by 2022 (see “Project Overview” below for more on the potential improvements) and the two agencies are coordinating delivery options.

See more on the RapidRide program update.

See more on the comprehensive assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle.

Project Overview

We are partnering with King County Metro to improve transit speed and reliability on Rainier Ave S. King County Metro is planning to upgrade Metro Route 7 to RapidRide in 2024. SDOT is planning to make street improvements on Rainier between by 2022 which could include the key features below.

SDOT Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor key features

Based on a review of individual corridor needs and after identifying community priorities, each Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor may include these key features:

Dedicated bus lanes and queue jumps: Bus-only lanes and signals that give buses a head start separate buses from traffic, increasing speed and reliability.

In-lane transit stops: Curb bulbs to allow the bus to stop in-lane to reduce dwell time and provide additional space for transit riders.

Smart signals: Transit signal priority extends or activates green lights to reduce waiting times for buses at signals.

Safety improvements: Improvements to crossings and transit connections to help people access transit safely.

Metro RapidRide key features

When King County Metro upgrades the Route 7 to RapidRide, the corridor may include the key features below:

Enhanced bus stops: RapidRide stations include real-time arrival information, larger shelters, lighting, and other amenities.

Changing some bus stop locations: RapidRide includes a thorough review of bus stop usage, key destinations, and community input to determine potential station locations that improve transit speed and reliability.

Potential route changes: Some RapidRide lines include changes to the bus route to better connect to other transit or key destinations.

Off-board fare collection: Off-board fare collection helps buses move faster as riders can pay fares without waiting in line.

Specialized trolley buses: RapidRide buses offer more capacity and lower floors for easier loading and unloading.

More extensive bus lanes and transit signal priority: Additional investments in bus-only lanes, bus queue jumps, and transit signal priority to improve transit operations along RapidRide lines.

Trolley wire upgrades and extensions: Modifications to trolley wires to allow RapidRide trolley buses to pass other trolley buses and potentially extend trolley wires to the Rainier Beach Station.

Project Background

The Route 7 is one of the highest-ridership routes in Seattle, serving 11,000 daily riders to a wide variety of destinations including schools, community centers, grocery stores, homes, and parks. And while Route 7 buses are scheduled to come every 10 minutes or better throughout most of the day, street conditions can cause delay.

The community around Route 7 and Rainier Ave S is growing, and many of the people who live along the corridor depend on the Route 7 to get to where they're going. A key goal is to keep what people already love about the Route 7, while also providing new and better connections to Link light rail and improved connections for people walking and biking.

Timeline changes

RapidRide Rainier was included in the 2015 Levy to Move Seattle and evaluated in the 2016 Transit Master Plan Update and the 2017 Metro Connects Long-Range Plan.

During early program planning, SDOT and King County Metro anticipated upgrading the Route 7 to RapidRide as soon as 2021. Based on an assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle and King County Metro’s proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP), we now expect the RapidRide Rainier Line to open in 2024. SDOT is planning to make improvements to the street and signals that improve transit speed and reliability by 2022 (see “Project Overview” below for more on the potential improvements) and the two agencies are coordinating delivery options.

See more on the RapidRide program update.

See more on the comprehensive assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle.

How can I get involved?

We're always interested in meeting with community and neighborhood groups that want to learn more about the project and provide input. You can request a briefing by emailing sara.colling@seattle.gov or calling 206-727-8697. We will also announce opportunities to get involved as they are scheduled.

Learn more about what's happening in Southeast Seattle.

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Materials

*Materials shared before summer 2018 reflect previous RapidRide Rainier Line timeline.

Funding

This project is partially funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Additional grant funding has been secured and is being pursued by both Seattle and King County.