Route 7 - Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor

Updated: October 22, 2019

Keeping buses moving and improving transit access on Rainier Ave S

What’s happening now?

Building off the input we received last year, our design team is currently evaluating these improvements based on cost, benefits, and feasibility. By early 2020, we expect to finalize what we plan to move further into design. Feel free to contact us to share your input on the potential improvements.
Route 7 Improvements Map
What bus improvements are already happening? We're working closely with the Vision Zero team to improve safety on Rainier Ave S and to keep buses moving at the same time. You may have noticed new bus lanes out there! We installed bus lanes in sections of Rainier within the Othello and Rainier Beach neighborhoods and we're installing more next year. See the Rainier Improvements webpage for more. 

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 the RapidRide R Line in 2024. SDOT is making street improvements on Rainier by 2022 which could include the key features below.

SDOT Route 7 Transit-Plus key features

Building off the input we received last year, our design team is currently evaluating these improvements based on cost, benefits, and feasibility. By early 2020, we expect to finalize what we plan to move further into design. Key features include: 

  • Bus Improvements: Bus-only lanes to separate the bus from traffic (depending on the location, bus lanes may replace parking lanes or travel lanes)
  • Walking and Biking Improvements: Improvements to crossings and connections to neighborhood greenways to help people access transit safely
  • Signal Upgrades: Signals that prioritize transit with queue jumps that give buses a head start and "smart signals" that activate or extend green lights for buses
  • Safety Improvements: Changes to address crashes and improve safety

Project Background

The Route 7 is one of the highest-ridership routes in Seattle, serving over 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 7 to get to where they're going. A key goal is to keep what people already love about the 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 the RapidRide R Line 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 making improvements to the street and signals to improve bus reliability and access by 2022. We're in the early design phase to determine what improvements are most beneficial and feasible to take to final design and construction. 

See more on the RapidRide program update.

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

Other Projects along Rainier

Our project team is in close coordination with following projects:

Timeline - All major projects on Rainier Ave S

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

Vision Zero safety and bus improvements between Kenny/ Henderson 

Study Route 7 Transit-Plus design concepts

Vision Zero bus lanes between Kenny/Henderson

STBD (Seattle Transportation Benefit District) transit spot improvements

Finalize Route 7 Transit-Plus design concepts

Route 7 Transit-Plus builds bus and safety improvements throughout Rainier Ave S Sound Transit opens Judkins Park Light Rail station (planned)

King County Metro begins RapidRide R line service 

Accessible Mt. Baker builds near term access improvements by 2024

Community Outreach

WhenWhatDetails
2017 Early planning outreach Shared the initial RapidRide plans and timeline in partnership with other SE Seattle projects (included a mailer, open house, community conversations, and social media) 
March 19-April 14, 2018 Online open house  Online open house and survey to collect input on detailed concept options; Notifications included a mailer to 40,000 addresses, listserv emails, media, and emails and phone calls to community groups; Online and paper surveys translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Somali, Amharic, Khmer, Omoro, and Tigrinya. 
March-April 2018 In-person surveys
  • Chinatown-International District Community Center
  • King Donuts
  • Rainier Community Center
  • Viet Wah Asian Supermarket
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  • Rainier Farmers Market
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  • Bush Apartments
  • Easter Hotel
  • Nihon Terrace
  • Ling King Tin Ye Association
  • All Family Association
  • Pop-ups at various locations including libraries, mini-marts, and apartment complexes
March-April 2018 Stakeholder briefings
  • Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
  • Seattle Freight Advisory Board
  • King County Transit Advisory Committee
  • Transportation Choices Coalition and Puget Sound Sage
May 2019 Stakeholder briefing Seattle Transit Advisory Board 
June 2019 Stakeholder briefing Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee
July 2019 In-person surveys Conducting surveys with the businesses on and near Rainier Ave S between S Massachusets St and S Bayview St to learn more about delivery and customer access to help inform potential bus lanes on Rainier. 

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 7TransitPlus@Seattle.gov or calling 206-900-8724

SE Seattle Open House

Materials

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

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. We are also partnering with other projects along Rainier to deliver pieces of the project sooner and more efficiently.

Translation

If you need this information translated, please call 206-900-8724.

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