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West Seattle RapidRide Transit Improvements

Last update July 13th

RapidRideIn partnership with King County Metro, SDOT is designing and building transit improvements in West Seattle to prepare for Metros RapidRide C Line. The improvements will create a faster, more reliable corridor for Metros new RapidRide buses.

What is RapidRide?

The C Line will be Seattles first RapidRide line. RapidRide employs a host of tools to speed up buses and increase capacity. Key features of the C Line will include:

  • Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes to allow buses to bypass traffic congestion
  • Increased distances between stops for faster, smoother trips
  • Signal queue jumps to give buses a head start at intersections
  • Transit Signal Priority to allow buses to wirelessly signal their approach to intersections. Signals respond by staying green longer or turning green faster, allowing transit to keep moving.
  • Real time bus arrival information at stations to inform passengers when the next bus is coming
  • Off-board ORCA card readers allow faster boarding through all doors
  • Smart, hybrid, low-floor buses with wireless internet, and three doors for faster loading times
  • Curb bulbs to help buses stop in lane rather than pulling over to pick up passengers and then waiting to re-enter traffic
  • Short headways (time between buses). The C Line will have 10 minute headways at peak hours, 15 minutes at all other times between 5 am and 10 pm, and 30 minute headways from 10 pm to 1 am.

You can read more about Metros RapidRide program here.

Read the SDOT flier on West Seattle RapidRide improvements here.

The C Line will also provide convenient connections to other West Seattle bus routes. Along the C Line corridor between Westwood Village and the West Seattle Bridge, RapidRide will connect with bus routes serving the Admiral, Alki, Burien, Genesee Hill, High Point, Sea-Tac International Airport, South Seattle Community College, Southcenter, and White Center areas.

SDOTs rapid bus features

Planned traffic revisions for SW Alaska Street:


SDOT is taking public comment on the proposed changes to SW Alaska Street.  Comments are due July 31, 2010 and can be sent to:

Jonathan Dong
Phone: (206) 233-8564

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has developed plans to re-channelize SW Alaska Street between California Avenue and 35th Avenue to support the planned RapidRide C Line which is scheduled to begin service in fall 2012.  SDOT is proposing to make the following changes to SW Alaska Street:

  • Install a westbound left turn pocket at California Avenue and SW Alaska Street
  • Install an eastbound left turn pocket at 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street
  • Install an eastbound  business access and transit Lane (BAT) between 42nd Avenue SW and 40th Avenue SW
  • Install a westbound BAT between Fauntleroy Avenue and 42nd Avenue SW
  • Install a westbound bicycle lane between Fauntleroy Way and approximately 30 feet west of 41st Avenue SW
  • Remove parking on the north side of SW Alaska Street between California Avenue SW and 41st Avenue SW

Alaska St between 35th Ave. and Fauntleroy Way. Click here for full size map.

Alaska St between Fauntleroy Way and California Ave. Click here for full size map.

Other planned traffic revisions include:

California Ave from SW Edmunds St to Morgan Junction

  • Bus bulbs at RapidRide stops

Avalon Way between the West Seattle Bridge and Yancy Street

  • One northbound lane will be a Transit Only lane during the morning peak hours from 6am to 10 am.
  • A new bike lane will be added in the southbound direction from the West Seattle Bridge to 35th Ave.

Avalon Way between the West Seattle Bridge and Yancy Street. Click here for full size map.



Funding and the role of SDOT

SDOT is responsible for designing and maintaining traffic signals, lane configurations, sidewalks, street repairs, and queue jumps. Funding for SDOT Transit improvements come from a partnership with King County Metro and from the SDOT Bridging the Gap levy. Funds for this project also come from King Countys Transit Now levy and a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. For more information about King County Metros transit operations, click here.



Planning and Public Outreach

Completion of design scheduled for summer 2011

Additional service hours added to existing West Seattle Metro routes (to offset effects of Alaskan Way Viaduct construction)

Begin construction in late 2011


Design, permitting, and construction

RapidRide service begins in the fall of 2012.


If you have further questions please contact Jonathan Dong at

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