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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

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Designing Safer Streets

In Seattle, Bus Only lanes and BAT lanes (Business Access and Transit) are designated for public transportation vehicles. The City Traffic Engineer exercises the authority to reserve any portion of a street for the exclusive use of public transportation vehicles as stated in SMC 11.16.320.D. Private vehicles and tour operators are not authorized to use lanes marked Bus Only. (SMC 11.53.230)

While the City doesn’t run the buses or light rail trains, we do work closely with King County Metro, Sound Transit, and other transit providers on major service and infrastructure changes within the city limits. We enhance transit through:

Transit Service. Seattle Transportation Benefit District (a voter-approved levy) provides funding for the City to purchase transit service from King County Metro. We also contribute funding for transit service on both streetcars with sponsorship funds, fare-box revenue, and other funding sources. 

Planning and Policy. We updated the Transit Master Plan in 2016 and regularly coordinate with Metro, Sound Transit, and other City departments on transit improvement projects and station area planning.

Seattle Streetcar. We own the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcar lines.  We contract with Metro for operations. Work on a streetcar line to connect the two existing lines is underway, read more about the Center City Connector project here.

Corridor Improvements. Move Seattle (a voter-approved levy) provides funding for transit corridor improvements, including seven new RapidRide corridors. We plan and build street, signal, bus stop facility, and technology improvements that increase bus speeds and enhance passenger comfort along key corridors. Current capital projects can be found here.

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