RapidRide J Line - Formerly RapidRide Roosevelt

Connecting Downtown Seattle with the neighborhoods of South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District, and Roosevelt. Upgrading buses and stops, expanding and optimizing routes, repaving, installing protected bike lanes, and improving accessibility.

Updated: October 29, 2019

What’s happening now?

The RapidRide Roosevelt project has a new name - RapidRide J Line. As the project continues, your feedback remains important to us. Schedule a briefing or visit us online to review the project's history, current plans, and to see how community feedback has been incorporated into those plans.

Share your feedback online by November 8: RapidRideJLine.participate.online

Review the materials from our recent Open House and Question & Answer Sessions: 

U-District and Roosevelt Open House and Question & Answer Session

Thursday, October 17, 2019 

View the display boards and PowerPoint shared at this meeting.


Eastlake, South Lake Union and Downtown 

Monday, October 28, 2019

View the display boards and PowerPoint shared at this meeting.

Click here for responses to frequently asked questions about the project.  



The RapidRide Roosevelt Project will provide a high-quality service connecting Downtown Seattle with the neighborhoods of South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District, and Roosevelt. We’re partnering with King County Metro (KCM) to enhance transit connections and upgrade existing bus routes to Metro RapidRide service. Upgrading service will keep people moving by:

  • Providing frequent and on-time transit service with more buses at night and on weekends
  • Increasing daily ridership by up to 112% by 2024 and reducing transit travel time by 17 minutes in 2024
  • Upgrading bus stops with lighting, real-time arrival info, and all door boarding
  • Improving safety for all users with about 5 miles of new protected bicycles lanes
  • Improving roadway conditions by repaving Eastlake Ave E and pavement overlays on 11th/12th Avenue
  • Improving sidewalks and upgrading approximately 200 curb ramps to meet ADA requirements
  • Lowering carbon emissions by adding new electric trolley wire 

Project Map

Project area Map

We're working to balance the needs of everyone within the neighborhoods, whether they're in a bus, a car, walking or riding a bike.

Purpose and Need

The overall purpose of the RapidRide Roosevelt project is to improve transit travel times, reliability, and capacity to increase high-frequency, all-day transit service and enhance transit connections between Downtown Seattle and the Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District, and Roosevelt neighborhoods, in order to:

  • Address current and future mobility needs for residents, workers, and students
  • Address capacity constraints in the transportation network along this north-south corridor
  • Provide equitable transportation access to major institutions, employers, and neighborhoods

An additional purpose of the project is to improve pedestrian and bicycle connections and access to RapidRide stations and improve safety along the corridor.

The Roosevelt corridor has been identified as a high-priority corridor for meeting the following transportation and community needs:

  • Provide Transit Service to Support Housing and Employment Growth. Significant growth in both housing and employment is underway for the five neighborhoods (Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District, and Roosevelt) within the project corridor and Downtown Seattle. Based on population and employment projection data from Puget Sound Regional Council, by 2035, the area within approximately 0.5 mile of the corridor is forecasted to grow by over 22,000 residents (29 percent) and 91,000 employees (50 percent), for a total of over 98,000 residents and 274,000 jobs. There is inadequate capacity on existing bus service to support the planned development.
  • Provide Neighborhood Connections to Future Link Light Rail Stations. Connectivity and capacity within the corridor are limited due to geographic and existing infrastructure constraints. Currently there is no direct rapid transit connection between the five neighborhoods and downtown Seattle. King County Metro Routes 67 and 70 provide service, but they travel in congested traffic lanes and require a passenger to transfer to another bus line to reach downtown Seattle. These limitations result in long transit times and unreliable schedules, reducing riders' ability to make connections and discouraging ridership. To accommodate the planned growth and increase in density along the corridor, there is a need to provide better connections to existing and future Link light rail stations, existing and future RapidRide lines, and regional and local bus routes.
  • Improve Transit Travel Time and Reliability Throughout the Corridor. Congestion is causing delays in transit travel time and negatively affecting transit reliability. The existing transit travel time in the corridor during the peak periods is up to 20 to 30 percent slower than off-peak hours. The slower transit travel time during the peak periods negatively affects reliability and result in over 30 percent of transit trips in the corridor running late during morning and evening peak periods. By 2021, without improvements in the corridor, the PM peak delay in transit travel time is expected to increase by almost 14 minutes (17 percent increase) for trips along the entire corridor.
  • Reduce Overcrowding of Existing Bus Capacity. Over 20 percent of those within approximately 0.5 mile of the corridor already use transit, with even higher transit usage in Downtown Seattle and the University District neighborhood. Passenger loads currently exceed seated capacity along the corridor on 32 percent of daily trips and more than 63 percent of trips during the morning peak period. For the existing routes that provide transit service in the corridor between Downtown and the University District, average weekday ridership is expected to increase by 35 percent (i.e., from 4,770 riders per day in 2015 to 6,450 in 2035).
  • Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Connections to Transit. With significant transit service and dense, walkable neighborhoods, there is a high level of pedestrian and bicycle activity along the corridor, yet several intersections have above-average rates of bicycle and pedestrian collisions with vehicles. From 2010 to 2014, six intersections along the corridor were reported to have three or more pedestrian injury collisions and five intersections with four or more bicycle collisions with injuries. The City of Seattle Bicycle Master Plan recommends protected bicycle lanes as one of the highest priority bicycle network investments, given the geographic constraints and limited bicycle route alternatives to the corridor. Additionally, numerous sidewalks and intersections do not meet current City of Seattle standards and do not comply with the ADA.


Project Schedule

  1. Planning (2014-2017): We collect traffic data, reviews plans, and gathers community experiences to define options.
  2. Design (2017-2021): We work with the community and produce a more detailed project design, and secure regulatory approval (e.g., Environmental Assessment).
  3. Construction (2021-2024): We construct the project and keep the community informed on the latest construction updates, schedule, and expected impacts. 

Upcoming RapidRide Roosevelt activities and milestones

  • Late 2019/early 2020: Publish Environmental Assessment for community review
  • 2020: Anticipated date to finalize environmental document
  • 2021: Anticipated construction start date
  • As soon as 2024: RapidRide Roosevelt service begins

RapidRide Roosevelt outreach conducted to date

Phase 1 - Mode Analysis and Existing Conditions
February 2015                              Presented to Eastlake District Council meeting
Phase 2 - Characteristics of BRT and Multimodal Components
March-April 2015 Key stakeholder group outreach, including phone calls to develop an outreach list
May 2015 Open houses (2) to discuss mode analysis and existing conditions
July 2015 Joined Cascade Bicycle Club for walking audit of Eastlake Ave E
August 2015 Presentation to South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce
September 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss mode options
September 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss mode options
October 2015 Presented to Eastlake District Council meeting
November 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss BRT in-depth
November 2015 Presented to Roosevelt Neighborhood Association
December 2015 Open houses (2) to discuss BRT and multi-modal options
January 2016 Presented to Maple Leaf Community Council
January 2016 Presented to University Transportation Committee
January 2016 Presented to Eastlake Community Council
March 2016 Presented to U-District Partnership
March 2016 Project staff conducted business access survey
Phase 3 - Recommended Corridor Concept
May 2016 Forum meeting to review recommended corridor concept
June 2016 Presentation to Seattle Transit Advisory Board
June 2016 Presented to Fred Hutchinson staff
June 2016 Open houses (2) to review recommended corridor concept
July 2016 Reviewed recommended corridor concept with Vulcan staff
September 2016 Presentation to Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
July 2017 Submitted Locally Preferred Alternative to Seattle City Council (approved July 2017)
November 2017 Notifications for public scoping meeting: • Email update • Mailed notice
December 2017 Public scoping open house to inform project Environmental Assessment
March 2018 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
April 2018 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
August 2018 Project email update
September 2018 Presentation to Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
October 2018 Notifications for Eastlake neighborhood question and answer meeting: • Email update • Mailed notice
October 2018 Hosted Eastlake neighborhood question and answer session to review bicycle alternatives analysis and parking analysis
December 2018 Email invitations sent for Eastlake community parking workshop
January 2019 Hosted Eastlake community parking workshop to discuss opportunities for RPZ updates, transportation options, shared parking, and load zone relocations
April 2019 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
April to June 2019 Project outreach staff conducted door-to-door access surveys for Eastlake businesses
May 2019 Attended WSDOT/SDOT community parking briefing to review parking effects from the SR 520 project
July 2019 Briefing with Seattle Friends of Olmsted to review the Ravenna Boulevard park
July 2019 Briefing with members of Eastlake Community Council and SAFE Eastlake
July 2019 Notifications for Eastlake business parking workshops: • Mailed notice • Emailed notice • Door-to-door flyers
July 2019 Hosted Eastlake business parking workshops to discuss opportunities for load zone relocations, transportation options, shared parking, and RPZ updates


This project is partially funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Additional funding is being sought through a partnership with King County Metro and a Federal Transit Administration Small Starts Grant.

Project Materials

July 2019

April 2019

January 2019

October 2018

September 2018

December 2017 - Environmental Scoping

July 2017

June 2017

June 2016 Open Houses

December 2015 Open Houses

May 2015 Open Houses

Reference Documents

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 make their voices heard. You can request a briefing by emailing RapidRide@seattle.gov or calling 206-684-5189.

Updated: 12/12/2017