I hadn’t realised that the downtown tunnel would still run buses through it when it reopens. According to the tunnel’s website, most of the Metro routes that went through the tunnel will be put back into it when the retro-fit is finished sometime at or before September this year. The tunnel buses, which had been electric only though the tunnel, will become diesel-electric hybrids and go wireless with in it. How this will effect air-quality in the tunnel is not mentioned. Once the train finally starts running in 2009, the tunnel’s hours of operation will increase to 18-21 hours a day which will be pretty nice.

Update: The tunnel will be ventilated by fans that have been installed.

3 Replies to “Downtown Tunnel will be a bus and train tunnel”

  1. in regard to the air quality in the transit tunnel, it should be fine even with the running of hybrid buses. Before the tunnel closed metro ran these buses with no problem. I believe they can run on an electric only mode if needed.

    The sharing of the transit tunnel between buses and trains is not permanent. Buses will only run as until the light rail system expands and carries more riders using longer trains. Then it will become a light rail only tunnel.

  2. Are you sure, Chris?
    I keep reading things on the tunnel’s website like “Sound Transit is responsible for retrofitting the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel for use by both bus and light rail”.

  3. I’m having a hard time finding the specific document that I read on the Sound Transit website (Once I find it I’ll link it).

    Buses and Trains will run in the tunnel for the foreseeable future.

    The plan I read is that ST will over time reduce the number of buses in the tunnel as the system expands, specifically the extension to the east-side. Once that happens ST will need to run more trains in the tunnel therefore displacing buses. (by the way there is talk of making 3rd ave a 24hour bus mall ala Portland.)

    My guess is Buses will still be running in the tunnel for at least another decade.

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