Seattle Transit Blog

Improving RapidRide

The RapidRide system is a nice addition to the bus system in Seattle, but right now I feel that there isn’t enough difference between RapidRide and regular buses other than WiFi, some dedicated bus lanes, and wider-spaced stops. In fact, some regular routes are more frequent than RapidRide routes. The Madison BRT (RapidRide G) is supposed to have more BRT-like features, so I think the whole RapidRide system should be like that. Here is a map of my proposed RapidRide system (uncheck the Link box) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nBYvhYMteQDSepINtLnV9nfzVlA&usp=sharing

Service

Dedicated stops/stations (stations can be shared between RapidRide lines, but not with regular buses)
Off-board payment at all stations
Dedicated bus lanes on most sections, only a few sections in mixed traffic
Coordination with street lights

Frequencies (minutes)

Peak: 5-7.5
Weekday Midday: 10
Weekend Midday: 12
Early Morning/Late Evening (4-6 AM and 10PM-12AM): 15-20
Night (12AM to 4AM): 45-60

Expansions

G Line will be extended to Madison Park to replace Route 11.

D Line will be extended to Lake City via Holman Rd and Northgate Way. Route 40 will terminate at Carkeek Park.

E Line will have a new station at 38th/Aurora to serve Fremont, even though it is somewhat of a walking distance.

Route 65 will become a RapidRide K Line, going between Brooklyn Station and Lake City.

The Sound Transit 522 BRT will be extended west to Broadview to provide crosstown service on 145th St.

There should be some kind of rapid transit going between Seattle Center, SLU, Capitol Hill, and Madison Valley, similar to the east-west portion of Route 8. However, the city is still rearranging the streets in SLU, so they should get that done before putting such a RapidRide line into service.

Canceled

In this post, canceled means that the route will not become a RapidRide route. I only mention the routes that appear in the 2025 plan.

Rainier: The Rainier plan basically turns the 7 into a RapidRide. I think the 7 runs close enough to SeaTac Link, so it shouldn’t be a RapidRide. In Rainier Valley there should be Link feeders instead.

40: Ballard already has the D Line, so there shouldn’t be a parallel route. I would just extend the D Line to Northgate and truncate Route 40 at Carkeek Park. If there is a Ballard to Fremont rapid transit (BRT, Streetcar, Link), it should go to Wallingford and U District instead of SLU and Downtown. The 44 RR serves this in a way, but it runs too far from the center of Fremont. That is why I think a Ballard-UW Link line would be good. If there should be a Fremont to Downtown RR, it should also go through Queen Anne (possibly an extension of Route 13 to Fremont).

372: If there should be a RapidRide line in Northeast Seattle, I think 35th Ave NE would be a better corridor for it. That is why I suggested turning Route 65 into a RapidRide line. Also, Sound Transit already plans a 522 BRT, so the 372 should just be a local shadow.

Reduced

Roosevelt: The portion of Roosevelt RR between Northgate and U District is redundant to Northgate Link, so there should just be a local shadow rather than a RapidRide line. However, I think a RapidRide along Eastlake could make sense. It should be called Eastlake RapidRide, not Roosevelt RapidRide.

C Line: When West Seattle Link opens, the C Line will have much less purpose. In fact, people might even switch to the H (Delridge) Line when it opens. I think when West Seattle Link opens, the C Line should run to Alki Point north of Alaska Junction.

D Line: Ballard residents will probably switch to Ballard Link when it opens. I would assume that Ballard Link will be extended further north to Crown Hill after the first phase is opened. I think that when the first phase of Ballard Link opens, D Line should be truncated south of Market, and a local bus will run along 15th Ave W between Market and Downtown.