While the original levy included 7 “RapidRide+” corridors, it became apparent in April that SDOT didn’t have the money to do all 7 and would be scaling back. Mayor Durkan ordered a review and a new workplan. We got a hint of the new scope in September, when Metro announced that only 4 new RapidRide lines would launch by the time the levy expires in 2024.
Now we have a better sense of how SDOT is prioritizing its portion of the work. All of the projects are getting bumped 1-3 years. Budgets listed below are totals for each project and include a mixture of levy funds and other federal, state, and local sources (some as-yet-unidentified). As you can see, the level of investment varies greatly from line to line.
- Rapid Ride G (Madison BRT), the marquee transit project originally planned for 2019, is now slated for 2022. Diesel-hybrid buses will be purchased since articulated electrics were proving challenging, an adjustment that saves trolley wire money. ($121 million)
- RapidRide H (Delridge) will bow a year later than planned, in 2021. It’s now at 10% design, as we reported last week. Scope adjustments, if necessary, will happen at 30% design. ($35 million)
- RapidRide Roosevelt‘s opening has been pushed back 3 years to 2024. FTA money is required but as yet unsecured. The line will be electrified, but will only extend as far as the Roosevelt Link station (earlier iterations envisioned Northgate as the terminus). Bike lanes are happening on Eastlake, and there won’t be much exclusive ROW for the bus. ($86 million)
- Route 7 (Rainier Ave) will see some SDOT improvements by 2022 and launch as a RapidRide corridor in 2024, per King County’s budget. The workplan dryly notes that “early community outreach included a more robust level of investment than funding allows.” Expect to know more about the final scope in mid-2020 or so. “Limited planning” has been done to date. ($16 million)
- Route 40 (Fremont) will see improvements by 2024, instead of 2023. The same “limited planning” caveat applies. We’ve previously argued for transit priority on Leary and Westlake, consistent with the 2015 Transit Master Plan. ($23 million)
- Route 44 (Market/45th St) improvements will wrap up in 2023, a year later than originally planned. Bus lanes through Wallingford would be the real win here, again consistent with the TMP. ($15.6 million)
- Route 48 (23rd/24th Ave E) is slated for unspecified improvements between John St. and SR 520 by 2024, with design starting next year. Funding does *not* include electrification, though the necessary poles have already been added as part of the 23rd Ave street rebuild. Hopefully this next round will give SDOT another shot at adding the bus lanes that were scrapped during this year’s rechannelization. ($8 million)
To recap, that’s three new RapidRide lines (G, H, Roosevelt), three lines (40, 44, 48) that will see “bus lanes, channelization, and signal optimization for buses, and signal priority for transit,” and one line, the 7, that will fall somewhere in between: SDOT will do some stuff then Metro will come in later and finish the job.
Read the SDOT blog post to learn more about the other aspects (bikes, sidewalks, streets) of the updated plan.
RapidRide branding by SolDuc Photography in the STB Flickr Pool