Metro kicks off planning for RapidRide I this week with a presentation to the Renton City Council. The line (#1033 in the long-range plan) will be a hybrid of routes 169 and 180, connecting Auburn, Kent and Renton.
Like other RapidRide lines, the route will travel on local arterials. It will integrate with ST3’s 405 BRT project. Metro estimates 6,000 daily riders, roughly in line with the Eastside’s RapidRide B. The agency will apply for federal funds to augment a substantial $120M capital investment. For perspective, that’s roughly the budget for RapidRide G, which is less than one fifth the length but projected to have at least double the ridership.
Metro appears determined to continue the letter scheme, even though “I” is so easily confused with “1” (although I guess it’s unlikely anyone will board an Auburn-Renton bus when they want to go between Downtown Seattle and Queen Anne). LA Metro, by contrast, will reportedly skip over some letters for its rail lines to avoid similar confusion.
Update 12:36pm: in the comments, a link from AlexKven to Brent’s 2017 argument for extending the 169 to Rainier Beach. I don’t think it’s essential that every RR line include a Link transfer, but if it can be done in a revenue-neutral way this makes sense.