Breaking down East Link Starter Line ridership

East Link Starter Line map, by Sound Transit

Now that Sound Transit has paved the way for an East Link Starter Line (ELSL) opening for next Spring, it’s worth deep diving into the projected ridership numbers. At the last Sound Transit Board meeting, early ridership estimates were pegged at a modest 6,000 average weekday boardings, reflecting limited demand until the 2-Line is fully connected to the main 1-Line spine via I-90.

The ELSL, which will run between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology Station, is not directly served by any single bus route currently. Rather, its sub-segments are served by various disparate routes that are a hodgepodge of local and express service:

  • Between South Bellevue & Downtown Bellevue: 550/556 (Bellevue Way), 241 (108th), 249 (Enatai)
  • Between Downtown Bellevue and Overlake Village: 226 (Bel-Red Rd), 249 (Northup, NE 20th), B-Line (NE 8th, 156th Ave NE)
  • Between Downtown Bellevue and Redmond Technology Station: B-Line, 566

The ELSL does serve some existing commuter markets, namely the two corridors between South Bellevue, Downtown Bellevue, and Redmond Technology Station (Microsoft). But it is also serving entirely new markets that are difficult to forecast given the rise of remote work, lack of connection to the 1-Line, and absence of any single precursor service. More on each ELSL sub-segment below the fold.

Continue reading “Breaking down East Link Starter Line ridership”

A new civic campus isn’t worth sacrificing the ST3 CID station

Dow Constantine’s pitch for a new civic campus redevelopment

At last Thursday’s eventful Sound Transit Board meeting, a large contingent of supporters of the 4th Avenue Chinatown-International District (CID) station showed up en masse, thanks to prompting from community activists and Seattle Subway. Although the Board did not make any further alignment decisions, they did authorize a contract modification to HNTB to extend EIS planning and preliminary engineering for the Ballard Link extension.

Back in March, the Board voted to approve the “North of CID” and “South of CID” station options as part of its preferred alternative. These were relative latecomers to the game: all previous options were centered around Union Station, either at 4th or 5th. Sound Transit Boardmembers cited lower costs and lower impacts from the North and South options, in spite of the loss of a station actually inside the Chinatown-International District and the connection opportunities it would provide.

Two big champions of the North/South CID options are King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. A key linchpin in Constantine’s station preference has been the new Civic Campus Initiative, which he announced as part of the State of the County address back in March.

There are sensible reasons for redeveloping the civic center area. Most of the city and county’s key offices are located there and a number of the buildings are dilapidated tokens of modernist architecture. In recent years, the neighborhood has also contended with a large homeless population and street-level crime, particularly around the King County Courthouse.

None of these are good enough reasons to shift a future Link station out of an existing high-traffic hub into other areas merely on the basis of development potential. Prospects for infill TOD opportunities are always tempting to think about, but they wouldn’t warrant the loss of a station that would serve the thousands of existing residents between both the CID and Pioneer Square neighborhoods.

It’s also worth reexamining whether master planning the civic campus redevelopment is even the right approach in the post-COVID world. Rather than concentrating the bulk of key government offices in a single location, newer ways of working might instead warrant decentralizing the city’s and county’s real estate assets. Incentivizing developers to build a variety of mixed uses can help accomplish some of the initiative’s goals while still avoiding an eggs-in-one-basket situation.

But should the Civic Campus Initiative become reality, its success doesn’t hinge on the presence of a Link station right underneath it, especially if it’s at the expense of a much higher-trafficked area. The neighborhood is already extremely walkable: between the original Midtown and Jackson Street locations and the existing Pioneer Square Station, the civic campus would be well served by Link anyway.

Even if the county is keen on ensuring proximity to an ST3 station for its employees, there is no better place than the Jackson Street hub, which is already home to Sound Transit and Metro employees. The substantial amount of buildable capacity in the area also offers plenty of excuses to scratch any development itches that might otherwise be satisfied by the civic campus redevelopment.

Sound Transit soliciting feedback on 1-Line disruptions

Sound Transit is inviting anyone who rode Link during the recent 1-Line disruptions to participate in a survey. Service was reduced between August 12th and 20th to fix sagging tracks at Royal Brougham Way. 1-Line service continues to be impacted due to platform reconstruction work at Othello and Rainier Beach stations.

Service disruptions are certainly a thorn in the side of the riding public, but I commend Sound Transit for taking the step to solicit feedback. Even if disruptions can’t be avoided, they can be mitigated by a sound communications strategy.

Sound Transit Board approves Spring 2024 opening for East Link starter line

East Link testing on 112th Ave SE, photo credit the author’s wife

The Sound Transit Board green-lighted the much-anticipated East Link Starter Line (ELSL) earlier today, approving a resolution that authorizes up to $43 million on implementing passenger revenue service in Spring 2024. Previously, the Board had approved $6 million to study the idea of a phased East Link opening, per the urging of King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci.

Earlier in the year, boardmembers representing Snohomish County had expressed concern that opening the ELSL in 2024 might detract from a timely opening for the Lynnwood Link Extension (LLE). However, Sound Transit staff determined no schedule impacts from the ELSL on the LLE, which is on track for a Fall 2024 opening. Nonetheless, Lynnwood Link is expected to operate at lower frequencies until the I-90 connection to the Eastside operations and maintenance facility (OMF) is complete.

With the ELSL’s approval, service levels will be formally laid out in the 2024 Service Plan, which is anticipated for a board vote later in October. In the meantime, initial readiness plans call for a 16 hour service span with constant 10 minute headways across the day using 2-car trains.

The ELSL will also only operate between Redmond Technology Station (serving the Microsoft campus) and South Bellevue Station. Since it does not directly duplicate any existing services, it remains to be seen whether or not Sound Transit will adjust service levels on the 550 or 556 when the starter line opens.

Ridership on the ELSL is forecasted at 6,000 daily boardings. Given the ubiquity of remote work and ample parking along the corridor, I expect ridership to be relatively muted until the I-90 connection is complete and Bel-Red is more fully built out.

Although East Link and the year 2023 have suffered an irreparable divorce, it’s encouraging to see the ELSL come to fruition, thanks to hard work from Sound Transit staff and championing from councilmember Balducci.

Streamlining I-90 commuter service

Prior to the pandemic, I-90 was a major transit commuting corridor, composed of overlapping Metro and Sound Transit routes with an array of different service patterns. The convergence of these routes at both Eastgate and Mercer Island often meant sub-5 minute headways and crush-loaded buses in the peak.

The post-pandemic landscape is far grimmer: the 212 (formerly the workhorse of Eastgate-Seattle peak service) has been curtailed dramatically with only three buses an hour in the peak, the 214, 216, and 217 are due to be discontinued next month, and the 554 runtime is often bogged down by its routing via Rainier. With sudden trip cancellations fueled by the ongoing driver and mechanic shortage added on top, I-90 transit service is a shell of its former self.

Continue reading “Streamlining I-90 commuter service”

Link service returns to normal today

Last night, Sound Transit reported that Link service will finally be restored to regular service starting tomorrow today, May 8th:

CEO Julie Timm had actually broke the news on Saturday, revealing that there was a push to restore service as early as that evening, but with the caveat of further disruptions down the road. Fortunately, Sound Transit found a way to add scaffolding above the ceiling, which will allow completion of repairs while still getting back to regular service on Tuesday today.

The age of the park-and-ride is over

Eastgate P&R of yesteryear / Photo by ECTran71 / Wikimedia Commons

Ever since the advent of commuter express routes, park-and-rides (P&Rs) have been a mainstay in the built environment of the American suburb. You can see why it was an easy proposition to make: after postwar suburbanization but with jobs still in city centers, policymakers needed a way to keep transit viable among white-collar workers. The answer, of course, was what one old professor of mine called “fake density”: the park-and-ride.

Over the last fifty years, P&Rs have taken on different forms. Substantial but overlooked capacity often comes from leasing agreements with churches or other institutions that have low utilization during the work week. But the public is probably most accustomed with the large P&Rs, with multistory garages and thousands of parking spaces, that typically accompany a transit center or rail station.

Continue reading “The age of the park-and-ride is over”

East Link delayed to spring 2025 at earliest

The Sound Transit System Expansion Committee met yesterday and heard the latest briefing on project updates. Of note is East Link’s frustratingly sluggish progress, largely due to poorly built plinths, which now have to be entirely scrapped in the segment between International District and Mercer Island.

Mike Lindblom has more details in the Times:

Kiewit-Hoffman decided in late September, after mortar failures and a forensic investigation, that the best plan is to start over, according to Sound Transit. More than half the plinths were demolished and some rebuilds begun last fall, Deputy CEO Kimberly Farley notified board members in November.

Sound Transit’s latest timetable is to carry light-rail passengers across the lake by spring 2025. Demolition of the original plinths is nearly complete, and the track rebuilds will expand to six work zones this month, staff reported Thursday in an update to the board.

We reported last year that the construction mishaps had already added a full year to the opening. This recent development confirms that that was an overly optimistic estimate. The remaining saving grace for Eastsiders at this juncture is the momentum for a starter line, which may potentially open in 2024.

Construction overruns are typical in these types of projects but this need for a large-scale pre-opening demolition of trackway infrastructure is an abject failure. Increased transparency is a start, but Sound Transit must strengthen the accountability mechanisms it has with its contractors. Riders have already waited long enough as it is and should not tolerate much more of a remaining margin of error.

Transit recovery will not be successful unless the operator deficit is fixed

Photo by Stephen Rees / Flickr

It’s fairly well-established at this point that bus driver shortages nationwide are hampering transit recovery efforts. The problem is particularly acute at Metro, which is currently short over 100 full-time operators. These impacts have bled downstream to affect a substantial number of riders, who often endure cancelled trips and gutted service with insufficient notice.

While I don’t have the inside scoop on how trips get canceled, the staffing deficit means that a slate of scheduled runs are left unpicked by drivers and that any additional call-outs have no extraboard (i.e., spare) operators to fill them. On the rider end, it basically appears that trips are getting indiscriminately canceled with no nod to headways. That’s why there are large gaping holes at some points in the day but not others. Unfortunately, planners and schedulers don’t have a real-time way to make service adjustments on the fly.

Even if not much can be done to fill service gaps, the lack of information is also a major point of irritation. Metro previously highlighted cancelled trips on their published web schedules but no longer does so. It’s possible that there was too much overhead to do this on a daily basis, although Sound Transit manages to continue this practice.

Not having readily available service information ultimately means that riders have to take an extra step of finding out about cancellations, whether through some GTFS-fed app, trip alerts, or the Trip Planner. In my own experience, however, even these sources sometimes conflict with each other.

On the hiring front, boosting pay and offering bonuses is a solution, albeit a partial one. However, significant compensation package changes often have to go to the King County Council, which is lined with its own bureaucracy. Even so, pay alone may not be sufficient incentive to draw in new operators. There are additional exogenous factors that further exacerbate driver morale, like substance abuse and homelessness, which impact perceptions of safety for both riders and operators.

Policies to tackle these issues head-on, like fare enforcement or driver intervention, are controversial and fraught with risk. Nonetheless, I’ve spoken to a number of former riders who no longer feel safe on transit so these points certainly warrant substantive discussion at the leadership level for both Metro and King County.

I’m cognizant of the fact that there are many complex issues at play here, but transit agencies are at serious risk of losing many long-time riders for good. Tackling these head on now will better help lay the foundation for recovery.

Cities can’t rely on employer RTOs to recover

Photo by author

Last week, Amazon announced a three-day return-to-office (RTO), sparking muted fanfare among the downtown business community but backlash from its workers. Starbucks announced a similar policy several weeks back and it remains to be seen what the long-term trend will be for major employers in our region.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the post-pandemic recovery of cities and transit. Pessimists are calling this the death knell of cities as we know it while optimists envision an opportunity to reinvent our whole concept of the city. The one thing obvious to both camps is that a complete return to the pre-pandemic state is a virtual impossibility.

A successful RTO by Amazon and other employers will undoubtedly provide a short-term boost to downtown life and transit ridership. But it would be foolish for cities to hang their hat on RTO mandates. Some companies will go back mostly in-person, some will stick to mostly remote, and the rest will be somewhere in-between. A hybrid world is our most likely future state.

The silver lining is that mass remote work was likely going to happen at some point so it’s not like this is some inconceivable future that no one thought of.  That said, planners would have been graced with a much longer time scale in a pandemic-free world. That benefit has evaporated with the system shock brought on by COVID.

If the pandemic made anything egregiously obvious, it’s that American cities were just built wrong. We often cast this indictment on the suburbs but it holds equally true for downtowns. The idea that we zoned the hearts of our cities to only accommodate a flood of workers within a 10-hour period each weekday seems comical now, but it’s a reality we have to contend with.

Moving forward, there are certainly practical questions, like the viability of converting office space to residential or rightsizing transit investments. But beyond the practicalities, it’s worth looking to our friends in Europe or Asia, where dispersed density has been the model of urbanism for hundreds of years. Even if downtowns will never be the same again, their loss is every other urban neighborhood’s potential gain.

To make Eastside-only East Link work, excellent transfers are needed

Potential transfer point at the 77th Ave SE drop-off lane (photo by author)

Now that it’s much more certain that the entirety of the 2-Line will not open in 2023, Sound Transit has an excellent opportunity to consider still starting Eastside-only service on time: a proposal first publicly voiced by King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci and endorsed by transit geeks across the region.

It’s easy enough to demand that Sound Transit only run trains between Mercer Island and Redmond, but putting it into practice is another thing entirely. I don’t know if ST staff have backup maintenance and operating plans for this exact scenario, but there are very crucial operational considerations that need to be made, particularly for transfers.

Continue reading “To make Eastside-only East Link work, excellent transfers are needed”

Marketplace features Seattle’s transit recovery

Marketplace, an NPR program, ran an exposé on our local transit recovery, featuring yours truly. Although I wouldn’t necessarily dichotomize myself into the choice rider camp (per Jarrett Walker’s analysis on the subject), the segment does a reasonably balanced job highlighting different aspects of transit ridership. I especially appreciated the renewed focus on all-day travel, in particular Link’s recovery:

Local bus systems are adjusting to shifting commuter patterns. Express commuter routes from richer suburbs have been trimmed, and transit managers are trying not to touch routes in lower-income areas.

Ridership on Link is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels… That’s mostly thanks to riders like Cantero hitting up sporting events or restaurants or running errands throughout the day. There are fewer commuters, but more all-day travel.

It’s what gives local transit enthusiasts hope that the region can still be a model for transportation success. There are plans to triple the mileage Link covers in the coming years.

Balducci wants intra-Eastside Link to open on time

Map of East Link / SounderBruce (Flickr)

King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci recently penned an op-ed to the Seattle Times arguing for East Link to meet its commitment of a 2023 opening, but only on the Eastside.

But what if we opened an Eastside-only light rail line connecting Redmond to Bellevue, or even to Mercer Island, in 2023? Could we provide high-quality transit service to thousands of riders while repairs are completed on the rest of the line? In short, we can and should. 

On-time opening of an Eastside-only starter light rail line would honor the preparations that Eastside cities have been making for years, with complementary investments in transportation, trails and transit-oriented land use planning. Bellevue alone is investing more than $230 million to fast-track 12 transportation projects to match the 2023 deadline.

King County has worked tirelessly alongside several cities and communities to make progress on Eastrail, a 42-mile trail that will connect Eastside light rail and businesses like never before. And Bellevue has also partnered with Sound Transit to build up to 500 units of affordable housing with direct access to light rail in the Spring District. Both Redmond and Bellevue have been busy planning for additional transit-oriented development, including affordable housing, at most light rail stations along the East Link Corridor.  

As was previously reported, Link expansions are delayed across the board but the Eastside extension has been pummeled by construction mishaps, pushing service start to 2024 at the earliest. The construction rework is primarily taking place between Seattle and Mercer Island, raising the prospect that the rest of what will be the 2-Line may finish on time.

We’ve always been supportive of early openings when projects are completed ahead of time, and it makes sense that a massive project like East Link stands to benefit from incremental openings. That said, Sound Transit would likely need to draft a thorough maintenance and operations plan, which should consider things like maintenance capabilities at the Bellevue OMF (Operations & Maintenance Facility) and service operations based on intra-Eastside ridership patterns.

Whether the Sound Transit Board will take this up remains to be seen. At minimum, the high-level calls to mitigate frustrating delays is an encouraging sign.

No, we’re not entering a period of “untransit”

ST3 concept map /

Danny Westneat’s latest column in The Seattle Times asks a bold question:

Why are we continuing with the same transit planning — such as for Sound Transit’s future light-rail segments — without factoring that a third or more of the workforce may not be commuting to a downtown core, or commuting at all?

Westneat is knee-jerk reacting to Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to pause work on its Bellevue office expansion: a total of six towers encompassing some 3 million square feet. The implication is that if a corporate behemoth like Amazon can’t be bothered to continue building office towers, then transit – as we know it – might as well be dead:

This sea change, if it continues, may cause cities over time to “untransit” — to unwind their transit-oriented, spoke-and-hub development patterns, Stern predicts. Cities will stop concentrating on building dense housing near transit lines, she wrote, and shift to infrastructure to support remote work (such as municipal broadband, or small “remote work” centers away from the old business core). Cities may adopt more mixed-use zoning everywhere to bring a taste of the old commercial downtown out to residential neighborhoods (where so many are now “going” to work).

I’ll first acknowledge what is true in this assessment. There is already broad consensus in the transit and urbanist community that the new normal for remote work will undoubtedly impact future land use: central business districts will no longer have a regular weekday “swell” of workers. Super-tall office-only skyscrapers are likely a thing of the past. And mixed-use upzoning is undoubtedly on the planning menu for non-CBD neighborhoods.

What I find much more questionable is this notion that “cities will stop concentrating on building dense housing near transit.” I’m not sure there is a planner out there who actually believes this. Regardless how commute patterns change, expanding buildable TOD maximizes the return on transit investment. Housing and transit can never be divorced, whatever remote work world we live in. If anything, it’s the massive suburban park-and-rides at outlying stations that should be converted into developable uses rather than sit empty.

Westneat furthers this line of argument by suggesting that remote work blunts the merits of continued Link expansion. I find this thinking to be bizarre – Link was not and never has been planned to be a commuter-centric system. If you look at a map of ST2 and ST3 extensions, it’s clear that the long-term plan is to connect all the PSRC regional growth centers by either rail or BRT. There’s nothing about the plan that screams commuter-heavy downtown-centricity.

I’ve also previously mentioned that the new remote work normal also means less emphasis on expensive commuter peak-only services and more investment in all-day cross-town routes. Paired with a frequent regional rail network, a system like that would actually be well served by “mixed-use zoning everywhere.”

Transit ridership is slowly recovering

From the Sound Transit ridership dashboard

Last month, Metro reported an average weekday ridership exceeding 200,000 boardings. This is a mark that hasn’t been seen since the pandemic started, with the exception of last October (which typically represents the peak month of ridership in a year). More encouraging is that year-over-year growth is currently sitting at about 40%, which certainly trends with the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Sound Transit has also clawed back much of its lost ridership, sitting just shy of 100,000 daily boardings in April. Central Link ridership is back to a respectable 66,000 boardings, although it’s unreasonable to make comparisons to pre-pandemic levels with the Northgate extension having opened just last Fall.

There’s some discussion about the effect of high gas prices on ridership recovery. From a recent KOMO article:

“If it gets up to like $7 a gallon I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” said Apollo Rising, Seattle driver. “I’m probably gonna use the bus a lot more.”

“We hear it sometimes on social media that people are choosing transit because of the cost,” said Sean Hawks, spokesman for King County Metro. “It’s $2.75 for a bus fare but even less expensive fare if you’re a senior, youth or have a disability or have a lower income.”

Many remember the summer of 2008, when drivers fleeing gas prices helped boost transit ridership to what were then record-levels. My suspicion is that we’re not seeing exactly the same effect now largely since many workers are still working from home.

As I stated last month, crossing arbitrary thresholds can provide feel-good moments but they should not be the barometer we use to gauge system health in a post-pandemic world.

New ST3 International District Station options face stiff resistance

Photo by SolDuc Photography / Flickr

Since Sound Transit released the DEIS for the new West Seattle-Ballard extension, stakeholders have been poring over the findings and submitting their comments. One major group of stakeholders is the Chinatown-International District (CID) neighborhood, which recently came out in full force either against the 5th Avenue alternative or against all options entirely.

Mike Lindblom has a detailed scoop:

Neighborhood advocates insist the station must go a block farther west, under Fourth Avenue South near South King Street, with the highways and sports stadiums. That would lessen the impact on an area that’s been sacrificed for generations to regional construction. 
. . .
But choosing Fourth Avenue possibly creates a traffic nightmare, because builders would demolish and replace the six-lane elevated street. In that scenario, about 15,000 daily car and bus trips, and stadium surge traffic, must be detoured during six years of partial road closures, compared to only 5,000 on Fifth for a 2½-year closure.

Total construction time on Fourth Avenue is estimated at nine to 11 years, a couple of years longer than Fifth.

It’s important to remember that while Sound Transit has not yet identified a preferred alternative for this segment, it finds itself in the usual quagmire of picking and choosing between neighborhood impacts, ridership, and cost. The 5th Avenue option certainly has superior neighborhood and transfer access, but construction would come at a great cost to the CID.

Back in April, Seattle Subway endorsed an even-shallower version of the 4th Avenue shallow option (CID-1a). Their proposal would effectively be at-grade, flush with the BNSF tracks and the 4th Avenue viaduct rebuilt over it. It’s not clear how compatible this super-shallow option would be with the deep Midtown Station profiles that are currently on the table.

While not without its own problems, a 4th Avenue alternative does open creative possibilities for re-doing the entire King Street Station-IDS hub, which is currently a patchwork of office buildings, limited walkways, and pedestrian-unfriendly 4th Avenue. A lid over the BNSF/Sounder tracks and repurposing Union Station are some of the ideas worth considering.

Link work to impact service through early next year

Peter Lewis / Flickr

Sound Transit is marketing a slate of service impacts from 2-Line (East Link) construction and 1-Line maintenance as a “Future Ready” program. Starting next month and stretching into Q1 of 2023, existing 1-Line service will undergo intermittent periods of reduced longer headways and shuttle service. From the press release:

Time periodsTravel impact
Monday, July 11 to Sunday, July 24Monday, Aug. 22 to Sunday, Sept. 4In order to replace tile at the Columbia City Station, train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes in each direction during all operating hours during the closure of one track, requiring all trains to use a single track between Mount Baker and Tukwila.
Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23Friday, Nov. 11 to Sunday, Nov. 13As a result of work on the overhead catenary system in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT), train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes in each direction until 11 p.m. From 11 p.m. until end of revenue service, a Link bus shuttle will be available to connect passengers between Capitol Hill Station and SODO Station.
A period of five days in late Q3 2022In order to repair and replace the overhead catenary system, Link will be shut down between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd. stations with a Link bus shuttle connecting passengers between these two stations.
A period of at least three weeks in Q4 2022Trains will be single tracked through the DSTT and train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes.
Q1 2023This work is needed to complete connections between the current 1-Line service and new 2-Line tracks that will link riders to the Eastside. Impacts are still to be determined.

Some of the work is par-for-the-course as it concerns completing connections to the 2-Line, which will branch off of the main trunk south of International District Station. Some other work is a bit more puzzling: the replacement of platform tiles at Columbia City, for example, demands a closer look as to whether this was a contractor misstep or some other root cause.

While this is all happening, Sound Transit is also continuing to work on escalator replacement in the DSTT. This is a long time coming and a big source of consternation, as our friends at The Urbanist point out.

A new cross-border service starting June 2nd

Photo from FlixBus Facebook

[UPDATE: Service details added below]

With Cascades service between Seattle and Vancouver out for most of the remainder of 2022, cross-border travelers between the cities will have a new option in FlixBus. The German-based intercity carrier is launching a new Seattle-Vancouver route, slated to begin service this Thursday, June 2nd.

The suspension of Cascades service along with the folding of BoltBus last year has proven to be a double whammy for anyone hoping to get between Canada and the U.S. via transit. With COVID restrictions continuing to have latent impacts at the border, it remains to be seen how quickly cross-border intercity transit can recover. The Seattle-Vancouver service will be FlixBus’s second cross-border route, after the NYC-Toronto and Buffalo-Toronto routes, which only just launched this month. Service details below:

FlixBus’ first cross-border routes between Seattle and Vancouver will run 5 days per week in each direction on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, and will also include stops in Everett and Bellingham, Washington. 

Vancouver-bound buses will leave Seattle (6th Avenue and S. Lane Street) at 7:30 a.m. with stops in Everett and Bellingham, crossing the U.S.-Canada border and stopping at Pacific Central Station and Richards Street-Waterfront Station between 11:30-11:40 a.m.  

Buses heading to Seattle will leave Richards Street-Waterfront Station at 12:45 p.m. with stops at Pacific Central Station, Bellingham and Everett before arriving in Seattle by 3:55 p.m.