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Transit agencies working together on bus changes as Link expands to Husky Stadium

Extending Link service to the UW is an example of how investments in light rail and better coordination by local transit agencies are moving the region forward. Public meetings are planned for March, while Seattle street improvements are underway, and downtown Seattle bus tunnel changes take effect in September.

Station Entrance rendering.

Station Entrance rendering.

Please follow the link for the Fall 2015 Changes for U-Link Testing:


The region is preparing for Sound Transit’s launch of Link light rail service to the University of Washington in 2016, and key efforts are underway by King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit, and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to improve bus service and keep traffic moving in downtown Seattle during the transition.


Public meetings March 19, 25, and 26

The transit agencies have three public meetings scheduled in March seeking input on bus route changes that could happen in March 2016. Sound Transit Link light rail begins service between downtown Seattle and UW Station in the first quarter of 2016.

Public meetings are planned March 12, 19, and 26, where riders can speak with Metro and Sound Transit staff about how they might use transit once Link opens to Capitol Hill and UW stations.

Concepts are available online, showing how bus service could be more concentrated on key corridors, as well as a survey to gather rider feedback.

  • March 19, 6-8 p.m. at Seattle University (room TBD)
  • March 25, 6-8 p.m. at Bellevue City Hall
  • March 26, 6-8 p.m. at University Heights Center


Downtown Seattle tunnel bus changes in September 

This fall, Sound Transit begins testing light rail train operations between downtown Seattle and UW Station, increasing the number of trains operating in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Trains will run every six minutes during rush hours and every 10-15 minutes in the afternoon and evenings. As a result, six Metro peak service bus routes—routes 76, 77, 216, 218, 219, and 316—are scheduled to be redirected to surface street bus stops starting Sept. 26, 2015.

The move to redirect 89 weekday bus trips to stops on Seattle streets makes room for additional trains in the tunnel while maintaining all-day service for routes that currently serve the tunnel—routes 41, 71, 72, 73, 74, 255, 101, 102, 106, 150, 550. The tunnel currently carries 1,187 bus trips each weekday in addition to Central Link light rail service.

With nearly six years’ experience jointly operating buses and trains in the Downtown Transit Tunnel, these periodic adjustments in the number of buses using the facility will continue to evolve as Link expands.

Seattle street improvements underway

As that handful of tunnel bus routes shifts to surface streets, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Metro, and Sound Transit are coordinating surface street improvements to keep transit and general traffic moving along key city corridors.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is lead on making these improvements, which provide transit priority and help better manage the downtown transportation network. Together, these coordinated improvements will help improve transit reliability during upcoming changes to transit service.

These SDOT street improvements are essential to accomodating more surface bus transit as Sound Transit tunnel testing and Link expansion increases the people-carrying capacity of the tunnel.

To keep traffic, buses, and the state’s economic hub moving, five agencies—SDOT, King County, Sound Transit, Community Transit, and Washington State Department of Transportation—are jointly coordinating transit, intersection, and roadway improvements in downtown Seattle as the Puget Sound area takes major steps to extending Link light rail service and makes other changes to the regional transportation network.

For more information, contact:

Bruce Gray, Sound Transit,, 206-398-5069

Marybeth Turner, Seattle DOT,, 206-684-8548

Jeff Switzer, Metro Transit,, 206-477-3833