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Another new normal. Another new chapter. 7 buses make their final ascent to surface streets.

Image by Wyatt Olson via

Another new normal. Another new chapter.


Tonight, we bid our final farewell as the buses exit stage left and right of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel platform.

By the time most of you wake up on Saturday morning (3.23.19), seven bus routes will have made their permanent ascent from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) to Seattle’s surface streets. Another new normal, another new chapter for our growing city as we make changes to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion.


We’ve prioritized transit by streamlining and improving transit operations.


With these additional buses operating on downtown streets, we’ve partnered with King County Metro to streamline and improve transit operations as we continue to squeeze some more, #SeattleSqueeze. Here’s what we’ve delivered and what it means for you:


N E W !

We expanded Third Ave bus-only hours.



We expanded the bus-only hours on Third Ave from Stewart St to just south of Yesler Way. This means for seven days a week, from 6 AM in the morning to 7 PM at night, Third Ave is reserved for buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians.


N E W !

We installed ORCA transit card readers & real-time bus arrival signs.



New ORCA transit card readers and real-time bus arrival signs are at every single stop on Third Ave between Yesler and Denny. This means starting on March 23, you’ll be able to tap your ORCA transit card prior to boarding the bus to speed up your bus on-boarding.

Permanent off-board fare readers are already installed at 21 of the corridor’s 31 bus stops, and installation at the remaining ten stops is scheduled April through December 2019. Until permanent equipment is installed, transit operators will serve as ORCA boarding assistants and will scan riders’ ORCA cards using handheld fare readers at ten stops during weekday commutes between about 3 – 7 PM, the busiest period for boarding on Third.


N E W !

Peak-only bus pathways on 5th & 6th avenues.



To keep transit moving reliably, we installed a new bus pathway on 5th and 6th avenues to serve as a PM peak-only bus lane to help buses move travelers north. These buses are traveling to northeast Seattle and the Eastside, and we’re thrilled to be providing a quick and reliable commute for these travelers, as well as working with Metro to make sure our other downtown streets are clear for transit.

The King County Metro routes that will use the pathway include 74, 76, 77, 252, 255, 257, 301, 308, 311, and 316.


If you ride one of these buses, your bus route has changed. 


If you ride one of these routes: 41, 74, 76, 77, 101, 102, 150, 252, 255, 257, 301, 308, 311, 316, 550, you will now get on and off at the new bus stops downtown.


NEW MAP: Bus stops on 2nd to 6th avenues.


Adjusting and prioritizing transit is a key way to making sure people can keep moving reliably and affordably throughout Seattle. We really appreciate our partners at King County Metro for their collaboration and hard work with us to make these critical transit improvements.


And finally, thank you, again and again, Seattle, for adjusting with us as we grow together as one of the best cities of the world!


#SeattleSqueeze, Seattle’s new normal.


Over the next five years, Seattle’s downtown will be in a state of transition to meet the needs of our growing city and region – #SeattleSqueeze. We’re making changes to our city and to our regional transportation system and help people get where they need to go safely and efficiently. New mobility projects are being developed and constructed to connect communities to downtown with fast, regular service and to create the public spaces our growing region needs.

For more information, tools, and resources on  #SeattleSqueeze, please visit our website!