We have been allocated (and as of August 9, awarded!) almost $60 million from the Federal Transit Administration for the Madison Bus Rapid Transit – RapidRide G Line Project!

RapidRide in pre-pandemic days. Photo credit: SDOT Flickr

We’re proud to share that we’ve reached a major funding milestone! The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has now allocated (and as of August 9, 2021, awarded!) $59.9 million in funding from the Small Starts Program to the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – RapidRide G Line project for construction.  

As of August 9, 2021, it’s official! $59.9 million in funding has officially been awarded to SDOT for the Madison BRT – RapidRide G Line project.

Read the press release from Mayor Jenny Durkan. (April 5, 2021)

Read the press release from the FTA. (April 5, 2021)

Read the press release from Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray. (April 5, 2021)

The Madison BRT – RapidRide G Line will create a faster, more frequent, and safer public transportation line between 1stAve downtown and Martin Luther King Jr Way in Madison Valley. The route will serve dense neighborhoods in downtown Seattle, First Hill, Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley. It will connect people to hospitals, schools and universities, and businesses as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal. This project is a partnership between the City of Seattle and King County Metro. King County Metro will operate bus service on Madison St as the RapidRide G Line. 

This funding allocation builds on years of work with the Federal Transit Administration to meet the rigorous readiness requirements for the Small Starts Grant.  

Project features map
The map above shows the future RapidRide G Line stretching from 1st Ave downtown to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Madison Valley. Click here for the pdf. 

The Small Starts Grant is anything but small! This $59.9 million will cover about 45% of the total Madison BRT – RapidRide G Line project cost. Thanks to your Levy to Move Seattle tax dollars and Capital Improvement Program agreements with Sound Transit, we’ve been allocated the funding necessary to take next steps and, if all goes to plan, start construction this year. 

Thank you! This project would not be possible without the support of Seattle voters who passed the Levy to Move Seattle. The RapidRide G Line is one of many major transit investments the Levy is delivering to create a more connected city, along with other major transit investments like the RapidRide H Line on Delridge Way SW, RapidRide J Line along Roosevelt and Eastlake avenues, and other Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridors throughout Seattle.  

Ultimately, the RapidRide G Line will make taking the bus faster, more reliable, and easier to get to. The project includes sidewalk improvements, curb ramps, new crossing signals, and curb bulbs (extended sidewalk corners) that make people walking and rolling more visible, comfortable, and safe as they get to and from bus stops. 

Madison BRT design renderings at the Central Library; Madison and Terry; Madison and 12th; and Madison and John
Above are renderings of the Madison BRT – RapidRide G Line at different locations along the route.

Clockwise starting from top left: 
Central Library: Rendering at Central Library shows a station shelter, real time arrival info, station platform at the same level as the bus, and bus lane. 
Madison & Terry: Rendering at Madison and Terry shows a center running station, pedestrian refuge (protected space in the middle of the street), center running bus lanes, new curb ramps, landscaping, station shelters, and real time arrival info. 
Madison and 12th: Rendering at Madison and 12th Ave shows a center running station, new curb ramps, pedestrian refuge (protected space to wait in the middle of the street), bus lanes, landscaping, and new curb ramps. 
Madison & John: Rendering at Madison and E John St shows a station platform level with the bus, bus only lane, new curb ramp, yellow tactile strip for people with vision impairments, station shelter, and real time arrival info. 

Now that funding has been allocated, the next step is for the Federal Transit Administration to execute the grant agreement with SDOT. After the grant is executed and a contractor is on board, we’ll be able to start construction. If all goes as planned, we expect construction to start this fall and you can hop on a RapidRide G Line bus in 2024! 

“While Seattle builds the best transit and transportation infrastructure in the country, support from our federal partners has become even more critical,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “After unfortunate delays by the last administration, Senator Murray, Secretary Buttigieg, and the federal delegation have prioritized projects that are good for Seattle, good for jobs, and good for transit. Senator Murray has been relentless to support this critical project and other City and regional priorities. As we deal with the effects of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to invest in a transportation system that gets our frontline workers, historically underserved communities and communities of color where they need to go quickly and reliably.”  

“This good news will help ensure frequent, high-quality transit service the full length of the busy Madison corridor – from Downtown Seattle and First Hill, to the Madison Valley and Lake Washington,” said County Executive Dow Constantine. “The future G line will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, take cars off the road, and expand opportunity through safe, accessible, and reliable service.” 

“Seattle supports transit and our federal partners funding bus service on the Madison corridor is an affirmation that we are on the right track,” said Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis. “We are excited to create a fast, frequent bus line connecting the dense neighborhoods of District 7 to Capitol Hill and Madison Valley reducing congestion and our carbon footprint.” 

“Sound Transit was proud to commit $35.8 million in Sound Transit 3 funds to this partnership with the City of Seattle and the Federal Transit Administration,” said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff. “The Madison Bus Rapid Transit project will provide a fast and efficient connection to the Link Light Rail system at the same time as we are expanding the system to the North, South and East.” 

“Despite the challenges of a global pandemic and recession our transportation agencies continue to deliver excellent projects to the people who depend on transit,” said Transportation Choices Coalition Executive Director Alex Hudson. “The Madison Bus Rapid Transit line gives people in these dense and growing neighborhoods choices when they travel. These are safe, efficient, and affordable choices that together will support healthy and connected communities.”  

“I know so many friends who move to Capitol Hill so they don’t have to drive to work and they need fast public transportation,” Pony Bar owner Mark Stoner. “The Madison Bus Rapid Transit line is going to make it easier to get to work on time and to pop back home without slogging through rush hour gridlock. Plus, when you’re meeting your friends out for a drink on Capitol Hill after work, nobody wants to be late for happy hour!”  

“Strong partnerships help us deliver tangible results for communities,” said SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe. “We thank the Federal Transit Administration for allocating critical funding to this project. The Madison Bus Rapid Transit line will be transformational; it will connect people and places efficiently, safely, and reliably. This is a clear example of Seattle voters’ Levy investment working hard to provide transportation choices in our community. Together, we’re working to ensure people can get to where they work and live and have access to the important services they need.”  

“This is funding that allows us to continue to grow our regional mobility system and support this vital East-West corridor,” said King County Metro Deputy General Manager Michelle Allison. “I look forward to our continued partnership with the city of Seattle in expanding mobility for the communities we serve.” 

The Levy to Move Seattle Logo, which reads: This project is funded in part of in full by the 2015 voter-approved 9-year $930 million Levy to Move Seattle. The Levy provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for our growing city. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle. On the right, the Levy to Move Seattle logo has the words "The Levy to Move Seattle: Your tax dollars at work" and icons representing" Seattle streetcar, a truck a bus, a car, a bike, and a person walking.