LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Celebrating more accessible, reliable transit, thanks to you and our many partners 

A King County Metro bus celebrating Pride Month 2021. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

Ride Transit Month is a reason to celebrate every June! Over the past few years, we have made big investments in Seattle transit. This is possible because you said “yes!” to the Levy to Move Seattle and Seattle Transit Measure. 

Levy to Move Seattle: Approved by voters in November 2015, the 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city. The Levy provides about 30% of the City’s transportation budget. 

Seattle Transit Measure: Eighty percent of Seattle voters passed the Seattle Transit Measure in 2020, which provides better transit service and access in Seattle. Through a 0.15% sales tax (the equivalent of 15 cents on a $100 purchase) you are directly supporting transit access and COVID recovery in your community. 

Here’s what we’ve recently done together. 

We rebuilt the Fairview Ave N Bridge, which will support the future RapidRide J Line. 

The new Fairview Ave N Bridge viewed from above. Photo Credit: Rory Cameron of Perteet. 
The new Fairview Ave N Bridge. Photo Credit: Rory Cameron of Perteet. 

The King County Metro Rapid Ride J Line will connect people to thousands of jobs in several of Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhoods including Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and the University District.  


We made it easier for people to get to the three new Link light rail stations that opened in October 2021. This includes the new John Lewis Memorial Bridge, which connects people to the Northgate Station. 

The John Lewis Memorial Bridge and Northgate Link light rail station. Photo Credit: Tim Durkan. 
The John Lewis Memorial Bridge and Northgate Link light rail station. Photo Credit: Tim Durkan. 

The John Lewis Memorial Bridge creates new, safe routes for people biking, walking, rolling, and taking transit in Northgate. Since three new light rail stations opened in early-October 2021, we’ve seen thousands of people use the expanded transit options and connections in North Seattle and beyond.   


We invested in Delridge Way SW to support existing bus routes and the future Delridge RapidRide H Line. 

Two people board the bus at a new RapidRide-style bus stop along Delridge Way SW. Photo: SDOT 
Two people board the bus at a new RapidRide-style bus stop along Delridge Way SW. Photo Credit: SDOT.

As you travel along Delridge Way SW, you will see new bus lanes to support the future King County Metro (Metro) RapidRide H Line between South Lake Union and Burien, repaved streets, landscaped medians, a new protected bike lane, safer crosswalks, public art, and more. 


We made over 200 transit spot improvements throughout the city to make taking transit easier, safer, and more reliable. 

These include expanding bus waiting areas, adding concrete pads to make it smoother to get on or off the bus, and giving buses a head-start through traffic signals. 

Recently we filled in tree pits at a 5th Ave bus stop in downtown Seattle with a material called “flexipave” to reduce tripping hazards. Photo Credit: SDOT. 


We completed sidewalk and roadway improvements, new paving, and signal, crossing, and transit improvements as part of the non-trail related Market Phase of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor project. 

Improvements to a transit stop in Ballard as part of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor Project. 
Improvements to a transit stop in Ballard as part of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor Project. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

The Seattle Transit Measure helped us further expand transit service across town, especially for those who rely on transit the most. 

Our transportation access programs enable thousands more people to take transit for a free or reduced cost.  

  • The ORCA Recovery Program provides free, unlimited ORCA cards for over 2,000 restaurant and grocery store workers in Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District, Rainier Beach, and Othello. 
  • The ORCA Opportunity Program provides free, unlimited ORCA cards to thousands of Seattle students, Seattle Promise scholar, and Seattle Housing Authority residents. 

Also in 2021, we funded over 3,200 weekly transit trips on Metro routes, including on major bus routes to help people get around during the West Seattle Bridge closure. We also improved bus stops, shortened transit travel times, improved bus reliability on 14 routes, and supported the West Seattle – Flip Your Trip campaign to encourage people to use alternatives to driving alone. Read more in our annual report on the Seattle Transit Measure. 


The Seattle Streetcar continues to provide frequent, high-capacity transit service and help Seattle reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals. 

New yellow tuff posts serve as a barrier between the First Hill Streetcar and vehicle traffic on the First Hill Streetcar line. 
New yellow tuff posts serve as a barrier between the First Hill Streetcar and vehicle traffic on the First Hill Streetcar line. Photo Credit: SDOT.

The South Lake Union Streetcar line connects South Lake Union and Westlake, and the First Hill Streetcar line connects Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square, and to the King Street and Colman Dock transportation hubs.  

In 2021, we funded almost 830,000 streetcar trips in partnership with Metro. Some of our transit spot improvements support the Streetcar, too! To improve safety and reliability along both lines, we made improvements like the ones shown in the picture above: adding tuff posts, re-configuring the roadway near streetcar tracks, and adding a signal and connection to the protected bike lane at Broadway and E Denny Way to reduce streetcar and bicycle conflicts. 


There’s more on the way! Read on to see some of what’s ahead in the world of transit in Seattle over the next few years. 

Before (left) and after (right) installation of bus-only lanes as part of our work to improve Route 44. Photo Credit: SDOT. 
Before (left) and after (right) installation of bus-only lanes as part of our work to improve Route 44. Photo Credit: SDOT. 
  • Transitioning to free youth fares across the region. After the ‘Move Ahead Washington’ transportation package was passed by the Washington State Legislature in early 2022, many transit agencies throughout the region are planning to implement free fares for all riders 18 or younger. We are working with our transit partners to ensure a smooth transition from the ORCA Opportunity program to this new model. 
  • On routes 7 (Rainier Beach to Downtown), 40 (Northgate to Downtown), 44 (Ballard to University District), 48 (Mt Baker to University District), we will make taking transit easier, more reliable, and more accessible with improvements like bus-only lanes, signal upgrades to reduce bus waiting times, intersection changes to help people access transit safely, and more. Construction is already underway on Route 7 and Route 44
  • The Madison – RapidRide G Line will create a frequent and reliable public transportation line to serve neighborhoods from downtown to Madison Valley. It will connect people to hospitals, schools and universities, and businesses as well as to dozens of bus routes, the Streetcar, the King County Water Taxi, and ferry service. 

Thank you, Seattle, for making these improvements possible so more people can access frequent, reliable transit.