“RapidRide is a cost-effective complement to light rail – and these two new lines deliver on the promise of Transit Now, with up to 4 million rides a year to jobs, shopping, and recreation,” said Executive Constantine, who sent his proposed ordinance to the Metropolitan King County Council.
The F Line in South King County will travel from the Burien Transit Center – via SeaTac and Tukwila – to downtown Renton, with a possible future extension to in North Renton. It will stop at both the Link light rail and Sounder train stations in Tukwila, plus connect workers to jobs at Sea-Tac Airport, Boeing worksites, and the Southcenter retail area.
Last August, Rep. Dave Reichert paid a visit to Renton in support of the F Line before a RapidRide tour and talk in Bellevue later that day. He was joined by Renton Mayor Denis Law, Bellevue Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee and Sound Transit officials.
The King County Metropolitan Council is also in strong support of the F Line.
“Implementation of the F Line is more than just moving people from one place to another,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “This east-west connection is about creating more opportunity for people to access jobs, services and shopping in South King County. With links to Link light rail and the Sounder, people of South County will have access to mobility options like never before.”
The City of Renton hosted an Open House for the F Line at City Hall in late January of this year. Many attendees expressed interest in extending the F Line from downtown Renton to The Landing.
The E Line will run the length of Aurora Boulevard from Shoreline to downtown Seattle. It will offer frequent service to the busy Aurora Village Transit Center, and provide key connections for residents who live east and west of Aurora.
“As a regular rider on Metro bus Route 41, I know how important fast, reliable bus service is for getting where you need to go,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, whose council district includes north Seattle and Shoreline. “Adding RapidRide service from Shoreline to downtown on the Aurora corridor will improve transit mobility along one of the region’s most heavily used bus corridors, helping people get to work, school, and home.”
“RapidRide E Line serves one of the most popular transit corridors in Metro’s system and RapidRide F Line connects bus riders to light rail and commuter rail,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Environment, and Economy Committee, and representative of communities served by the E Line. “Increasing speed, reliability, and safety through RapidRide will improve the commutes of current riders and attract new transit riders.”
RapidRide is a different type of Metro service that features high-frequency service, off-board fare payment, and systems that integrate the buses with traffic signals and signage. It adds up to a more efficient and effective transit system. RapidRide also has distinctive red-and-yellow buses are energy efficient, low-emission hybrid vehicles with low floors and three doors for easier, faster boarding.
“I’m very excited to see RapidRide expand to more areas of the county,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott. “It's popular because it lives up to its name – it’s a rapid ride!”
Since RapidRide debuted in 2009, Metro has seen significant ridership growth in those corridors compared to the regular bus routes they replaced. Similar ridership gains are expected for the C and D lines that debut this September in Ballard/Uptown and West Seattle, and again when the E and F lines start up.
The proposed ordinance is scheduled for hearing at the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee in mid-July.
The F Line may serve Renton as early as 2013.