RapidRide is coming to Renton.
The Metropolitan King County Council unanimous approved the proposed alignments and stations for Metro Transit’s two newest RapidRide lines that will begin operating in the fall of 2013. One of the two routes will travel between Burien and Renton. The second route will travel between Shoreline and downtown Seattle.
Under the current agreement and funding capacity, the F line will stop at the Renton Transit Center before returning to Burien; however there is a proposed extension from the Transit Center to The Landing that is currently unfunded (more details are below).
The F Line will offer a 10-mile connection between the Burien and Renton transit centers, serving major employment, commercial and retail centers in Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila and Renton. The F Line will replace Metro Route 140 between the Burien Transit Center and the Tukwila Sounder Station, following the current Route 140 routing along South 156th Street, the Tukwila International Boulevard Link Station, Southcenter Boulevard, Westfield Mall and the surrounding commercial area.
“People have been waiting years for more transit service like this in South King County,” said Council member Julia Patterson, a prime sponsor of the legislation and representative of the communities along the F Line.
“This connection will provide an increase in east-west transit service for communities all along this route, providing options to important economic and job centers, like Southcenter, which is so desperately needed in South County.”
RapidRide's distinctive red-and-yellow buses are energy efficient, low-emission hybrid vehicles that run 19 hours a day seven days a week and arrive at least every 10 minutes during the weekday morning and evening commute. These new lines have buses with have low floors and three doors, so people can get on and off quickly.
The overall travel time savings for riders on the RapidRide E and F Lines will be 7 to 10 minutes, according to a statement from King Count. The improved travel time is a result of the additional doors, signal priory for transit at intersections and in-lane stops, Business Access Transit (“BAT”) lanes, and consolidated stops.
At the highest ridership stops, RapidRide stations will be installed, which feature a shelter, benches, bicycle racks, electronic signs indicating how soon the next bus will arrive, and an ORCA card reader so riders can “tap on” before the bus arrives and enter through any of the RapidRide bus’ three doors.
RapidRide was implemented in 2010 with the arrival of the A Line on Pacific Highway South between Federal Way and Tukwila International Boulevard Link Light Rail Station It was joined in 2011 by the B Line connecting downtown Bellevue with downtown Redmond via Overlake and Crossroads. The twin centerpieces of the Fall 2012 service change will be the September 29 launch of RapidRide Line C, connecting West Seattle and downtown Seattle, and Line D, connecting Ballard with downtown Seattle.
Potential North Renton Extension Explained By King County Metro:
At the request of the City of Renton, King County Metro has explored extending the F Line 1.75 miles to The Landing a mixed use development in North Renton. This extension would serve additional Boeing Company worksites in North Renton, including the 737 assembly plant. The preferred extension alignment to the Landing is via Logan Avenue and Garden Avenue North to a terminal on North 10th Street between Garden and Park Avenue North. The return routing is via Park Avenue North to Logan Avenue. The North Renton extension would include a single RapidRide station on North 10th Street at Park Avenue North. In addition to the RapidRide station, three intermediate stops would be located along the extension.
The extension to North Renton adds eight to 10 minutes to the F Line's running time and is not budgeted. Additional operating funds or restructure and reinvestment of Metro’s Renton-area bus routes are needed to extend the F Line to North Renton.
Until additional resources or service restructure options are identified, the F Line will operate between the Burien and Renton transit centers as originally planned. Metro will design infrastructure and facilities along the North Renton extension and will plan for the construction and implementation of the infrastructure and facilities when additional operating funds become available or service restructure options are identified.
Editor's Note: Information provided by the King County Council and King County Metro.