Bus improvements make it easier to use light rail

Publish Date

Feb. 6 changes improve transit connectivity and efficiency

Changes to King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit bus services starting Feb. 6 will make it easier for riders to access new Link light rail.

Four Southeast Seattle Metro routes that connect with Link will run more frequently. Routes serving light rail stations at Tukwila and Sea-Tac Airport are being revised. Because the airport is now served by light rail, Metro will discontinue Route 194 and shift resources to other routes. Expanded ST Express bus service will replace the portion of Route 194 between SeaTac and Federal Way.

Fast, reliable Link trains run every 7.5 minutes during peak times, every 10 minutes during the midday and evening, and every 15 minutes before 6 a.m. and after 10 p.m. These improved bus connections help more riders access light rail with transit hub stations that let riders move easily to and from buses.

Virtually any bus that passes through the downtown Seattle core already offers easy connections to or from Link. Most of the new changes improve access to light rail in Beacon Hill, the Rainier Valley, Tukwila and SeaTac.

Bus connections available from Link stations

Link station

Bus service by route (as of 2-06-10)

Beacon Hill Station

Metro 36, 38 & 60

Mt. Baker Station (Buses at Mt Baker Transit Center, across
Rainier Avenue just east of the Link station)

Metro 7, 7 Express, 8, 9, 14,
34 Express, 38, 42 & 48

Columbia City Station

Metro 8, 39 & 42

Othello Station

Metro 8, 36 & 39

Rainier Beach Station

Metro 8, 9, 106 & 107

Tukwila/International Boulevard Station

Metro 124, 140, 128, 129 & 174

SeaTac/Airport Station

Metro 156, 174, 180
and ST Express 574

Details about new Metro bus improvements

More frequent service on four Southeast Seattle Metro routes that connect with Link

Metro service on routes 8, 9, 36 and 60 in Southeast Seattle will run more often, further improving connections to light rail.

  • Metro Route 8, connecting the Rainier Valley, Madison Valley, Capitol Hill and Lower Queen Anne: service every 15 minutes weekdays from about 4:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, service every 15 minutes from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Metro Route 9, connecting the Rainier Valley, First Hill and Capitol Hill: service every 30 minutes weekdays from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Southbound service extended by one hour to about 7:30 p.m.
  • Metro Route 36, connecting Rainier Valley's Othello Station with Beacon Hill and downtown Seattle: service every 10 minutes on Saturday from about 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Metro Route 60, connecting Georgetown, Beacon Hill, First Hill and Capitol Hill: service every 15 to 20 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

Two more Metro routes serving Tukwila International Boulevard Station

  • Metro Route 140, connecting Renton, Tukwila and Burien: faster, more streamlined route will connect with Link at Tukwila International Boulevard Station. Weekday daytime service every 15 minutes between Link trains and Southcenter Mall; service every 30 minutes after 7 p.m. The portion of Route 140 serving McMicken Heights replaced by new Metro Route 156, operating between Southcenter and SeaTac/Airport Link station.
  • Metro Route 128, connecting Southcenter, White Center and West Seattle: will serve Tukwila International Boulevard Link station.

Two more Metro routes serving new SeaTac/Airport Link Station

  • Metro Route 180, connecting Burien, SeaTac, Kent and Auburn: will serve SeaTac/Airport light rail station rather than bus bays inside airport terminal. Weekday service between Kent and Burien will be extended until about 7 p.m.
  • Metro Route 156: will connect Southcenter and McMicken Heights to SeaTac/Airport Link station.

Metro Route 194 replaced by Link light rail and expanded ST Express service

  • New Link light rail service to the airport allows King County Metro to redeploy service on Route 194 to other areas of southeast Seattle and southwest King County.
  • ST Express Routes 577 and 578 (serving Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn and Federal Way) will provide new options for riders to and from downtown Seattle. Routes 577/578 will operate non-stop between Federal Way and Seattle, reducing travel time by 15-20 minutes compared with Route 194.
  • ST Express Route 574 (connecting Lakewood, Tacoma, Federal Way, Kent and SeaTac) will feature expanded service, running every 30 minutes on weekday mornings and every 15 minutes southbound between SeaTac and Federal Way between noon and 3 p.m.
  • Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) cards that carry a Metro-only designation are being honored on Link so those passengers won't be inconvenienced by these changes.
  • Five more Metro routes will now use the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, which offers greater reliability for passenger trips.

By far the best way to transfer between Metro and Sound Transit services is with an ORCA smart card, available without a fee through February. Sound Transit does not issue or accept paper transfer slips, and Metro transfer slips are only good on Metro services. ORCA automatically credits a rider's first fare for subsequent trips made within two hours on any of the region's six public transit agencies. Riders can load funds into an ORCA card's e-purse or buy passes good for unlimited trips. Information is available at www.orcacard.com.

Sound Transit and Metro update bus routes and scheduling three times each year to improve service and meet the changing needs of transit customers. Full information is available at www.soundtransit.org and www.kingcounty.gov/metro. To find trips that reflect the service changes, enter a travel date of Feb. 6 or later on the Regional Trip Planner.