Bus routes using I-90 to change in September due to East Link construction; riders encouraged to plan ahead

Publish Date

Sound Transit and King County Metro begin public outreach to educate riders about upcoming changes

Sound Transit and King County Metro today kicked off a month of public outreach to inform Eastside bus commuters and people who ride buses that stop at the Rainier Freeway Station about changes to their routes starting September 2018 as a result of East Link construction. Opportunities to learn about the changes include an online open house and in-person drop-in sessions throughout the month of January.

Current Rainier Freeway Station bus stops are located over Rainier Avenue alongside I-90 in each direction. Buses pull to the side to serve the stops and then continue along I-90 without having to exit the freeway. These stops will be closed as part of the construction of the East Link light rail extension, and will become the Judkins Park Station when East Link begins operating in 2023. During construction the following routes will be affected:

  • Sound Transit routes 550 and 554
  • King County Metro routes 111, 114, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218 and 219

While these routes will continue to serve downtown Seattle, they will either bypass the Rainer Freeway Station or serve stops at different locations on Rainier Avenue. Routes that serve Rainier Avenue from the Eastside will exit I-90 at Rainier, and continue downtown via surface streets. There will be no changes to bus routing on the Eastside.

Riders are encouraged to learn about changes to their routes early and to plan ahead for impacts to their routines. Details are available through the online open house at https://i90servicechanges.participate.online/.

Additionally, drop-in sessions are scheduled at the Issaquah Transit Center on Jan. 18; the Bellevue Transit Center on Jan. 23; and the Rainier Freeway station on Jan. 25. All drop-in sessions run from 3:30 – 7 p.m. Sound Transit and King County Metro representatives will be available to provide information and answer questions. Details about these sessions are available on the open house website.

Sound Transit is simultaneously working to extend light rail northward, southward and eastward, opening new stations every few years to form a 116-mile regional system by 2041. Other upcoming transit expansions include the 2024 launch of bus rapid transit on I-405 and SR-522, major expansions to Sounder south line service that include longer platforms and trains, and service extensions to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and DuPont.

Information on upcoming Sound Transit system expansions is available at https://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/system-expansion.