Changes coming to ST Express routes this March

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Sound Transit is changing several routes of its ST Express bus service that will increase the agency’s ability to operate service reliably when construction projects close some transit facilities to buses this year and help to optimize service in the face of increasing regional congestion. The first of two service changes will take effect in March and the second will be in September. 

Sound Transit continually monitors performance and identifies routes or trips that do not meet standards or that need additional investment, ensuring that resources are being used efficiently. Sound Transit analyzes all routes as part of its annual Service Implementation Plan (SIP). 

The conversion of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) to rail-only operations and the closure of the Montlake Freeway station this June for construction of WSDOT’s “Rest of the West” Project are two construction projects driving many of the following proposed changes in the first half of 2019. Other changes aim to improve regional transit integration and use resources more efficiently: 

  • Route 513 extends to Seaway Transit Center and will continue to serve Evergreen Way via a new stop at Casino Rd.
  • Route 550 will move to surface streets in downtown Seattle because of the shift to rail-only operations in the DSTT. Rail-only operations in the tunnel will increase Link light rail reliability.
  • Route 555 will operate only between Northgate and Bellevue, and will no longer serve the lower ridership segment between Bellevue, Eastgate and Issaquah. Resources will be reinvested into improving reliability on Route 554.
  • Route 580 will have fewer trips; lower ridership trips will be discontinued and others will run only between Puyallup Station and the South Hill park-and-ride. Resources will be reinvested to improve service in Pierce County.

When the DSTT converts to rail-only operations in March, Link light rail riders will experience more reliable commutes. In early 2020, construction will connect the Eastlink light rail line to the central line as part of the regional expansion of the Link light rail line. The expansion begins with Northgate in 2021, followed by Eastlink in 2023 and Federal Way, Lynnwood and Redmond in 2024.

For more information on all ST Express routes effected by this change visit our website at https://www.soundtransit.org/servicechange