Sound Transit introduces double-decker buses on ST Express routes on the I-405 corridor

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Riders traveling the I-405 corridor can now enjoy great views and less-crowded rides on double-decker buses. Some ST Express trips on routes 532 and 535 are now on double deckers, adding more than 40-percent more seating than the 60-foot articulated buses they replaced. 

To accommodate the taller buses, Sound Transit worked closely with cities along the corridor, which advised and assisted Sound Transit on street tree pruning needed to enable the taller buses to operate on city streets. 

“More seats and more room mean more comfort for transit riders in Bellevue,” said Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak. “We appreciate Sound Transit’s efforts to increase the capacity of commuter routes, especially as our region continues to deal with congestion.”

Sound Transit has operated double-decker buses on its Snohomish County-based routes since 2014. Last year Sound Transit increased its fleet of double-decker buses to replace standard-height buses on the I-5 corridor between Everett and Seattle. All Snohomish County ST Express routes will now use double-decker buses on their busiest trips.

“Double-decker buses have made it possible for more Snohomish County commuters to get out of their cars and enjoy the views on their way into and out of downtown Seattle,” said Paul Roberts, Everett council member, Sound Transit Board vice chair and chair of the board’s Rider Experience and Operations committee. “Expanding double-decker service along the I-405 corridor will similarly improve the commutes for riders on crowded routes in this heavily congested area.”

Community Transit, the only partner agency currently equipped to maintain double-decker buses, also operates Sound Transit’s fleet of 37 double deckers. These buses increase total capacity with the same number of bus drivers, in a smaller footprint.