Sound Transit seeks input on 2020 proposed service changes

2020 Service Plan proposes ST Express changes that improve service and reliability

Publish Date

Sound Transit is proposing changes to ST Express bus service to add new service from the Eastside to South Lake Union, increase service between Seattle, Federal Way and Auburn, and increase speed and reliability on I-405. Service changes will take effect in March or September 2020. 

Sound Transit released the proposed changes today as part of the annual Service Implementation Plan. Sound Transit intends these proposed service changes to improve reliability, relieve overcrowding, build ridership and increase productivity. 

Sound Transit continually monitors performance and identifies routes or trips that do not meet standards or that need additional investment, ensuring that the agency uses resources efficiently. Sound Transit analyzes all routes through its annual service plan. The plan proposes service changes for the following year, and provides an outlook for future service levels and expansions over the next five years.

The most significant change proposed for 2020 is new Route 544, providing peak-only, bi-directional service between Overlake and South Lake Union via South Kirkland. King County Metro's approved Northeast Mobility Plan includes restructuring Metro Route 255 to serve the University of Washington, which allows Sound Transit to reinvest service hours and consolidate Routes 540 and 541 into new Route 544. 

Other changes aim to increase ST Express productivity and reliability: 

Weekend trips on Route 577 would convert into Route 578 trips and extend from Federal Way to Auburn. Every other Route 578 trip would end in Auburn and every other trip would continue to Sumner and Puyallup. Overall frequency between Seattle and Federal Way would remain unchanged.

Route 566 would no longer serve I-405 stops at Kennydale and Newport Hills. These stops serve a combined average of 16 people per day, and bypassing those stops would improve reliability by allowing the bus to stay in the HOV lanes for longer periods. Route 560 will continue to stop at Kennydale and Newport Hills.

The proposal is available at Sound Transit invites the public to comment on the plan by phone, in person or email through Oct. 7.  

Comment on the proposed service changes:

Email or phone
Comment by phone at 1-866-940-4387 or email
Public hearing

Thursday, Oct. 3, 12:30 p.m.
Union Station – Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104

Drop-in sessions

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.
South Kirkland Park and Ride
10610 NE 38th Pl.
Kirkland, WA 98033

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
SR 520 at NE 40th St. freeway stops

Thursday, Oct. 3, 10-2 p.m.
South Lake Union Farmer's Market
410 Terry Ave. N,
Seattle, WA 98109

Sound Transit street teams will also be at bus stops on the affected routes to provide information and answer questions at the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
Overlake Village Park and Ride

Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Overlake Transit Center Bay 8

Monday, Sept. 30, 3 – 6:30 p.m.
UW Station, Bay 1

Sound Transit staff will review all of the public feedback, and revise the draft plan if necessary. The Sound Transit Board will consider the plan for adoption in November.