Routes 555, 556

Northgate – Bellevue/Issaquah (Operated by King County Metro)

Current 555/556 route map

Current ST Routes 555/556 map

Proposed (September 2021) 555/556 route map

Proposed ST Routes 555/556 map. Anticipated implementation – September 2021.

Current and Proposed Service 

  • September 2020: Service suspended.
  • March 2021 Proposal: Continue suspension of service.
  • September 2021 Proposal: Restore service. Route would operate between Bellevue and the U District Link station.
  Time of day March 2020 September 2020 March 2021 Proposal September 2021 Proposal
How often do buses run on weekdays?

Early AM

40 min. - - 30 min.
AM rush 20 min. - - 30 min.
PM rush 30 min. - - 30 min.
  • September 2020: Service suspended.
  • March 2021 Proposal: Continue suspension of service.
  • September 2021 Proposal: Restore service. Route would operate between Issaquah and the U District Link station.
  Time of day March 2020 September 2020 March 2021 Proposal September 2021 Proposal
How often do buses run on the weekdays? Early AM 30 min. - - 30 min.
AM rush 30 min. - - 30 min.
PM rush 30 min. - - 30 min.

Why are we proposing these changes?

  • Routes 555 and 556 primarily serve commuters, and ridership on these routes is not expected to rebound in 2021 due to workers continuing to work from home.
  • In March 2021, suspension would be maintained because ridership is not expected to rebound significantly until late 2021.
  • Ending at U District Station provides consistent service levels to and from Bellevue and Issaquah in September 2021 by leveraging the new Link extension and conserving resources.

What does this mean for riders?

Benefits

  • Ending at U District Station would allow the restoration of service while conserving resources.
  • Ending routes there would also allow riders to access new destinations served by Link and avoid congestion on part of I-5.

Trade-offs

  • Riders would need to transfer to travel between Northgate and the Eastside.
  • Before September 2021, riders can use King County Metro Route 41 and transfer to a Bellevue-bound 550 or an Issaquah-bound 554. Bellevue-bound riders can also use King County Metro routes 67 and 271 with a connection in the University District.
  • After September 2021, riders can transfer from Link to Route 555 or 556 in the U District.

Draft Title VI evaluation

  • Disparate impact: No. The proposed change affects an area with a minority population of 30.3%, lower than the Sound Transit District average of 39.7%.
  • Disproportionate burden: No. The proposed change affects an area with a low-income population of 14.7%, lower than the Sound Transit District average of 16.4%.
  • Disparate impact: No. The proposed change affects an area with a minority population of 35.9%, lower than the Sound Transit District average of 39.7%.
  • Disproportionate burden: No. The proposed change affects an area with a low-income population of 14.7%, lower than the Sound Transit District average of 16.4%.