King County launches new RapidRide F Line
Riders traveling between Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila and Renton will have more frequent all-day bus service starting this Saturday, June 7, as King County Metro Transit launches the RapidRide F Line.
This will be the sixth line in the RapidRide program – which is supported by state and federal funding – and will replace routes 110 and 140. It will be the first east-west RapidRide line. The 12-mile-long route will better link communities and riders to Westfield Southcenter Mall, Boeing, The Landing and downtown Renton, and major transit hubs including Sound Transit’s Link light rail and Sounder rail stations.
Leaders celebrated the launch and growing success of the RapidRide program as it surpasses ridership goals across King County. The A Line in Federal Way leads growth in ridership with a 76 percent increase since 2010. The C Line in West Seattle has had 70 percent ridership growth since RapidRide service levels were added in 2011.
“RapidRide is helping us build the most efficient all-day transit network, one that offers a great customer experience and better positions King County for the growth coming to our region,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I’m grateful for the state and federal funding that allowed us to expand this increasingly popular service.”
Voters approved RapidRide in 2006, and when fully implemented Saturday, the program will have 113 red and yellow low-floor buses in six corridors. RapidRide A-F lines carry more than 50,000 rides a day – more than 12 percent of Metro’s 400,000 daily total ridership.
Based on the previous Route 140 service, the F Line starts out carrying about 3,500 weekday riders. Along the route, the minority population is higher than the county average and the income is lower than the county average. Continuing to provide mobility options for communities who need them most is a shared effort by Executive Constantine and the County Council.
“This new route helps meet the need to improve access in our diverse neighborhoods to more opportunities while leaving more cars at home,” said County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “The RapidRide program is better for the environment and the health of our communities.”
The budget for the RapidRide program is $212 million, of which $121 million was funded by federal and state grants. RapidRide F Line alone was among Federal Transit Administration grant recipients totaling $18.5 million.
Details about RapidRide F Line
RapidRide F Line replaces routes 110 and 140 with frequent all-day weekday service 4:45 a.m. to midnight and weekend service 6 a.m. to midnight. Service is most frequent – every 10 minutes – during peak commutes. The corridor will see an overall 69 percent increase in service when the F Line is introduced compared to Route 140 service prior to extending to The Landing.
- 12 mile corridor (See map, PDF.)
- 56 stations and stops
- 42 intersections with transit priority
- 12 locations with next bus arrival signs
- 17 buses dedicated to serving this corridor.
The F Line provides timely and convenient connections to the Tukwila Sounder Station, the Link light rail station at Tukwila International Boulevard, the Burien Transit Center, the Renton Transit Center and The Landing.
Faster, more frequent bus trips
Off-board ORCA card readers, the use of bus rear doors and traffic signal priority will all work together to speed boarding and get buses through intersections faster – improvements that will achieve travel time savings in the coming months.
Fare enforcement, on-board cameras and improved lighting will offer improved security.
- As with other RapidRide lines, fare enforcement officers will check to confirm fare payment and provide customer service.
- All RapidRide coaches are equipped with cameras for added security, increasing the overall number of camera coaches in Metro’s fleet.
- Riders will see improved lighting at all new RapidRide shelters along the route. Riders waiting at bus shelters will be more easily seen at night thanks to newly installed stop request lights.
Red and yellow RapidRide buses include features needed as demand for bus service grows along the corridor.
- The 60-foot low floor articulated buses will have three doors so riders can get on and off the bus more quickly.
- A strapless wheelchair restraint system will enable riders with wheelchairs to board quickly and easily.
RapidRide across King County
RapidRide travels several of the busiest transit corridors in the county and Metro set the goal of seeing a 50 percent increase in ridership within five years of launching each line.
RapidRide average weekday ridership (April 2014)
- A Line: 9,810 riders, +76 percent
- B Line: 6,500, +28 percent
- C Line: 7,890, +70 percent
- D Line: 10,570, +39 percent
- E Line: 13,180, +12 percent since February 2014
- Route 140 (New F line): 3,500