On Tuesday, May 18, 2021 city, county, and community leaders gathered to break ground to mark the launch of construction of the future RapidRide H Line in White Center.

Transit improvements spanning 13 miles from downtown to Seattle to Burien will upgrade the speed, reliability, and customer experience for the current Route 120.

Building the future RapidRide H Line will continue through fall of 2022 and includes an estimated $87 million in King County and Seattle investments in new transit stations, bus lanes and traffic signal upgrades between South Lake Union, downtown Seattle, Delridge and West Seattle, White Center and Burien.

“Fast and reliable public transit, connecting Burien to jobs and services across the region, is critical to helping Burien grow in a way that is sustainable and equitable,” said Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta. “The H Line will serve as a catalyst to help Burien achieve elements of our long-term housing, economic development, and climate action policy goals, as well as help the many families in the Ambaum corridor who today rely on public transit.”

Ground breaking marks launch of construction of future RapidRide H Line 1

Here’s more from the county:

Route 120 serves many communities that are more diverse and have a lower income than the county average. Buses currently operate every seven minutes during rush hour and every 12-15 minutes during midday, which is considered frequent service for the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 riders each weekday.

“I am delighted to see Metro back up its commitment to investing where needs are greatest with the upgrade of Route 120 to RapidRide H Line,” said Sili Savusa, Executive Director of the White Center Community Development Association. “The line will provide more frequent and reliable service to the heart of White Center’s commercial district, connecting even more residents to the amazing restaurant and retail experience only White Center can offer.”

The upgrade to RapidRide will serve those customers better and attract even more riders. In 2022, riders will see a bus every seven minutes on weekdays in both directions during rush hour.

“Throughout the past year, and in the face of the West Seattle bridge closure and Delridge construction, route 120 remained a popular workhorse and ranked sixth in Metro ridership,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “People continue to rely on it to travel – safely and reliably – for work, school, healthcare, and more. Transforming this route into the next RapidRide is an investment in making transit faster and better, serving the people and the communities who need it most. Across the county, Metro has now restored more than 85% of service to help all transit customers get where they need to go.”

Seattle projects support travelers and transit riders
Delridge roadway improvements by the City of Seattle are underway and will support frequent and reliable bus service on the current route 120 and the future RapidRide H Line. Transit and infrastructure investments total $92 million along Delridge Way SW between West Seattle Bridge and SW Henderson Street, including funding from the Levy to Move Seattle and $14 million in Metro funding.

By the Numbers: Route 120 and RapidRide H Line:

    • Ridership: Nearly 9,000 weekday riders in 2019; currently 4,500-5,000 each weekday and rising
    • Corridor length: 13 miles
    • Future stations and stops: 51
    • Intersections with transit signal priority: rising to 19
    • Project budget: Estimated $80-87 million
    • Frequency of service on route 120:
      • Peak direction during rush hour: Every seven minutes currently
      • Midday and evening: Every 12-15 minutes
      • Nights: Every 30 minutes
      • Weekends: Every 15 minutes; late night every 30 minutes
    • Planned service for H Line
      • Peak service: Every seven minutes in both directions
      • Midday: Every 10 minutes
      • Evenings: Every 15 minutes
      • Nights: Every 30 minutes
      • Weekends: Every 15 minutes all day; nights after 10 p.m. every 30 minutes

RapidRide is Metro’s highest level of service
With real-time information signs, off-board payment and service operating most of the day and every 10 minutes or better during peaks, RapidRide is Metro’s premier service. Metro launched the A Line in 2010 and operates six lines throughout King County. Additional expansions are planned in the coming years, including the G and J lines in Seattle, and the I Line in Renton, Kent and Auburn. Long-range plans map out additional lines in the alphabet of routes in key areas across King County.