Service Changes Overview

Exclamation point icon Impacted routes

Checkmark icon Goal of service changes

Sound Transit and Metro’s primary goal is to maintain a comparable level of service to riders during construction of the Judkins Park Link Station. For us that means providing consistent bus access to communities in the Rainier Valley and minimizing impacts to travel times for riders as much as possible.

Questionmark icon Why restructure I-90 bus routes

Construction of the new Judkins Park Link Station requires closure of the Rainier Freeway Station. In 2011 Sound Transit completed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the East Link Extension, a project to give riders fast, frequent and reliable connection between the Eastside’s biggest population and employment centers and destinations across King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. During the EIS process, Sound Transit looked at the impacts of construction on the Judkins Park Link Station, where the Rainier Freeway Station is located today. Construction will close this station and the I-90 bus ramp that connects buses to the downtown tunnel.

Since the Rainier Freeway Station provides important access to the Eastside and Downtown Seattle for communities in the Rainier Valley, Sound Transit determined that bus routes need to change when construction starts to maintain service to the Rainier Valley area.

I-90 Service Changes: Route by Route Matrix

Full I-90 Service Changes Route Map

What will service changes look like?

When the Rainier Freeway Station and the I-90 bus ramp connecting buses to the downtown tunnel close in September 2018, some buses will be re-directed and some will bypass Rainier Avenue South. Bus routes that currently serve the Rainier Freeway Station but will bypass Rainier Avenue South include routes 550, 111, 114212 (to Seattle in the morning and Eastside in the evening), 214, 216, 218 and 219. Bus routes that will be re-directed to Rainier Avenue South include routes 554, 217 and reverse-peak direction 212. These buses will use two stops at South Charles Street to maintain bus access to the Rainier Valley (see the full corridor map above). To see a comparison of routes and service changes use the “Bus Route Service Changes Matrix” above.

Metro and Sound Transit are also investing in roadway improvements at key locations near areas expected to mitigate higher volumes of traffic due to service changes. These improvements include:

  • Making the center lane of the I-90 westbound off-ramp at 4th Avenue South a bus only lane.
  • Adding a northbound bus only lane between the westbound I-90 off-ramp at 4th Avenue South and South Jackson Street.
  • Adjusting transit signal times at 4th Avenue South and Atlantic Street for southbound buses.
  • Peak-hour buses will run on the shoulder of I-90 between the I-5 northbound off-ramp to the I-5 southbound on-ramp.
  • Adding a bus-only lane to the Rainier Avenue South on-ramp to I-90 East.