New bus lane and stop provides riders better, safer access to U-District Station

SEATTLE — Beginning this week, five subway routes in King County will make it easier for passengers to connect to Sound Transit’s second busiest connection station with a new designated bus lane and stop at the light rail’s U-District.

The City of Seattle and King County Metro continue to roll out the red carpet for buses by building red bus lanes like this one on westbound Northeast 43rd Street.

“It separates buses and cars; we also have bikes available to use this trail. So if you’ve made that connection just for people, pedestrians moving from vehicles to other modes of transportation, and you don’t have that interaction with other vehicles, it makes it safer for everyone,” said Jeff Switzer, a spokesman for King County Metro.

The new lane will provide passengers on the King County subway lines 20, 44, 49, 70 and 372 with a new bus stop where they can be dropped off or picked up at the popular station. The bus lane is also equipped with new overhead wires that will power three out of five routes, routes that are also zero-emissions.

“When the station opened we had stops around the block and that meant people had to walk and roll a little further than we had planned and now that this stop is open they can get right here in front of the.” door to the train,” said Switzer.

This comes after nine years of construction of the light rail station, which was only completed last October, in addition to construction of this new bus lane which began last August.

“It was a nightmare, construction was going on and nobody was walking in the streets and then Covid, the pandemic, blocked,” said Mark Pinkaow, the owner of Mark Thai Food Box.

Despite the nightmare, King County Metro officials said about 16,000 riders use these five routes every week. They also expect that number to continue to rise when University of Washington students return to campus in the fall, which Pinkaow said could be worth the wait for the past few years.

“We’re really happy about that, we’re seeing more people coming in and having more customers,” Pinkaow said. New bus lane and stop provides riders better, safer access to U-District Station

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