Bus Rapid Transit seems to making it’s way into the Seattle area. The new A-Line service pictured above will run limited-stop service from Federal Way in the south along Pac Highway and International Boulevard South to the Tukwila Light Rail Station. It will provide more frequent service during rush hour with limited stops. It will be similar to when the B-Lines started in Vancouver with buses every 10 minutes during peak periods and every 15 – 30 minutes during non-peak periods.
The A-Line will be the first of many RapidRide lines across the Puget Sound.
Six RapidRide lines will be operational by 2013. Those to follow:
- B Line–Bellevue to Redmond on Northeast Eighth Street and 156th Avenue Northeast via Crossroads and Overlake (2011).
- C Line — West Seattle to downtown Seattle using Fauntleroy Way SW and California Avenue SW (2011/2012).
- D Line — Ballard to Uptown and downtown Seattle along 15th Avenue Northeast (2012)
- E Line — Aurora Avenue N (State Route 99) between Shoreline and downtown Seattle (2013).
- F Line — Burien to Renton via Tukwila and Southcenter (2013).
In the light of tight financial budgets, bus rapid transit is one quick way to create more reliable transit service at a more affordable price and quicker. I will say again that South of the Fraser communities in the Lower Mainland would benefit from this kind of bus rapid transit because it is quick to implement and build up ridership in anticipation of future rail rapid transit. It will be interesting to see how things develop in Seattle and if these new bus lines will help to improve ridership and pave the way for rail rapid transit.