From Sound Transit: On March 23, 2019, ST Express bus 550 will shift from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to surface streets to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion.
Due to Convention Center construction and to prepare for light rail expansion, buses will permanently leave the downtown transit tunnel. ST Express Route 550 and six Metro routes will operate on surface streets.
All tunnel buses will move to surface streets on March 23, 2019
With buses no longer sharing downtown tunnel stations with trains, Link light rail will be more reliable and the system will be ready to expand. Extensions to Northgate (2021) and Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake (2023) are under construction. Trains will then reach Lynnwood, Federal Way and downtown Redmond in 2024; West Seattle and Tacoma in 2030; Ballard and South Lake Union in 2035; Everett in 2036; and South Kirkland and Issaquah in 2041.
As the system expands, Sound Transit will operate longer trains at higher frequency. Early next year, Sound Transit will begin the process of connecting tracks from the Eastside to the current system at International District Station.
Sound Transit, Metro, and SDOT issued the March 2019 Service Change press release on Feb. 20.
Signage at bus stops will go up in the first week of March, and street teams will be out at stops several days before and after the service change at affected stops to direct riders to their new/revised bus stops.
The newly updated Downtown Accessibility Map shows how to get around the steep grades of downtown Seattle.
Bus service changes
- Route 513 will extend to Seaway Transit Center and connect to Community Transit’s Swift Green Line. The route will serve a new stop at Casino Road and Evergreen Way, which will replace the current stop at Evergreen Way and 79th Place. All other stops will remain the same.
- Route 542 will add evening and weekend service between Redmond/Overlake and the University District to mitigate the June 2019 closure of the Montlake Freeway Station.
- Route 550 will travel inbound to Seattle via 4th Avenue and Pike Street, and outbound to Mercer Island and Bellevue via Union Street and 2nd Avenue. Outbound riders currently boarding at International District Station will board at 2nd Ave Ext S & Yesler Way. Visit here for more info on new routings for Metro tunnel routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, and 255.
- Route 555 will only operate between Northgate and Bellevue starting on March 25, 2019. Sound Transit will invest resources into improving reliability on Route 554. Riders can use King County Metro Route 271 between Issaquah, Eastgate and Bellevue or routes 240 or 241 between Bellevue and Eastgate.
- Route 580 will run fewer trips to Lakewood beginning March 25, focusing resources on the high-ridership segment between Puyallup Station and South Hill Park and Ride.
In addition to these major changes, Sound Transit is making additional minor service adjustments to several other ST Express routes. Visit soundtransit.org/servicechange for more info.
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