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City of Bellevue Board and Commission Vacancies

Posted on April 11, 2019

The City Council is seeking candidates for vacancies on Bellevue’s Arts, Environmental Services, Human Services, Planning and Transportation commissions, as well as the Library Board. You can apply online. Applications are due by 5 p.m., Friday, April 19.

Sound Transit introduces double-decker buses on ST Express routes on the I-405 corridor

Posted on March 27, 2019

From Sound Transit: Riders traveling the I-405 corridor can now enjoy great views and less-crowded rides on double-decker buses. Some ST Express trips on routes 532 and 535 are now on double deckers, adding more than 40-percent more seating than the 60-foot articulated buses they replaced. 

To accommodate the taller buses, Sound Transit worked closely with cities along the corridor, which advised and assisted Sound Transit on street tree pruning needed to enable the taller buses to operate on city streets. 

“More seats and more room mean more comfort for transit riders in Bellevue,” said Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak. “We appreciate Sound Transit’s efforts to increase the capacity of commuter routes, especially as our region continues to deal with congestion.”

Sound Transit has operated double-decker buses on its Snohomish County-based routes since 2014. Last year Sound Transit increased its fleet of double-decker buses to replace standard-height buses on the I-5 corridor between Everett and Seattle. All Snohomish County ST Express routes will now use double-decker buses on their busiest trips.

“Double-decker buses have made it possible for more Snohomish County commuters to get out of their cars and enjoy the views on their way into and out of downtown Seattle,” said Paul Roberts, Everett council member, Sound Transit Board vice chair and chair of the board’s Rider Experience and Operations committee. “Expanding double-decker service along the I-405 corridor will similarly improve the commutes for riders on crowded routes in this heavily congested area.”

Community Transit, the only partner agency currently equipped to maintain double-decker buses, also operates Sound Transit’s fleet of 37 double deckers. These buses increase total capacity with the same number of bus drivers, in a smaller footprint. 

For more information: https://www.soundtransit.org/

I-405 - SR 522 to SR 527 Capacity Improvements Project

Posted on March 25, 2019

From WSDOT: Preliminary engineering is currently underway, funded in part with express toll lane revenue.

Sound Transit March Service Change

Posted on March 8, 2019

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

ST Bus!

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.

If you ride an affected route, sign up for Rider Alerts to get the most up-to-date information delivered right to your inbox.

New ramp at the SR 167/I-405 interchange is now open (3/1/19)

Posted on March 1, 2019

From WSDOT: The new flyover ramp which provides a direct connection between SR 167 and the carpool lanes on I-405 in Renton is now open.

The ramp is restricted to vehicles with two or more people between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. Between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily, the new ramp is open to all vehicles.

Here are some tips for drivers using this ramp:

  • If you are traveling northbound in the SR 167 HOT lanes as a carpooler, after the HOT lane ends you can stay left to use the new ramp to access the I-405 carpool lane. If you are a solo driver paying to use the HOT lanes and wish to access I-405, you will need to merge to the right after the HOT lane ends and use the existing ramp used today.
  • If you are traveling southbound in the I-405 carpool lane, after using the new ramp, you will be able to decide whether to enter the HOT lane or merge into the regular lanes.

This ramp is designed to improve traffic flow and safety at this critical interchange. Read more here about how to use the HOT lanes.