“The Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project is an opportunity to construct capital improvements that will allow a faster, more reliable, more comfortable transit ride,” said Maria Koengeter, project manager for the Madison BRT initiative.
“Bus rapid transit” refers to the use of corridors and service characteristics that would enable buses to provide its customers the same level of service as a fixed-rail streetcar.
SDOT’s study and project is focused on developing and evaluating at least two corridor design concepts, planners said.
The area that the SDOT meeting focused on ran from the Colman Dock to the 23rd Ave E. SDOT has proposed to add more stations to these areas to make traveling easier across the city.
Madison has been identified by the SDOT as a high capacity transit area.
The Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project will focus on how to ensure faster transit facilities for riders, better pedestrian and bike connections and improved public spaces. SDOT planners have predicted that transit riders will increase by at least 6,000 along the Madison route.
Koengeter said that some of the suggestions to improve overall riding experience include running more frequent bus service, creating facilities such as bus only lanes and adding transit stations. She also pointed out that that in 2012, the SDOT commenced a Transit Master Plan which looked into high traffic areas in Seattle and identified areas that need work. Madison is one such area. The other area that was looked into ran from Roosevelt to downtown Seattle and the project work for that will begin in the fall this year.
Koengeter said that the project is in an early phase which means that efforts are being carried out to develop design options which will be shared with the public at forums like Tuesday’s meeting. The goal is to generate support from the community as well as elected officials who will need to stand behind funding for the plans.
“By studying this corridor, we hope to develop a transit design concept that has community support, is backed by a viable phasing and implementation plan, and positions the city for future funding opportunities to help design and build the project,” Koengeter said.
For more information, check out the Madison Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit website.