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Updated Madison RapidRide G plans call for 2021 start of service

You will have to wait a few more years for that RapidRide G bus. Service now isn’t expected to begin on the bus-focused transformation of the Madison corridor until 2021.

Planners presented the latest update on the project to create Metro’s RapidRide G Tuesday night at the January meeting of the First Hill Improvement Association. The full presentation from Seattle Department of Transportation planners is below.

The route to transforming the bus lines on Madison across First Hill, the Central District, and Capitol Hill into “Bus Rapid Transit” has plenty of ground to cover in 2018 including buy-in under the State Environmental Protection Act and preparations with neighborhoods and businesses for a 2019 start of multiple years of construction.

CHS last reported on the design plans for the massive project in March of last year. The 11-stop route will bring more reliable bus service and needed improvements to sidewalks and crossings along the way. 60-foot articulated buses will run every six minutes during peak times. Card readers at the station allowing riders to enter any of the five doors, 13-inch platforms making it easier for those with strollers or wheelchairs to get on the bus, and designated areas of the stations for cyclists and those in wheelchairs aim to make the loading and unloading process more efficient for riders. Cyclists can also anticipate loading their bikes inside the bus.

$15 million in transit levy cash was earmarked for the project, 12.5% of the estimated $120 million project cost. SDOT also had $30 million from the Sound Transit 3 package and another $9 million in federal and city grants lined up, plus was hoping for another $4 million coming from the state. “The project now has $58M funded and $62M in submitted grants working through the FTA process,” an SDOT representative told CHS last spring.

The latest updates and timelines for the plan are below.


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10 thoughts on “Updated Madison RapidRide G plans call for 2021 start of service

  1. Madison is already a very congested street for most of the day. I can’t even imagine how bad it will be during the construction period.

    • Bob – if you know of some secret new way to build infrastructure that provides people alternatives to the congestion in the long term but doesn’t cause any disruption in the short term, we’d all love to hear it!

      If not, then pointing out (again) this fundamental problem that we all know about already doesn’t really add much to the conversation.

  2. Maybe with the delay we’ll come to our senses and do away with this grandiose plan with it’s unique, one of a kind busses and invasive, costly installation requirements and just put in dedicated bus lanes and increase bus service for a fraction of the cost.

  3. Not that I’m a huge advocate of our current streetcars, but this type of custom bus, limited-stop route seems like it actually should be one. Is it the slope that prevents it?

  4. For 120million, I would think you can add two buses to the Madison to downtown route during peak times and accomplish the same result. The 120million would run out in the year 4050 or so.

    Not to mention you won’t totally screw over small local business during construction and the parking along madison they rely on.

  5. This has been made into a way more complicated and overengineered project than it needed to be. It could have achieved the same results faster and cheaper as a series of incremental improvements that could have utilized the brand new existing trolley buses. The center lanes could be painted red like many of the streets in Downtown, new floating bus islands could have been built like those on Dexter. Instead we get this over engineered line requiring custom buses with left side doors and all kinds of weird turning movements requiring new traffic signals.

  6. 2012 to 2021. Must be some sort of friggin’ record. In the meantime, Madison Valley and Madison Park edge toward being cut off from the city for lack of road infrastructure.