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City plans to start Madison bus rapid transit project construction this fall

With $60 million in federal financial security to boost the project, E Madison bus rapid transit also has a newly updated timeline.

The city says construction is finally gearing up to begin this fall:

PLANNED CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE

  • Fall 2020: Completed final design
  • Spring 2021: Finalize funding
    • After the Small Starts Grant Agreement is executed with the FTA, we’ll move forward with hiring a construction contractor
  • Early 2021: Advertise for construction bids to build the project
    • After a contractor is selected, we will know more about the planned construction sequencing, timeline, and intersection closures
  • Fall 2021: Anticipated construction start
  • 2024: Complete construction and open the RapidRide G Line

CHS reported in April on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s announcement of a $59.9 million allocation for the $134 million Madison bus rapid transit project.

Seattle’s transportation department says a fall 2021 start should put the much-delayed project on target for a 2024 start of service of the Metro RapidRide G line, a 2.3-mile, 10-station route connecting the waterfront through First Hill and Capitol Hill to Madison Valley.

You can see a block by block look at the changes coming for the street here.


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dave
dave
17 days ago

Awesome! Can’t wait.

Bob
Bob
17 days ago

The fact that this doesn’t go all the way to Madison Beach is insane. Those rich folks don’t want bus riders in their hood.

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob

While it is certainly true that a fair number of Madison Park residents don’t want a lot of bus riders in their neighborhood, it’s also true that extending to Madison Park would add about 50% onto the distance with a much much smaller increase in ridership. There are also no other bus connections that it would feed into east of Madison Valley. And that whole section would be way too cost-ineffective to make a dedicated lane, meaning it would travel in general traffic, meaning it would become much less reliable, even in the core part of the service when the entire point is to increase speed and reliability. While there’s an argument to be made that having it run the entire length of Madison would add to the “visibility” of the service (an important factor in driving some usage), and just “seems right”, this is strongly outweighed by the above considerations. Now if there were lots of development happening (or planned) in the area the calculus might change, but there isn’t. And given likely opposition, there won’t be any time soon.

All this (and much more!) is covered in both the city’s many planning documents, and in years of coverage on the Seattle Transit Blog. Just search the blog for Madison BRT or RapidRide G and settle in for hours of fun!

Bob
Bob
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Thanks for the info!

Follow-up, will there be a transfer at MLK to get to the water? I assume they aren’t removing existing bus service.

dave
dave
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob

The 11 goes all the way from the beach to downtown. I don’t think that route will change.

Bob
Bob
15 days ago
Reply to  dave

So the 11 will get a lot of the benefits of the new rapid ride correct?

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Addendum: there will still be regular bus service to Madison Park.

joanna
14 days ago

The original plan for the Madison BRT called for a special electric bus, and then at the end it was discovered that no electric buses are manufactured that can serve this rather short BRT where much of is currently served by an electric trolley. Many of the improvements could have been made to Madison to serve the electric trolley bus 12 without the fuss of a Rapid Ride. Yes, there are some federal matching funds, but the required local matches grew and increased so much that a good comparison of improvements for the 12 would have likely allowed more funding of other projects and resulted in a better carbon foot print. And this expensive hybrid diesel special bus will not be able to serve other routes and other buses will not be able to serve the BRT stops.

This route seems more of an expensive economic development piece for the waterfront than it is an important transportation investment.

This was an SDOT project, not planned by Metro and not really supported by Metro. SDOT had to persuade and work toward finally Metro agreeing to buy the buses. I can’t think of a time when Metro planned a project without checking and knowing if the required equipment was available.