It’s been almost five years since the term “RapidRide” first appeared on our site (in this story). Now, it’s a matter of hours before the new bus route hits the West Seattle road. Shelters and lit-up signboards are in place – and they do look a lot like what was shown in renderings way back at the start of 2008:
But tomorrow’s changes go far beyond RapidRide’s debut. Some routes have been changed, some dropped, some added, and those changes happen tomorrow too.
*All bus riders, all routes, will pay when entering the bus (and remember,there’s no more downtown Ride-Free Area) – info here
*For the list of which routes have been dropped and added – and new schedules for others – see the links here
*For the changes on the new Route 50 – until two road situations can be resolved – see this story
*For Metro’s answers to more than 20 specific questions asked by WSB’ers in a special Q/A, see the two links in the WSB Forums
Tomorrow, 11 am-4 pm, Metro will be at Westwood Village for a special RapidRide C Line launch event – here are the details:
The C Line gets going with the start of morning service on Sept. 29. It replaces the Metro Route 54 and will offer frequent all-day service between Westwood Village and downtown Seattle.
Residents can learn more about the new service and its amenities from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday (Sept 29) at Westwood Village. A RapidRide coach, Metro staff and RapidRide Man will be located in the parking lot in front of Barnes and Noble bookstore to share information about the new C Line and provide trip planning advice.
The C Line will offer 10 to 15-minute service most of the day – so frequent riders won’t even need a timetable. Metro has nearly doubled the number of trips provided in this corridor; half of the new trips began in 2011 and the other half will be added when C Line service begins.
New RapidRide buses will come equipped with low floors, three doors for easy boarding, environmentally-friendly hybrid technology, on-board WiFi and security cameras.
As many residents have already seen, 34 RapidRide stops have been added all along the C Line corridor. The stops include well-lit shelters, extra benches and a light beacon that riders can turn on to let bus drivers know they are waiting for the bus at night.
Larger RapidRide stops are called stations and will feature real-time “next bus arrival” signs and provide off-board ORCA card readers. The C Line corridor will also have a transit-signal priority system that gives buses the green light through busy intersections. The majority of these features will be in place for the launch of the new line.
We’ll be covering the launch and route changes throughout the day – and for the first commute on Monday. We’ll be interested to hear from you on observations not just from RR, but from other services too. Here are all the ways to reach us (besides commenting on stories and posting in the Forums!) 24/7.