RapidRide H Line launch date set

(Metro photo – RapidRide station work on Delridge)

After years of delays, RapidRide H Line – the conversion of what’s currently Metro Route 120 – is locked in for March, on the day of the bus system’s twice-annual service change. In this case, that’s Saturday, March 18, confirms Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer. (The conversion originally was expected to happen in 2020.) Recent developments have included confirmation that the H Line will follow the 120’s current pathway in downtown Seattle, ending at Third and Virginia, while promising to “assess the feasibility of extending RapidRide H Line to South Lake Union in the future.” According to the latest email update, some of the finishing touches along the route will be some work on SW Roxbury as well as installation of transit lanes starting in the next week or so “along 16th Ave SW between SW 107th St and SW 116th St [in White Center], and on Ambaum Blvd SW between SW 128th St. and SW 148th [in Burien].” If you have construction-related questions, the project team’s next online drop-in Q/A session is tomorrow (Thursday, July 26th), 5-6 pm, online (meeting ID: 228 271 1759) or by phone (253-215-8782). The H Line will be West Seattle’s second RapidRide line, after the C Line, which launched in September 2012.

30 Replies to "RapidRide H Line launch date set"

  • Meeeee January 25, 2023 (5:25 pm)

    I’m old enough to remember when Rapid Ride was sold to us as these rapid bus routes that would have their own traffic lights, dedicated travel lanes, and a bus arriving every 10 minutes or so.Definitely not what we ended up with.  

    • WSmatt January 25, 2023 (6:32 pm)

      I recall the pitch as being “arrivals every 8 mins, no need to consult a schedule.” Total BS. I’ve since referred to the Rapid ‘C’ ride as the “Crapid Ride.”

      • Peter January 25, 2023 (9:57 pm)

        When I lived in the Junction and took the C every day I used to call it the “Slow Stand,” because it was very much not a rapid ride. 

    • KBear January 25, 2023 (7:08 pm)

      Exactly right. Next to no enforcement of bus lane violations, very few traffic signals tuned to buses, and long gaps between buses. Anything but rapid, and little better than what we had before. But they were set up to fail. Seattle doesn’t have the roads or land to support actual bus rapid transit. I blame the voters who rejected light rail way back in the 1970s for leaving us in this predicament. 

      • Jort January 26, 2023 (9:58 am)

        I might correct you a bit on the assertion that Seattle “doesn’t have the roads or land to support actual bus rapid transit.” It absoultely has the roads, there are thousands and thousands of miles of roads in this city. What Seattle actually lacks is the political courage to make structural changes to those roads by de-prioritizing personal vehicles in favor of buses. Of all modes in the city, cars are asked to sacrifice the least. They are overwhelmingly favored in nearly every planning decision, even those that would make a street safer for people walking or biking. The city’s prioritization of the allocation of public space for private vehicle storage (aka street parking) is a great example of this. If Seattle really wanted Bus Rapid Transit, it would require actual changes to the pecking order of transportation priorities. Because our politicians are, in fact, cowardly and weak and bow to the automobile lobby (including Seattle’s official taxpayer-funded automobile advocacy organization, SDOT) at every opportunity, you will not see actual Bus Rapid Transit here. You’ll see half measures and pats on the back and, of course, you will continue to see increasing levels of carbon dioxide pollution from the continued use of vehicles: Seattle’s greatest source of carbon emissions. “In this house we believe that science is real.”

    • Frog January 25, 2023 (8:09 pm)

      Rapid ride = express bus = more space between stops, so fewer stops overall, and overall faster trip from A to B once you  are on the bus.  Better than nothing.

      • Foop January 25, 2023 (8:34 pm)

        We could have more and better transit but y’all just need all the free public car storage.

      • flimflam January 26, 2023 (1:45 pm)

        Frog, They still make way too many stops – I wish there were more true express lines from point A to B.

    • sam-c January 25, 2023 (8:28 pm)

      I don’t know if I agree with you here. Between the physical changes to Delridge (lane configurations, dedicated bus lane, curb bump out + median, etc, and signaling changes at multiple intersections), there have been a lot of modifications that definitely give priority to buses over car drivers.     Maybe if you see it and experience it every day you would realize.  (not to mention that 120 has ALWAYS been very frequent, especially if you are a 125 rider and look longingly at the 120 as (3 ) 120s pass by while you are still waiting for a 125).  Definitely agree that more frequent bus trips 120/ RRH would help but…I honestly don’t really know what there is to complain about on the new Rapid Ride.  I think it’s great!  :)

    • Mike January 25, 2023 (8:29 pm)

      I’m am shocked that our overlords have sold us snake oil once again.

      • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:13 pm)

        How is a pretty good bus system, one of the best in the country, a “snake oil” lol? Are all the comments this blindly negative?

    • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy January 26, 2023 (12:59 am)

      I’m mostly sad the C doesn’t come often at all after 10 pm. I’ll get out of a movie and wait 45 minutes ++ sometimes. I figure some of it is the bus and operator shortage. Lately I have opted to take a 120 bus and just walk to 35th from delridge and Genesee. 120s seem to come much more often strangely enough. 

    • Mickymse January 26, 2023 (10:23 am)

      And… RR H has those things in a number of places through White Center and Delridge. And, at least during rush hour, the 120 has had (scheduled) service at roughly 10 minute intervals for awhile now and the route will continue to do so.

    • Greg January 27, 2023 (12:28 pm)

      So then you’re in your mid-20s? to be fair, there are some dedicated lanes and traffic lights. I hope you didnt expect that the would run entirely on their own streets and lights with no interaction with traffic. Thats what light rail is for. There’s no room left to do that for buses. I’ve found that I typically, with occasional exceptions, dont wait more than 8minutes for a rapid ride bus.

  • Delridger January 25, 2023 (5:36 pm)

    Oh man, I’ve clearly been out of the loop. I thought continuation to south lake union was a sure thing. What a bummer that it’s stopping short. 

    • DR January 25, 2023 (6:53 pm)

      I know me too. That’s a bummer to hear. 

      • Del January 25, 2023 (11:25 pm)

        I was hoping it’d go to south lake union and have some practical routes. Seems half baked…

  • Zip January 25, 2023 (5:47 pm)

    My question is are they ever going to be done tearing up the streets in white center and Burien area.  16th Ave and Ambaum and many other streets have been a total mess for years and are a nightmare to attempt to drive on. 

    • sam-c January 25, 2023 (8:30 pm)

      I think they are still trying to get caught up on things from the concrete strike.  The signage at all the RR stops have been going up recently so they might have been waiting for that too.

  • Amy January 25, 2023 (7:33 pm)

    This is great!

  • DC January 25, 2023 (10:12 pm)

    As someone who has actually ridden the 120 every workday for the last 4 years (yes, even during the depths of the pandemic), it has gotten much better since the construction.  Before the bus shortages, I really didn’t need to consult a schedule. Never more than 7 minute wait in the mornings. I’m elated it will finally be an official rapid ride with even more frequent and later service. 

  • D Martin January 26, 2023 (4:42 am)

    I remember when C Line was still the 54. They took away my bus stop, and it did not go any faster when they changed it to the so called Rapid Ride. At least Delridge finally got repaved. 

  • Joe Z January 26, 2023 (9:14 am)

    The Rapid Ride lines could really use 15-minute service in the late evenings. It’s annoying to wait a long time for a bus at 10 PM after a Mariners game and it’s not really a viable option to take the bus from West Seattle to Climate Pledge Arena because you can’t reliably time the transfer from the Monorail and the 21 is one of the slowest routes in Seattle. There are always tons of people riding the bus at that hour, it’s not like the demand isn’t there. It’s easy to get a bus at 6 PM but it’s no use if it takes forever to get home. 

  • Rapid January 26, 2023 (10:44 am)

    Rapid Ride was never meant to move more rapidly, and was never sold to us as such.  It is simply meant to come more frequently.

  • DelridgeNeighbor January 26, 2023 (1:46 pm)

    Just my opinion, but where they have placed or moved bus stops along this line appears as if no one in the neighborhood had much input.  They mention they increased the distance between stops but in some spots, the distance is difficult, especially for those that have mobility issues or don’t live directly on or off Delridge.  Some of the stops are used as school bus stops, as well.    I find the center barriers an endless source of “amusement” when emergency vehicles and garbage/recycling trucks have to stop to do their jobs and no one, not even bikes, buses or other emergency vehicles can get around them without going the wrong way down the other side of the cement barriers.  I guess they knew what they were doing….

  • Sparky January 26, 2023 (2:45 pm)

    Will they restore other routes to full service before this conversion?  My usual bus has not run in nearly 2 months.  And at this point, I’m not convinced it was a steering issue.  

  • KB1000 January 27, 2023 (3:07 pm)

    As someone who has ridden both the 125 and 120 from Highland Park to DT for over 15 years, I can’t say I’m not excited about the new Rapid Ride H. The H is for Hell, I assume?  The “new” Delridge is an epic design and engineering (and thought) disaster. Every 7 minutes? Sure, ok. Currently buses on the “new” Delridge don’t drive over 15mph in most places. Even with their own lane. On top of it all, if you take RRH, you will be forced of your “express” bus and have to get on two light rail trains to get downtown. The journey from Delridge and Thistle currently takes about 25 minutes with the new light morning traffic. That journey time will increase to over 50 minutes on light rail. What an improvement! What amazing “transit equity!” What garbage. 

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