H LINE: Celebrating West Seattle’s second RapidRide line on eve of its launch

(WSB photos/video)

That’s Metro driver Ermias Mulugeta, a 14-year veteran transit operator who had a starring role in today’s ribboncutting-and-speeches event celebrating tomorrow’s launch of the RapidRide H Line. He drove the newly rebranded red-and-yellow bus into the lot at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, with dignitaries aboard including King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro’s new general manager Michelle Allison:

Before the ribboncutting, 26 minutes of speeches – here’s our unedited video:

Allison emceed, with opening and closing remarks. Constantine declared that RapidRide is “the evolution of Metro Transit.” (Long-running evolution – West Seattle’s first RR line, C, launched 10+ years ago.) Route 120, which becomes the H Line tomorrow, carried 1.7 million people last year, he said, and he observed that the new line’s route between Burien and downtown will help people “enjoy more of what this part of King County has to offer.”

It’ll also help with everyday tasks, added the next speaker, White Center Food Bank executive director Carmen Smith.

WCFB’s new location will be close to an RR stop, and that means people carrying food won’t have to hike uphill with heavy loads any more. Other speakers included King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – who is leaving office this year but has helped shepherd the H Line into reality – and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon (who happens to be running to be McDermott’s successor), who said her city is proud of how this is factoring into many improvements along its main thoroughfare, Ambaum Boulevard. From Seattle city government, executive general manager Adiam Emery reoresented Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s team:

She noted that Seattle had invested (corrected) $90 million in the H Line, as well as projects such as the Delridge repaving/reconfiguration. And District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold noted that the “multijurisdictional project” is an enhancement to what’s already King County’s sixth-busiest bus route. After Allison wrapped up with a few more stats – 51 new stations, 40 new crosswalks, five miles of new bus lanes – it was ribboncutting time:

As reported here Wednesday, the H Line officially begins running with a 5:26 am northbound departure from Burien on Saturday morning. The first coach, we’re told, will be the same one that rolled up at the start of this morning’s event – 6209. The launch comes four years later than the originally announced 2019.

7 Replies to "H LINE: Celebrating West Seattle's second RapidRide line on eve of its launch"

  • Graciano March 18, 2023 (9:12 am)

    What a waste of tax payer money.  

    • BJ March 18, 2023 (12:39 pm)

      I concur. Seattle has one of the worst public transit systems for a major metropolitan city, RapidRide or otherwise. Waste of $. And a scissor-cutting ceremony? What a ridiculous piece of showmanship. 

      • BJ March 18, 2023 (8:55 pm)

        *ribbon-cutting ceremony :)

    • Bus March 18, 2023 (9:22 pm)

      Federal money is paying for the RapidRide, not city tax dollars.  You’re theoretically paying *some* tax money towards the RR, but it’s probably pennies and Millie from West Virginia is paying just as much for it as you are.

  • Sam f March 18, 2023 (4:46 pm)

    Great news! Happy folks get better access to jobs, new food, and opportunities! Excited to ride the new H and G lines eventually, great work Metro!

  • Skylar March 18, 2023 (9:54 pm)

    We rode the entire route (Virgina – Burien TC) this afternoon and it was even better than the workhorse 120. Metro, SDOT and Burien definitely deserve a lot of credit for working together to make it happen, even if it did take a bit longer than forecast.

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