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Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit

Updated September 22, 2016

Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will provide fast, frequent, reliable, and safe public transportation between First Avenue in downtown Seattle and Martin Luther King Jr Way. Check out the box below for recent project updates and explore the rest of the webpage for more detailed information on the project, including the schedule and project documents. Questions about the project? Email or call Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at 206-615-1485.

Thank you for your feedback on the updated design!

In early August we returned to you to share the updated design for Madison Street BRT and ask for your feedback. More than 150 people attended our 3 open houses and nearly 800 people visited the online open house. In total you provided over 364 comments, which is exactly the feedback we hoped to receive.

We will incorporate this feedback into the next design milestone, the 60% phase, scheduled for early 2017. Subsequently we will move forward with the environmental review process and engage property owners, businesses, and residents to develop a construction phasing plan.

The information provided at the August open houses is available below in the library section.

Questions about the open houses? Email or call Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at 206-615-1485.

Este es un boletín de noticias sobre el servicio de transporte de Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit. Para mayor información sobre el proyecto, por favor comuníquese con Emily Reardon al 206-615-1485

此通訊是関于麦迪逊街巴士快速交通系統。想知道更多有関此项工程或在我們的公開展示要求翻譯服務,請聯絡Emily Reardon at 206-615-1485.

이 소식지는 Madison가 버스 고속 수송 체제에 관한것입니다. 이 계획에 대한 정보를 원하시거나 공개일에 통역 서비스를 요청하시려면, 에밀리 리어던(Emily Reardon) 에게 206-615-1485 로 전화해 주십시요.

ये न्युजलेटर मैडिसन स्ट्रीट बस रैपिड ट्रांजिट के सम्बन्ध मे है। इस प्रोजेक्ट की अधिक जानकारी के लिए या ओपनहाउस के वक्त दोभाषिय अनुरोध करने के लिए कृपया एमिली रियर्डन को 206-615-1485 में कॉल करे।

Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will provide fast, frequent, reliable, all-day and safe public transportation between First Avenue in downtown Seattle and Martin Luther King Jr Way.

Madison St was identified in the 2012 Seattle Transit Master Plan as a priority corridor for BRT service. From 2014-2015, we completed a design concept study, including public and stakeholder engagement. Community input was essential to refining the concept design, including major routing decisions such as extending the BRT service further east to Martin Luther King Jr Way and using Spring St for eastbound routing through downtown Seattle. In February 2016, City Council formally adopted the concept design, also called the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

Check out this video for an overview of the Madison Street BRT project!

Highlights from the current design (August 2016) include:

  • Route extends from First Ave to Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Madison Valley
  • Route uses Spring St for eastbound travel through downtown Seattle
  • 21 stops along the corridor will connect into the existing and future transit system
  • On weekdays during peak hours, buses will arrive every 6 minutes
  • Design uses 3 types of lanes: bus-only lanes (60% of corridor); bus-only lanes that allow turning vehicles (4% of corridor); and general purpose lanes (36%)
  • BRT stations will enhance the rider experience, featuring seats, real-time arrival information, weather protection and lighting, off-board ORCA validation and other tools to speed up fare payment
  • BRT buses will be articulated, electric trolleys with any-door boarding and floors level with the transit platform
  • Other improvements will make the areas near stations safer and more passenger-friendly, including improvements to sidewalks, curb ramps, landscaping, and bicycle facilities

Project Overview

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Map

The Seattle Transit Master Plan (2012) identified Madison St between Colman Dock Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle and 23rd Ave E as a future high-capacity transit bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor.

Bus rapid transit is a bus service that combines the capacity and speed of light rail with the flexibility, lower cost, and simplicity of a bus system. RapidRide is King County�s bus rapid transit system.

Madison St was selected based on an evaluation of potential to generate ridership, land use and demographic characteristics, and a screening of potential transit modes, considering factors, such as passenger carrying capacity and constructability. We have and will continue to work closely with King County Metro on this project.

Madison Street BRT will serve densely developed neighborhoods in First Hill, the Central Area, and downtown Seattle, connecting dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.

We will use new state-of-the-art electric trolley buses (ETBs) that produce zero emissions and are extremely quiet. Surface rail transit is not an option for this corridor due to the steep east-west street grades.

Madison Street BRT is partially funded by the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle and is included in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) ballot measure that will be voted on this fall. We are pursuing other funding sources for final design and construction, particularly Federal Transit Administration funding. Estimated project cost is $120 million.

How can I get involved?

We are always interested in meeting with community and neighborhood groups that want to learn more about the project and make their voices heard. You can request a briefing by emailing or calling 206-615-1485. More details and opportunities to get involved will be announced as they are scheduled.

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Questions and comments can be directed to Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at or 206-615-1485.

Milestones and Schedule

The table below outlines the project's key milestones and basic schedule.



Jan 2013 - May 2014

Project scope refinement

June 2014 – April 2015

Developed and analyzed concept design alternatives, began community engagement

May 2015 – October 2015

Refined concept design with community engagement

November 2015

Finalized and shared draft concept design

February 2016

City Council approved concept design to move forward (also called Locally Preferred Alternative)

February – May 2016

Validated cost assumptions from concept design before beginning 30% design

Spring/Summer 2016

Community engagement on 30% design, including individual meetings, community briefings and a series of open houses (August 3, 4 and 9, and online August 2-16)

Fall 2016 – Fall 2017

Continue design process (60% design), begin work with property owners, businesses, and residents on a construction phasing plan, environmental review and community engagement

Late 2017

Final (100%) design complete, advertise for construction bids



Late 2019

Madison Street BRT service begins

Madison Corridor BRT Library

August 2016

July 2016

January 22, 2016 City Council Meeting

November 16, 2015 Open House

October 2015

July 2015

May 2015 Online Survey Results

In May, the Madison Street BRT project hosted an online survey to seek input on:

  • BRT design options, routing, terminals, and station locations
  • Priorities for transit service and capital investments
  • Design concepts for a Central Area protected bike lane

The results of the survey can be found here.

May 2015 Open House


January 2015 Online Survey

November 20, 2014 Open House

September 30, 2014 Open House

September 2014 - Stakeholder Outreach

How can I get involved?

More details and opportunities for public involvement will be announced as they are scheduled.

Questions and comments can be directed to Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at or 206-615-1485.

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