RapidRide J Line - Formerly RapidRide Roosevelt

The RapidRide J Line upgrades King County Metro’s Route 70 with an improved RapidRide level of service. The project will enhance bus speed, access, reliability, and station amenities. It will also install protected bike lanes, a new watermain and paving on Eastlake Ave E, and bring many more upgrades as it connects Downtown Seattle with the neighborhoods of Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and the University District.  

Updated: January 26, 2024

What's happening now

RapidRide J Line

On Friday, January 26, the City of Seattle welcomed Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez for a check presentation to celebrate the City’s receipt of $64.2 million in FTA Small Starts Grant Funding for the RapidRide J Line project. Senator Patty Murray, Mayor Bruce Harrell, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and other local and community leaders and stakeholders joined her. 

Check presentation for RapidRide J Line

The RapidRide J Line project has reached final design.  You can find our final designs shown on maps in the Project Materials section of our webpage. We will select a contractor by the end of spring 2024 and begin preparations for construction. We expect construction to begin later this year.   

Throughout the planning process, we’re thankful for the community members who shared their input and suggestions, such as:  

  • The need to preserve the planted medians on Eastlake Ave E
  • The need to ensure load zones are maintained for business access
  • The loss of on-street parking and potential impacts to businesses
  • The potential loss of tree canopy throughout the project area
  • The need to extend bike lane protection heading northbound towards the University Bridge 

In response to these suggestions, we have:

  • Preserved and increased the number of planted medians on Eastlake Ave E, adding more trees to these wherever possible
  • Identified loading zones for businesses, both on Eastlake Ave E nearest to businesses and on adjacent streets
  • Worked with the community through various parking mitigation measures, including an RPZ study 
  • Updated plans to plant 190 trees to mitigate the loss of trees removed to widen sidewalks. There will be a net gain of 98 trees upon project completion 
  • Added additional bike lane protection south of the University Bridge 

Map showing areas of vehicles storage added to the project based upon community feedback

Map showing an example of how community feedback was incorporated into design preserving areas for vehicles near businesses on Eastlake Ave E. Other maps are available at the bottom of this webpage in the materials section.

The RapidRide J Line project will bring many improvements to the neighborhoods served by the upgraded bus route. These improvements include: 

  • 15,130 feet of repaired sidewalks 
  • 2 miles of repaved roadway
  • 3.7 lane-miles of protected bike facilities
  • 2 miles of bus priority lanes
  • 177 improved crosswalks
  • 33 intersections with traffic signal improvements, including 253 new traffic signal devices 
  • 190 newly planted trees 
  • 8,900 feet of  watermain replacement, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities 

Check out the videos below, highlighting some of the changes you will see to the roadway along the route:  

We plan to upgrade from the existing Route 70 to the RapidRide service in 2027.

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Project Overview

We're partnering with King County Metro (KCM) to enhance transit connections and upgrade existing bus routes to Metro RapidRide service. The project upgrades the current Route 70 to a RapidRide level of service, improving transit connections to  Downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and the University District neighborhoods. In addition to improving bus reliability with all day transit service, the project will install new bus stations, repave streets, add new protected bike lanes, and improve pedestrian accessibility.

The RapidRide J Line project also addresses current and future mobility needs for travelers, transit capacity constraints along the route, and provides equitable transportation access to major institutions, employers, and neighborhoods.

The RapidRide J Line project will:

  • Improve transit travel time and reliability throughout the route by adding transit lanes and transit signal priority  
  • Provide a high-quality rider experience with stations that include shelters, lighting, real-time arrival information, and all-door boarding
  • Improve access to transit through upgraded curb ramps, sidewalks, and signals
  • Improve connections to Link light rail, other bus lines, and Seattle Streetcar
  • Install protected bike lanes to improve safety of all travelers
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions with more transit options and fewer cars on the road
  • Pave Eastlake Ave E from E from Fuhrman Ave E to Fairview Ave E with at least 12 inches of concrete, creating a roadway that will last more than 50 years
  • Partner with Seattle Public Utilities to replace the existing watermain on Eastlake Ave E 

Tree Mitigation Plan 

Trees are fundamental to the character of Seattle and to our quality of life. In our rapidly changing climate, Seattle's urban forest is an increasingly important asset, playing a critical role in mitigating climate change impacts, including heat island effects, as well as supporting Seattle's public health, providing habitat for wildlife, creating spaces for exploration and enjoyment, cleaning our air and water, and reducing the quantity of stormwater runoff, further helping water quality.  

The RapidRide J Line project will remove 92 trees in areas where we will widen sidewalks and install new bus shelters. As part of the tree mitigation plan, we will plant approximately 190 new trees, which have been chosen based upon their suitability for an urban environment. Once the project is complete, there will be a net gain of 98 trees. 

The map below identifies where trees are being retained and removed, as well as where new trees will be planted. 

Image shows map of where trees will be remove or planted throughout the projectClick this link to download a larger version of the tree map above.

Station Amenities

The following amenities will be included at RapidRide J Line stations:

  • A 12-ft bus shelter canopy
  • Real-time arrival information
  • All-door boarding
  • Benches
  • Pedestrian-level lighting
  • Signature signposts and route information maps
  • Next Generation TSP (ngTSP)

Graphic showing components of a typical RapidRide bus station.

Project Map

Map showing length of project from downtown up to the U DIstrict

 Click this link to download a higher resolution map

Public Art 

The Rapid Ride J Line project area includes nine existing permanent artworks from the City of Seattle’s Public Art Collection. The Office of Arts & Culture is working closely with Seattle Department of Transportation to protect the artworks during construction. The three artworks that will be impacted include: 


  • “Dreamboats” by Linda Beaumont will stay in place and be protected as needed during construction 
  • “Lost in Thought” by Ellen Sollod will have one of three ground mosaics removed and reinstalled during construction 
  • “Cornerstones” by Stacy Levy will see all thirty-two concrete and glass inlay artworks deinstalled and reinstalled during construction. As part of the deinstallation and reinstallation, ARTS will work with the artist to repair, remake, and restore the damaged and missing artwork prior to reinstallation. 

For more information about the Public Art program, visit the Office of Arts & Culture’s Public Art webpage or email the Office of Arts & Culture at arts.culture@seattle.gov

Schedule

Timeline of schedule with final design selected

  1. Planning (2014-2017): We collected traffic data, reviewed plans, and gathered community experiences to define options.
  2. Design (2017-2023): We are collaborating with the community, working to secure regulatory approval (e.g., Environmental Assessment), and developing a more detailed final design. 
  3. Construction (as soon as 2024): We will construct the project and keep the community informed on the latest construction updates, schedule, and expected impacts. 
  4. Service launch (planned for 2027)

Funding

RapidRide J Line is partially funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Additional funding is being sought through a Federal Transit Administration Small Starts Grant.

How can I get involved?

We're 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 RapidRide@seattle.gov or calling (206) 257-2202.

Project Materials

Updated project maps (January 2024)

Videos highlighting changes along the route (Oct 2023)

Project Maps (June2023)

March 2023

December 2022

September 2022

May 2022

Previous National Environmental Policy Act Materials 

October 2021

Supplemental Environmental Assessment Appendices

Scroll down to view the January 2020 Environmental Assessment

April 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

January 2020
 Environmental Assessment Appendices

October 2019

July 2019

April 2019

January 2019

October 2018

September 2018

December 2017 - Environmental Scoping

July 2017

June 2017

June 2016 Open Houses

December 2015 Open Houses

May 2015 Open Houses

Reference Documents

RapidRide J Line outreach conducted to date

 From 2015-2023 the project has engaged the public with: 

  • 115 community meetings and briefings
  • More than 1,685 community members engaged
  • Emails and mailers to more than 40,000 neighborhood residents and businesses 

Date Event
Phase 1 - Mode Analysis and Existing Conditions
February 2015                              Presented to Eastlake District Council meeting
Phase 2 - Characteristics of BRT and Multimodal Components
March-April 2015 Key stakeholder group outreach, including phone calls to develop an outreach list
May 2015 Open houses (2) to discuss mode analysis and existing conditions
July 2015 Joined Cascade Bicycle Club for walking audit of Eastlake Ave E
August 2015 Presentation to South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce
September 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss mode options
September 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss mode options
October 2015 Presented to Eastlake District Council meeting
November 2015 Forum meeting in South Lake Union to discuss BRT in-depth
November 2015 Presented to Roosevelt Neighborhood Association
December 2015 Open houses (2) to discuss BRT and multi-modal options
January 2016 Presented to Maple Leaf Community Council
January 2016 Presented to University Transportation Committee
January 2016 Presented to Eastlake Community Council
March 2016 Presented to U-District Partnership
March 2016 Project staff conducted business access survey
Phase 3 - Recommended Corridor Concept
May 2016 Forum meeting to review recommended corridor concept
June 2016 Presentation to Seattle Transit Advisory Board
June 2016 Presented to Fred Hutchinson staff
June 2016 Open houses (2) to review recommended corridor concept
July 2016 Reviewed recommended corridor concept with Vulcan staff
September 2016 Presentation to Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
July 2017 Submitted Locally Preferred Alternative to Seattle City Council (approved July 2017)
November 2017 Notifications for public scoping meeting: • Email update • Mailed notice
December 2017 Public scoping open house to inform project Environmental Assessment
March 2018 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
April 2018 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
August 2018 Project email update
September 2018 Presentation to Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
October 2018 Notifications for Eastlake neighborhood question and answer meeting: • Email update • Mailed notice
October 2018 Hosted Eastlake neighborhood question and answer session to review bicycle alternatives analysis and parking analysis
December 2018 Email invitations sent for Eastlake community parking workshop
January 2019 Hosted Eastlake community parking workshop to discuss opportunities for RPZ updates, transportation options, shared parking, and load zone relocations
April 2019 Attended Eastlake Community Council meeting
April to June 2019 Project outreach staff conducted door-to-door access surveys for Eastlake businesses
May 2019 Attended WSDOT/SDOT community parking briefing to review parking effects from the SR 520 project
July 2019 Briefing with Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks to review the Ravenna Boulevard park
July 2019 Briefing with members of Eastlake Community Council and SAFE Eastlake
July 2019 Notifications for Eastlake business parking workshops: • Mailed notice • Emailed notice • Door-to-door flyers
July 2019 Hosted Eastlake business parking workshops to discuss opportunities for load zone relocations, transportation options, shared parking, and RPZ updates
October 2019 Hosted U-District and Roosevelt Open House and Question & Answer Session
October 2019 Hosted Eastlake, South Lake Union and Downtown Open House and Question & Answer Session
October 2019 Captured community feedback through online open house
October 2019 Presentation to Seattle Transit Advisory Board
October 2019 Briefings with:
  • Eastlake Coffee
  • Patrick's Fly Shop
November 2019 Briefings with:
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Eastlake Fitness and DJ's Apartments
  • Seattle Children's Hospital
January 2020

Notifications for Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) comment period:

  • Mailed notice
  • Emailed notice
  • Notice at Seattle public libraries
  • Notice of availability
January 2020 Hosted U District, Roosevelt, Eastlake, and Downtown Drop-in Sessions for Environmental Assessment and Section 4(f) comment period.
January 2020 Briefing with the Eastlake Community Council Board.
February 2020 Briefing with the University of Washington.
December 2020 Route Update Public Meeting(virtual).
December 2020 (Add new line) Attended North Link Connections Mobility Board meeting
January 2021 Briefing with Councilmember Alex Pedersen
March 2021 Briefings with:
  • U District Partnership
  • Belltown United
March 2021 Attended Roosevelt Neighborhood Association meeting
March 2021 Attended North Link Connections Mobility Board meeting
May 2021 Attended Northeast District Council meeting
June 2021 Briefings with: 
  • Councilmember Girmay Zahilay
  • Council staff
  • SpotHero
  • Interbranch Transit
June 2021 Attended Mercer Corridor Stakeholder Committee meeting
July 2021 SpotHero demo at Eastlake Community Council Board meeting
August 2021 Briefings with:
  • Prime Parking
  • UW Student Life
October 2021 U District Link light rail station grand opening tabling
October 2021 Email update to community-based organizations to take Supplemental EA Survey
October 2021 Presentation to the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
November 2021 Received community feedback through Supplemental EA Survey
December 2021 Briefing with:
  • Vulcan
  • Eastlake Community Council Board
  • Property owners on Eastlake Ave
January 2022 Project team responded to email inquiries about shortened route
February 2022 Project communications with:
  • Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
  • Cascade Bicycle Club
February 2022 Project outreach staff conducted door to door notification of geotechnical boring work
March 2022 Briefing with:
  • Eastlake Fitness
  • Property owners on Eastlake Ave
April 2022 Briefing with Eastlake Community Council
May 2022 Project email update about FONSI
May 2022 Briefing with Seattle Police Department
July 2022 Briefing with Vulcan
August 2022 Project outreach staff conducted door to door notification of geotechnical boring work
August 2022 Project email update for geotechnical boring work
August 2022 Presentation to Eastlake Community Council
September 2022 Captured community feedback through Community Design Survey
September 2022 Notifications for virtual Multimodal Engagement Sessions
  • Sent mailer
  • Sent invitation through project email update
September 2022 Hosted virtual Multimodal Engagement Sessions
September 2022 Project email update with follow up from Multimodal Engagement Sessions
September 2022 Briefings with:
  • Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
  • Eastlake Community Council
  • U District Partnership
October 2022 Briefings with:
  • University of Washington Transportation Services
  • Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
November 2022 SDOT Director Greg Spotts Walking and Listening Tour along Eastlake Ave
February 2023 Briefings with:
  • Seattle Police Department
  • General Services Administration
March 2023 Briefings with:
  • Fred Hutch
  • Seattle Police Department
March 2023 Briefings with Escala Condominiums
April 2023 Briefings with Eastlake Community Council
May 2023 Briefings with:
  • U District Partnership
  • Spruce Street School
June 2023 Briefings with Vulcan
July 2023 Briefings with:
  • Commute Seattle
  • MKA, Aedas, and Seattle Children’s Hospita
August 2023 Briefings with:
  • Eastlake Community Council
  • G3 and Associates
  • Seattle Police Department
September 2023 Briefings with:
  • Harvard Avenue Parking
  • TOPS K-8 School
October 2023 Briefings with:
  • Pembroke
  • UW Transit
November 2023 Briefings with:
  • Escala Condominiums
  • Mercer Corridor Group
December 2023 Briefings with Pembroke
January 2024 Briefings with South Lake Union Community Council
Updated: 12/12/2017

Transportation

Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623
684-Road@seattle.gov

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