Tag Archives: king county metro

NEWS GLEAMS | Free Transit Passes for Youth, Updates on West Seattle Bridge, & More

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


A light-hearted News Gleams for this scorching week! We cover free transit passes for youth and major updates on West Seattle Bridge which put it closer to reopening — plus The Seattle Public Library’s head librarian wants to hear from you!

—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor of the South Seattle Emerald

P.S. Check out our Voting Guide for the Aug. 2 Primary Elections, and don’t forget to vote! It’s part of our recently launched series of South End Guides.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | Free Transit Passes for Youth, Updates on West Seattle Bridge, & More

Sound Transit Board Passes a More Lenient Policy Toward Non-Paying Riders

by Lizz Giordano


Sound Transit is bringing back fines for non-payment on its trains and buses this fall after the agency paused fare enforcement during the pandemic, but it has also instituted a more lenient and accommodating system for riders who don’t pay their fare.

Continue reading Sound Transit Board Passes a More Lenient Policy Toward Non-Paying Riders

Metro Wants to Get Rid of Cash Fares. Will Vulnerable Riders Be Left Behind?

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)

Join me in helping the Emerald create ripples and sparks everywhere! Information is Power! Imagine media for, by, and accountable to the community — thankfully, you don’t have to, because the Emerald already exists! As a founding board member living in a community so often treated as powerless, I’ve seen the Emerald grow to become a beacon of light that reminds us of our power, our wisdom, and our agency. But we can’t continue to do it without sustainable financial resources that allow us to thrive. Help us celebrate authentic community stories during the Emerald’s 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28, by becoming a recurring donor! 

—Bridgette Hempstead, Community Activist, Founding Board Member, & Rainmaker

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, King County Metro plans to rip out its existing fare boxes, which accept cash, tickets, and ORCA transit passes, and replace them with a cash-free payment system — part of a long-term plan to expedite boarding, integrate the County’s bus system with Sound Transit, and reduce conflicts between riders and drivers. “Every second you save at the curb is money you can reinvest at keeping service operating,” said Carol Cooper, Metro’s Market Innovation Section manager.

Continue reading Metro Wants to Get Rid of Cash Fares. Will Vulnerable Riders Be Left Behind?

Sound Transit Searching for Equitable Fare Enforcement Solutions

by Lizz Giordano


Two years after Sound Transit acknowledged that internal data showed Black and low-income riders were more likely to be cited and punished for failing to pay on trains, the agency is still searching for a solution for fare enforcement equity.

According to 2018–2019 rider surveys and enforcement data, 9% of light rail and Sounder train riders were Black but accounted for 21% of the people cited or fined by officers. And nearly 60% of the riders cited had a household income of less than $50,000.

Continue reading Sound Transit Searching for Equitable Fare Enforcement Solutions

A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.

by Lizz Giordano


As Steven Wayne and Emoke Rock crossed the light rail tracks near the Columbia City Station last summer, they were unaware a light rail train was barreling toward them about to hit and kill the couple, according to a recently completed investigation of the July 2 collision.

“At no point does either pedestrian make any movement to get out of the path of the train or acknowledge its presence,” concludes the “Final Accident Report” written by King County Metro Transit. The bus agency is contracted by the light rail agency to operate the trains. 

The report is sparking renewed discussions about pedestrian safety along the light rail corridor, a critical conversation for Rainier Valley residents. 

Continue reading A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.

Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

The new route will ferry 12K passengers daily from downtown to Madison Valley by way of First Hill.

by Ben Adlin


A groundbreaking ceremony in Madison Valley this week marked the official start of construction of a new RapidRide bus route — the G Line — expected to carry nearly 12,000 people daily along Madison Street between downtown and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The 2.3-mile transit expansion, projected to open in 2024, will include major upgrades to roads and sidewalks, including 240 curb cutouts to increase accessibility, new traffic signals, more visible crosswalks, signs that show real-time bus arrivals, and raised-curb stations designed to make it easier to get on and off buses — which will come every six minutes at peak times and have doors on both sides.

In the short-term, the $133 million project will likely mean a snarl of construction traffic on Madison, only adding to the region’s growing pains. But the investment of time and money will eventually mean a more connected, built-out transit system that links some of the city’s densest neighborhoods, speakers at Thursday’s, Sept. 30, event said.

“In some cities, the best lines of communication are from the city center to the suburbs,” said the Rev. Patricia Hunter of Mount Zion Baptist Church, where the groundbreaking ceremony was held. “But in Seattle, one of the best lines of transportation will serve those within the city, all along Madison.”

Continue reading Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

Local Comedian ‘The Mad Bus Driver’ Returns to the Stage This Sunday

by Chamidae Ford


This Sunday, Sept. 5, Anthony Session, known for his comic career as The Mad Bus Driver, will return to the stage for his show, “The Mad Bus Driver and Friends Are Back!” The performance will take place at the Rainier Arts Center, with J Will hosting and comic J Rock Owens joining the bill. The event will also feature music by DJ Diph

Session, a St. Louis native, is a King County Metro driver by day, and his experiences driving the people of Seattle sparked the creation of his Mad Bus Driver character. Although he began his career in the late ’90s, The Mad Bus Driver was born later. 

Continue reading Local Comedian ‘The Mad Bus Driver’ Returns to the Stage This Sunday

Program Expands in South King County to Offer Rides to Transit Centers and More

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Beginning Aug. 10, more residents in South King County will be able to get rides to transportation hubs for buses, trains, and other locations after King County Metro expanded a pilot service program to provide for Rainier Beach, Skyway, Renton Highlands, and Tukwila.

Similar to the way Uber and Lyft operate, residents living in Othello, Rainier Beach, Skyway, Renton Highlands, and Tukwila will now be able to request a ride from a vehicle in King County’s pilot program, called Via to Transit, in order to commute to the light rail, bus networks, and other locations that are designated by the program.

“The expansion of this service is the result of outreach by Metro to understand what we could do to meet the mobility needs of the people in these communities,” said Christina O’Claire, Metro’s mobility division director in a statement. “Our focus is to ensure that our riders are able to access work, school, the services they depend on, and the activities they enjoy.”

Continue reading Program Expands in South King County to Offer Rides to Transit Centers and More

Metro Reveals Plans for RapidRide I-Line Stations in South King County

by Stephen Fesler

(This article was previously published at The Urbanist and has been reprinted with permission.)


A new Metro RapidRide line is coming to Auburn, Kent, and Renton in 2023 to provide more than just more frequent and faster bus service. King County Metro also is planning new station standards at stops and making lasting improvements to streets. In the latest project update, Metro unveiled four types of station standards depending upon expected ridership and station access needs, which will dictate which improvements will be rolled out.

Continue reading Metro Reveals Plans for RapidRide I-Line Stations in South King County

NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Webinar, SE Seattle Schools’ Move-a-Thon, Metro’s Trailhead Direct

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


COVID-19 vaccine vial at a Seattle pop-up vaccination clinic. Photo by Alex Garland.

COVID-19 Webinar & Testing Locations

Six Months After the COVID Vaccine Webinar, May 27 With full reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic just weeks away, a group of experts will discuss the State’s next steps and how Washington state can return to a medical world better and more equitable than the old normal. 

From the event sponsor: “On May 27 from 5 to 6 p.m., Washington medical experts will convene for a free webinar, Six Months with a COVID Vaccine: Where we started and what we know now. Hosted by the Washington State Department of Health, the event will feature a panel discussion with: 

  • Dr. Ben Danielson, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Dr. Gretchen LaSalle, American Academy of Family Physicians Vaccine Science Fellow
  • Dr. Larry Corey, Fred Hutch President and Director Emeritus

“The experts will share an update on state vaccination rates, their learnings from the last six months and their outlook for what WA residents can expect moving forward.
More information on the webinar can be found here. This event will offer live Spanish and ASL interpretation.”

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Webinar, SE Seattle Schools’ Move-a-Thon, Metro’s Trailhead Direct