King County Metro ride-free zone comes to an end


by KING 5 News

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:31 AM

End of Seattle's ride-free zone: Good or bad?

Saturday brought a lot of changes to King County Metro's bus routes, including the end of the free-ride zone in downtown Seattle, the elimination of 18 routes, and the introduction of two RapidRide lines serving Ballard and West Seattle.

The first big test for commuters will come on Monday morning. Tell us about your commute via Twitter using #busruption as the hashtag.

Or post a comment on this article ... or drop a note on KING 5 News's Facebook page.

The Changes

Ride-free zone replacement: For people with low-income who depend on free bus rides to public and health services downtown, a circulator bus will be available. The service, operated by Solid Ground under contract with the City of Seattle, will begin operating on Monday, Oct. 1. 

According to Solid Ground, two buses – one seating 19 people, the other 23 – will run a fixed 4.5 mile route, Monday through Friday, stopping at each of the seven stops about every 30 minutes. The circulator route map is below. More information on service is at

Eliminated routes: 15, 17, 18, 23, 34, 35, 39, 45, 45, 51, 53, 54, 54E, 56, 81 Night Owl, 85 Night Owl, 133, 134

New RapidRide Lines: C, connecting West Seattle to downtown; and D, connecting Crown Hill and Ballard with downtown. (See maps in related photo gallery.)

New routes: 32, 40, 50, 61, 62.

Revised routes: 2E and 14 (north) renumbered as 29 and 47.

Extensive changes
to 50 other routes.

Metro's website has plenty of information on all of these bus route changes.