Riders will be the beneficiaries of a steady and reliable stream of revenue to Metro Transit – an aggregated $275 million over 32 years — as a result of the stance taken by King County Executive Dow Constantine in negotiating the sale of Convention Place Station for expansion of the Convention Center. The Executive insisted that revenue from the sale support service and reliability improvements for Metro that begin to address the need for sustainable growth in bus service throughout the region.
Construction for Convention Center expansion will require closure of the site. The station was always slated for permanent closure – light rail already bypasses it by going straight from Westlake to Capitol Hill, and up until now Metro was planning for removal of all buses from the downtown transit tunnel as early as September 2018.
With the sale now complete, here’s what riders can expect:
- Removal of the remaining seven bus routes that use the tunnel in March 2019 or September 2019, depending on when the Convention Center secures needed permits.
- Initial work to continue at the site to relocate a transit power station which sends electricity to trolley buses in the area. A new traction power substation is being installed this weekend. Later, riders will see construction of a temporary ramp at Convention Place Station – providing a path for the seven bus routes up to temporary surface stops on Ninth Avenue.
- Increased constraints on mobility for all modes of traffic in downtown Seattle, as private commercial construction (just count the number of cranes) and many public projects – including demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, waterfront construction, and new streetcar tracks – constrict downtown streets from 2019 to 2023.
- Continued opportunities to tell Metro what you think about revisions to bus service which will be needed to maintain a reliable public transit system connecting downtown Seattle and the rest of the region.
With the new timeline for Convention Place Station and the Downtown Transit Tunnel, Metro is reassessing its plans and opportunities for the public to weigh in, and will have more information in the coming months on when and how the public can “Have a Say.”
In the meantime, Metro is continuing work with the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, and downtown businesses in a One Center City process to minimize impacts and provide reliable transit service to our customers.
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Senior Strategic Communications Advisor to the Director of the King County Department of Transportation