LaHood awards $37.5 million for new Seattle BRT lines

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood awarded $37.5 million Friday to the King County Department of Transportation to build two new bus rapid transit lines as part of greater-Seattle’s new six corridor RapidRide bus rapid transit (BRT) system.

“King County’s RapidRide bus lines are a great example of bus rapid transit done right,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “The RapidRide system is essentially rail on wheels and will help people keep more money in their wallets instead of paying it at the pump.”

The new RapidRide E and F lines are funded through the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities Grant Program.  The E Line will operate between Shoreline and downtown Seattle.  The F Line will provide connections between the cities of Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila and Renton, and to Link light rail and Sounder commuter rail.

“With nationwide transit ridership at its highest level in five years, the Obama Administration is committed to giving Americans greater options for getting where they need to go,” said LaHood. “The new RapidRide transit lines are an excellent investment in Seattle’s future economic growth and sustainability.”

RapidRide A and B Lines opened in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and currently serve more than 13,000 riders on an average weekday. The C and D Lines are expected to open this fall.  Service on the E and F Lines is slated to begin in the fall of 2013.