Big changes are coming to Metro bus service starting this Saturday. Here's what you need to know.
- The Ride Free Area is ending. On all trips except on RapidRide, board through the front door and pay as you enter. Exit through the back door except if you need the lift or ramp or are unloading a bicycle from the rack on the front of the bus.
- Metro is launching the RapidRide C & D lines, which operate on a proof-of-payment system. If paying cash, board through the front door and be sure to get a transfer even if you are not planning on taking another bus. Fare inspectors will board RapidRide buses and passengers without a valid transfer or tapped ORCA card may be subject to a $124 fine.
- If you have an ORCA card and are at a RapidRide station equipped with off-board readers, such as the one at 3rd & Bell, you may tap your ORCA card at the station and then board the RapidRide bus through any door from 6 AM – 7 PM. Otherwise, board through the front door and tap as you enter. The off-board readers are for RapidRide only – on all other buses you need to board through the front door at all times.
- RapidRide D replaces Route 15 to Ballard, operating along 15th Ave W/NW to NW 100th.
- RapidRide C replaces Route 54 to West Seattle, serving the Alaska Junction and Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal.
- Both RapidRide lines operate every 15 minutes or less from 6 AM to 11 PM every day, as well as late-night trips replacing the 81 and 85 night owl routes.
- Route 18 is being replaced by Route 40, which operates along Westlake to Fremont, then along Leary to Ballard, north on 24th Ave NW to NW 85th St and then east to Northgate along Holman Rd. It will operate every 15 minutes Mon-Sat but only every 30 minutes on Sundays.
- The 5 will no longer serve Northgate. Take RapidRide D to NW 85th St and change to Route 40 to Northgate.
- Buses to Magnolia now operate on 3rd Avenue.