Seattle secures $64.2 million federal grant for RapidRide J Line project

Posted: 5 February 2024 | | No comments yet

The City of Seattle receives $64.2 million from the FTA for the RapidRide J Line project, enhancing Route 70 with protected bike lanes and utility upgrades, backed by collaborative funding.

Seattle secures $64.2 million federal grant for RapidRide J Line project

Credit: King County Metro

King County Metro has announced that the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $64.2 million to the City of Seattle for the construction of the RapidRide J Line project. 

The RapidRide J Line project, a collaborative effort between the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro, aims to elevate the transit experience for thousands of commuters. With a total project budget of $128.5 million, the initiative seeks to overhaul King County Metro’s Route 70, a lifeline connecting downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake and the University District.

Central to the project are enhancements designed to improve bus access, reliability, frequency and station amenities while implementing proven safety measures and upgrading critical infrastructure. Among the planned improvements are the installation of protected bike lanes, the planting of over 100 new trees and utility upgrades, including a new water main along Eastlake Avenue East.

The funding breakdown for the project reflects a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders. Alongside FTA’s contribution, the Federal Highway Administration has also allocated $9.6 million, with additional support from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the University of Washington, each contributing $6 million. The City of Seattle will provide $43 million, primarily sourced from the Levy to Move Seattle initiative, while Seattle Public Utilities plans to invest $28 million in a separate water main project, coinciding with the RapidRide J Line construction.

The Levy to Move Seattle, passed by voters in 2015, has played a crucial role in facilitating transformative projects. By leveraging funds from regional, state and federal transit agencies, the levy has significantly amplified the city’s transportation investments, underscoring its pivotal role in driving Seattle’s infrastructure development.

Transdev extends long-term partnership with Community Transit

The RapidRide J Line project is part of a broader commitment to create a more interconnected city, bolstered by investments from the Levy to Move Seattle initiative. Previous endeavours include the Madison St – Rapid Ride G line, the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line and various Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridors, all aimed at enhancing Seattle’s public transit network.

Notably, the RapidRide J Line will traverse the newly reconstructed Fairview Ave N Bridge, a critical component of the Levy to Move Seattle agenda, completed in 2021.

“As Seattle continues to grow, the RapidRide J Line will provide speedy service for commuters as well as generations of UW Huskies and area residents still to come,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Bus rapid transit routes have been transforming communities across the country with fast, frequent service along key economic corridors, and we are pleased to add Seattle to the growing list of communities benefiting from America’s largest ever investment in high-quality public transportation.”

“The RapidRide J Line expands King County’s high-capacity transit network. We’re connecting growing communities with fast, frequent service to get people where they want to be, when they want to be there,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.