New RapidRide line debuts in North Seattle

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:


Mass transit in North Seattle got a big boost Saturday.

King County Metro chose Aurora Avenue North for its fifth RapidRide line.

This region is one of the most congested corridors, according to King County Metro.

The new RapidRide E Line promises faster rides to and from Downtown Seattle.

A day after Valentine’s Day, King County Metro unveiled changes hoping riders “fall in love with the E Line.”

The E Line has replaced Route 358 along Aurora Avenue to and from downtown Seattle as well as the Aurora Village Transit Center.

Hybrid-electric buses with three doors and free Wi-Fi and real-time signs helped rider Aaron Ervin know how quickly he’d get to the library Saturday morning.

"All you have to do is look up you see six minutes you know in six minutes you're going to be on your way," said Ervin.

Also designed to speed things up are Orca card payment stations at every stop.

The route already had the second highest ridership: around 12,000 each weekday.

With the addition, the E Line that is expected to grow by 50 percent within the next five years, according to King County Metro.

"I expect the line to be faster and it'll save my time," said rider Julie Liu.

Those hopping off their first ride were pleased.

"The E Line bus was fun. I've never seen that before," said rider Lori-Anne Garner.

“It's a little bit faster than the 358 so it's good. Gets me to work on time," said rider Curt Loper.

King County Metro still has budget woes.

Right now, Metro is short $75 million a year.

If they don't get the money, cuts could reduce service by 17 percent.

King County leaders want to raise taxes to prevent that from happening.

That could cost taxpayers around $11 a year, if a tax package is approved by voters.