Route 7 - Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor

Updated: December 4, 2020

Keeping buses moving and improving transit access on Rainier Ave S

What’s happening now?

Building off the input we received in 2018 and 2019, our design team evaluated these project improvements based on cost, benefits, and feasibility. We're approaching final design and removed the following from the current map of improvements
  • Update! Based on the City's recently adopted budget, we now have approximately $1 million in funding for sidewalk repair along the north end of Rainier Ave S. 
  • We had been studying adding a northbound bus lane on Rainier Ave S between College and Grand streets that would have removed the center turn lane from that section and added new traffic signals at College and Grand. After considering the impacts to neighborhood access and other parts of Rainier, we decided to allow for continued analysis of transit priority treatments in this section in collaboration with King County Metro.
Map image
Click map for larger version. 
See our email archive for the latest.
What bus improvements are already happening?
We're working closely with the Vision Zero team to improve safety on Rainier Ave S and to keep buses moving at the same time. You may have noticed new bus lanes out there between Rainier Beach and Hillman City! See the Rainier Improvements webpage for more. 

Project Overview

Building off the input we received last year in 2018 and 2019, our design team is approaching final design on these improvements based on cost, benefits, and feasibility. Key features include: 

  • Bus Improvements: Bus-only lanes to separate the bus from traffic (depending on the location, bus lanes may replace parking lanes or travel lanes)
  • Walking and Biking Improvements: Improvements to crossings and connections to neighborhood greenways to help people access transit safely
  • Signal Upgrades: Signals that prioritize transit with queue jumps that give buses a head start and "smart signals" that activate or extend green lights for buses
  • Safety Improvements: Changes to address crashes and improve safety

Project Background

The Route 7 is one of the highest-ridership routes in Seattle, serving over 11,000 daily riders to a wide variety of destinations including schools, community centers, grocery stores, homes, and parks. And while Route 7 buses are scheduled to come every 10 minutes or better throughout most of the day, street conditions can cause delay.

The community around Route 7 and Rainier Ave S is growing, and many of the people who live along the corridor depend on the 7 to get to where they're going. A key goal is to keep what people already love about the 7, while also providing new and better connections to Link light rail and improved connections for people walking and biking.

Timeline changes

RapidRide Rainier was included in the 2015 Levy to Move Seattle and evaluated in the 2016 Transit Master Plan Update and the 2017 Metro Connects Long-Range Plan.

During early program planning, SDOT and King County Metro anticipated upgrading the Route 7 to the RapidRide R Line as soon as 2021. Based on an assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle and King County Metro’s proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP), SDOT is now making improvements to the street and signals to improve bus reliability and access by 2022. 

Unfortunately, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reduced revenue and now requires Metro to pause RapidRide R Line until more funding is available. They will be exploring ways to resume this project as soon as possible. Visit the RapidRide R Line webpage for more information.

Other Projects along Rainier

Our project team is in close coordination with following projects:

Timeline - All major projects on Rainier Ave S

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

Vision Zero safety and bus improvements between Kenny/ Henderson 

Study Route 7 Transit-Plus design concepts

Vision Zero bus lanes between Kenny/Henderson

STBD (Seattle Transportation Benefit District) transit spot improvements

Finalize Route 7 Transit-Plus design concepts

Route 7 Transit-Plus builds bus and safety improvements throughout Rainier Ave S Sound Transit opens Judkins Park Light Rail station (planned)

Accessible Mt Baker builds near term access improvements by 2024

Community Outreach

2017 Early planning outreach Shared the initial RapidRide plans and timeline in partnership with other SE Seattle projects (included a mailer, open house, community conversations, and social media) 
March 19-April 14, 2018 Online open house  Online open house and survey to collect input on detailed concept options; Notifications included a mailer to 40,000 addresses, listserv emails, media, and emails and phone calls to community groups; Online and paper surveys translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Somali, Amharic, Khmer, Omoro, and Tigrinya. 
March-April 2018 In-person surveys
  • Chinatown-International District Community Center
  • King Donuts
  • Rainier Community Center
  • Viet Wah Asian Supermarket
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  • Rainier Farmers Market
  • Asian Counseling and Referral Service
  • Bush Apartments
  • Easter Hotel
  • Nihon Terrace
  • Ling King Tin Ye Association
  • All Family Association
  • Pop-ups at various locations including libraries, mini-marts, and apartment complexes
March-April 2018 Stakeholder briefings
  • Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
  • Seattle Freight Advisory Board
  • King County Transit Advisory Committee
  • Transportation Choices Coalition and Puget Sound Sage
May 2019 Stakeholder briefing Seattle Transit Advisory Board 
June 2019 Stakeholder briefing Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee
July 2019 In-person surveys Conducted surveys with the businesses on and near Rainier Ave S between S Massachusetts St and S Bayview St to learn more about delivery and customer access to help inform potential bus lanes on Rainier. 
Early 2020 Metro Open houses Participated in open houses in coordination with King County Metro RapidRide R Line

We're always interested in meeting with community and neighborhood groups that want to learn more about the project and provide input. You can request a briefing by emailing or calling (206) 900-8724

SE Seattle Open House


October 2020

March 2020

November 2019

October 2019

August 2019

May 2019

May 2018

  • Public Health Assessment of the RapidRide Project 
    • University of Washington School of Public Health and College of Built Environments prepared a health assessment of the RapidRide Rainier Project. They examined five topics through a public health and equity lens: health and human services, mobility, infrastructure, community and development and environmental conditions. The report includes expected positive and negative health impacts of the project for each of the focus areas, along with their respective magnitudes of impact and distribution.

April 2018

March 2018

March 2017

*Materials shared before summer 2018 reflect previous RapidRide Rainier Line timeline.


This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. We are also partnering with other projects along Rainier to deliver pieces of the project sooner and more efficiently.

Levy to Move Seattle logo


If you need this information translated, please call 206-900-8724.

如果您需要此信息翻譯成中文 請致電 206-900-8724.

Kung kailangan mo ang impormasyon na ito na nakasalin sa Tagalog mangyari lamang na tumawag sa 206-900-8724.

Si necesita traducir esta información al español, llame al 206-900-8724.

Odeeffannoon kun akka siif 206-900-8724.

Nếu quý vị cần thông tin này chuyển ngữ sang tiếng Việt xin gọi 206-900-8724.

የዚህን መረጃ ትርጉም ከፈለጉ፣ በዚህ ስልክ ቁጥር ይደውሉ፡ 206-900-8724.

ናይዚ ሓበሬታ ትርጉም እንተደሊኹም፣ በዚ ቁጽሪ ስልኪ ይድውሉ፡ 206-900-8724.

당신이 번역이 정보를 필요로하는 경우에, 206-900-8724 로 전화 해주십시오.