Seattle and King County Metro Transit are working together to accommodate development of “bus hubs” in Seattle neighborhoods. Metro wants to consolidate the location of buses layover, ideally off-street. The first location is planned to be on Eastlake Ave E in South Lake Union next to I-5 and south of the Mercer Street interchange. In order to allow these types of facilities, Seattle needs to develop land use regulations and design standards that would apply to them. Metro, as part of that process, wants feedback on the concept design for the first location.

Bus hubs could provide a variety of benefits by freeing up limited curb space, reducing idling near sidewalks, and providing a place for bus operators to use restrooms and break facilities. Bus hubs could also come in variety of flavors, whether as screened parking areas or underneath mixed-use developments.

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Metro’s first bus hub will provide layover space for around 12 buses. The site is meant for operations staff only, but will may involve some amenities for the community. Bus operators will have access to a secured office space with restrooms and a break room. Metro wants feedback on the type of materials (e.g., paving style, screening, and wall texture), design for an on-site operations office, and neighborhood amenities that should be used for the Eastlake bus hub. An online survey is open through January 31st.

Metro expects the Eastlake bus hub to open in 2020. Prior to that, however, land use code changes and permitting is required. The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections is in the process of developing code amendments, which may partially be reflective of comments received on the survey. These code amendments will touch on the use, permitting process, and development standards tailored to South Lake Union, Uptown, and Downtown Seattle. New land use regulations should be adopted sometime this summer.

Metro Is Proposing “Bus Hubs” For Off-Street Layover Space

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Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.