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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $64.2 Million Grant for a New Bus Rapid Transit Line in Seattle

Friday, January 26, 2024

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes historic investments to support better, more reliable transit service in communities of all sizes across the country

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a $64.2 million construction grant award to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to support a bus rapid transit line that will provide fast, frequent, and reliable service between downtown Seattle, the University of Washington (UW), and other important destinations in the Emerald City. The grant for the new RapidRide J Line was funded by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"Americans depend on fast, affordable, and safe transportation options to get to work, pursue their education, and come home every day to their families" said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Bus rapid transit is the fastest-growing transit mode for a good reason, and the Biden-Harris administration’s $64.2 million investment will build out Seattle's RapidRide J Line to provide faster, more efficient service that benefits the greater Seattle area.”

SDOT's RapidRide J Line will upgrade an existing King County Metro bus line by providing improved reliability with bus-only lanes and transit signal priority, decreased travel time, protected bike lanes and safer pedestrian access. The 5.2-mile route will have 11 new or improved stations that include shelters, lighting, real-time arrival information, and that facilitate all-door boarding. It will also improve rider connections to Link light rail, other bus lines, and the Seattle Streetcar. As the route connects downtown Seattle with the University District, it will provide a new transit option to nearly 50,000 students and 21,000 employees, who receive partial or full transit subsidies. Along the way, the line will travel through Belltown, South Lake Union, and Eastlake neighborhoods.

"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. "BRT 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 federal support for the estimated $128.5 million project comes from FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, which helps communities carry out transformational transit projects.