Transit returning to full capacity

  • Staff report
  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021 10:54am
  • Northwest

Riders soon will have more public transportation options as buses, trains and ferries in the Puget Sound region return to full capacity and open all seats starting in July.

Governor Inslee is dropping state social distancing restrictions for transit as part of his decision to reopen the state. As vaccination rates continue to climb in the Puget Sound region and other state restrictions are relaxed, even more people are expected to use transit this summer.

Passengers still must wear masks on transit and at indoor transit facilities in compliance with the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandate. Passengers also must continue to maintain a six-foot distance from bus drivers, except when paying fare.

The following agencies are removing signs or barriers that have blocked off seats during the pandemic: Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit, and Washington State Ferries.

Starting Thursday, July 1, normal passenger capacity will resume on all bus routes, including ST Express bus routes operated by Community Transit, and DART paratransit services. The RideStore will lift its capacity restrictions and is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Customers can use Community Transit’s bus seat availability tool to check the capacity on their route.

Everett Transit

Starting Thursday, July 1, normal passenger capacity will resume on all bus routes and Para Transit service.

King County Metro

Starting Saturday, July 3, normal passenger capacity will resume on Metro buses, on-demand services such as Via to Transit, Seattle Streetcar, water taxis, community vans and shuttles, vanpools, and Access paratransit.

Kitsap Transit

Starting July 1, normal passenger capacity will return to buses, ferries and vanpools, however, the process of removing seat bands from all vehicles will not be finished overnight. Also, regular operations will resume at Annapolis ferry dock, the agency will drop shadow-bus trips, and will reinstate certain bus routes.

Pierce Transit Starting July 1, normal passenger capacity will resume on all bus routes, including ST Express bus routes operated by Pierce Transit, and SHUTTLE paratransit service. The Bus Shop customer service center at Tacoma Dome Station will restore its regular lobby hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Sound Transit

Starting July 3, normal passenger capacity will resume on Link light rail and ST Express bus routes operated by King County Metro (Routes 522, 542, 545, 550 and 554). On Sounder, Tacoma Link and all other ST Express routes, normal capacity will resume starting July 1.

Washington State Ferries

Starting July 1, normal passenger capacity will resume on ferries, and customers will no longer be encouraged to stay in their vehicles.

Returning to full capacity on transit services also comes as the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Storm have announced a return to full capacity at their games starting July 2, and Sounders FC will do so starting July 7. The Seattle Seahawks and the University of Washington Huskies football teams plan a return to full capacity for home games this fall.


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