Bus route changes start Monday in downtown Seattle to help commute times

SEATTLE -- If you're making your way through downtown Seattle Monday, there will be some major changes affecting thousands of commuters.

King County Metro Transit has moved 12 routes to improve commute times while demolition on the Alaskan Way Viaduct continues.

Twelve southbound routes have now been moved off First Avenue and will instead use Second Avenue and connect to Fourth Avenue.

The southbound bus stop at First Avenue South and South King street will be closed down. A long-term stop on Second Avenue Extension South between South Washington Street and South Main will take its place.

Some bus riders were caught off guard by the changes on Monday.

"By the time I got up here I missed my bus it was rolling on by, so I called my work and told them I was going to be late," said Robert Rhoades, a Metro Transit commuter.

King County Metro Transit is hoping these changes will cut down on delays for 30,000 riders headed to and from West Seattle, Burien and other neighboring areas.

“Several times traffic has come to an almost complete stop for an hour or more right in the afternoon rush hour. That kind of unreliability is unacceptable to Metro," said Bill Bryant with King County Metro Transit.

There will be more re-routing from Sept. 12 - Sept. 21. This time it will impact northbound buses at South Dearborn Street as ramps to and from SR-99 will close for more demolition of the viaduct.

The bus routes won’t fully be back to normal for riders until Alaskan Way re-opens opens in early 2020.