RapidRide rolling on Aurora Avenue

SEATTLE - Metro bus riders deserve a break, right?!  About 12,000 bus passengers who commute on Aurora Avenue should now save a few minutes in their travels, thanks to Metro's new RapidRide E line, the Seattle Times reports.  The new bus service rolled out Saturday, replacing the Route 358 that served Aurora Avenue North.

The RapidRide line uses distinctive red buses with low floors, and make fewer bus stops than the conventional routes, the paper said.  Passengers are encouraged to prepay their fares by tapping their ORCA fare cards on 'readers' at various bus stops.  The prepay allows passengers to enter any of the three doors on the RapidRide buses, instead of having to enter the front door to pay.

Metro says that passengers will save one to nine minutes per trip, depending on distance and time of day, the Times reported.  Other RapidRide features include peak-hour bus lanes in Shoreline and Seattle, and traffic-signal changes, which are designed to hold a green light longer if a bus is approaching.

This is the fifth RapidRide line since voters approved a sales-tax increase in the 2006 Transit Now ballot measure: There’s the A Line in Federal Way, SeaTac and Tukwila; B Line for Redmond, Overlake and Bellevue; C Line from West Seattle to downtown; and D Line passing Ballard, Seattle Center and downtown Seattle.