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File #: 2021-0211    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 6/15/2021 In control: Mobility and Environment Committee
On agenda: Final action: 7/6/2021
Enactment date: 7/22/2021 Enactment #: 19312
Title: AN ORDINANCE establishing the alignment and station locations of, and meeting federal assistance conditions for, RapidRide J Line.
Sponsors: Rod Dembowski, Girmay Zahilay
Indexes: King County, Metro, transit, Transportation
Attachments: 1. Ordinance 19312, 2. A. RapidRide J Line Station Locations, 3. 2021-0211 transmittal letter, 4. 2021-0211 Rapid Ride J Line SDOT Letter Of Support, 5. 2021-0211 RapidRide J Line SDOT Public Engagement Summary, 6. 2021-0211 fiscal note, 7. 2021-0211 Legislative Review Form, 8. 2021-0211_SR_JLine, 9. 2021-0211 ATT4_JLine_Fullcorridor_Integrated_Station_Map, 10. 2021-0211 ATT5 SDOT Letter of Support
Related files: 2016-0404


Clerk 06/01/2021


AN ORDINANCE establishing the alignment and station locations of, and meeting federal assistance conditions for, RapidRide J Line.



1.  Via Ordinance 18449, enacted February 1, 2017, the King County council adopted and executive signed King County Metro's long-range transit service and capital plan, METRO CONNECTS, which identifies an expanded network of future RapidRide lines for implementation, including RapidRide J Line, connecting Downtown Seattle with the neighborhoods of Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District and Roosevelt.

2.  Via Ordinance 18301, enacted June 16, 2016, the council approved the 2015 update to Metro's Strategic Plan for Public Transportation 2011-2021 and associated Service Guidelines.  The plan describes current and future planning work required to implement additional RapidRide bus rapid transit service in King County.

3.  Via Ordinance 18409, enacted November 17, 2016, the council adopted and the executive signed the 2017-2018 Biennial Budget, which included Section 132, Provisos P4 and P5, requiring the executive to submit reports describing the process for implementing new RapidRide lines.

4.  Via Motion 14956, passed September 18, 2017, the council approved a report on the implementation of new RapidRide lines as required by Ordinance 18409, Section 132, Proviso P5, titled Implementation of New RapidRide Lines/METRO CONNECTS RapidRide Expansion, which identifies RapidRide J Line as one of the next generation RapidRide lines to be implemented, expanding service for the corridor over that of current local Route 70 which J Line would replace.

5.  Via the 2019-2020 Biennial Budget Ordinance, Ordinance 18835, enacted November 14, 2018, the council adopted and the executive signed the 2019-2020 Biennial Budget, including capital project 1132327 to implement RapidRide J Line, named TDC Roosevelt RR.

6.  As documented in the RapidRide J Line Alignment Public Engagement Summary, starting in 2014, the Metro transit department and the Seattle Department of Transportation ("SDOT") conducted public engagement concerning the proposed alignment and station locations for RapidRide J Line in the neighborhoods in which it will operate, including Downtown Seattle, Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District and Roosevelt.  In coordination with the Metro transit department, SDOT as the lead agency conducted several rounds of public engagement regarding station locations and proposed right of way improvements, street and facility design and proposed transit priority treatments, consistent with bus rapid transit concepts.

7.  As approved in the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget Ordinance, Ordinance 19210, the Metro transit department has canceled all of its capital contribution to the RapidRide J Line project, except for approximately $2.5 million in Metro transit department staff time charged to the RapidRide Program Management project, resulting in the city of Seattle's ability to fund a Minimum Operable Segment of the capital project only as far north as University District.  That action removed the Roosevelt neighborhood from project scope yet retained the Metro transit department's plan to fund start of operations in 2026, once construction is completed.

8.  Project partner, the city of Seattle, is pursuing substantial funding for RapidRide J Line through a Federal Transit Administration Small Starts grant.  The grant is governed by the New Starts Congressional Handbook, June 2009, which defines Minimum Operable Segment (“MOS”) as, "The purpose of selecting the MOS is to identify a segment of a Locally Preferred Alternative that provides the most cost-effective solution with the greatest benefits for the project.  The MOS must be able to function as a stand-alone project and not be dependent on any future segments being constructed."

9.  The report required by Ordinance 18409, Section 132, Proviso P5, states that specific routing shall be determined by the council and be consistent with the corridor descriptions in the report.

10.  RapidRide J Line will compete to receive grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration's Small Starts grant program, with the goal of entering into a Small Starts grant agreement.

11.  The Federal Transit Administration requires that Small Starts grant-funded projects operate transit service at the level specified in the grant agreement for a defined period of performance.  The period of performance for those service level commitments is at the discretion of the Federal Transit Administration and is a prescribed condition of receiving federal financial assistance.


                     SECTION 1.  The RapidRide J Line alignment, including general station locations, substantially as set forth in Attachment A to this ordinance, and including U District Link light rail station as the north terminus, is hereby approved in order to allow design and construction of RapidRide infrastructure and facilities design and construction to proceed.

                     SECTION 2.  Before the implementation of RapidRide J Line service, the executive shall notify the King County council and the city of Seattle of any substantial changes to station locations.  The notice to the council shall be filed in the form of a paper original and an electronic copy with the clerk of the council, who shall retain the original and provide an electronic copy to all councilmembers.  Following the implementation of RapidRide J Line service, the Metro transit department shall consult with the city of Seattle before making any changes to the routing or station locations.

                     SECTION 3.  Before the start of RapidRide J Line service, the executive shall transmit to the council a service change ordinance in accordance with K.C.C. 28.94.020 that identifies hours of operation and service levels by period of the day.

                     SECTION 4.  For the purpose of securing federal financial assistance for the development and implementation of RapidRide J Line capital projects, the executive or designee is authorized to enter into a RapidRide J Line project agreement that includes defined service level commitments as a prescribed condition of receiving federal moneys, but only if the following conditions are met:

                     A.  The contractual service commitment does not exceed the period of performance specified in the federal grant agreement; and

                     B.  The contractual service commitment does not exceed five years from the opening of revenue service.