Rewind to December 2019: artist team Johnson | Ramirez rolled up their sleeves and began laying out a cohesive art master plan for King County Metro’s RapidRide Expansion program, connecting the entire network of lines.
Over the past 8 months, they have honed a thoughtful and multi-layered plan, spending time with bus drivers, King County Metro Staff, riders, and transit-lovers alike. Even though the world of transit has been altered dramatically over the arc of this project, we see this plan as being integral to the RapidRide experience of the future. With its focus on the people that power RapidRide, we expect artworks and arts experiences to begin taking shape as each new line begins service between 2021-2025. In many ways, this Plan looks and feels different than standard master plans. It is intended to tell the story of what makes RapidRide unique in an easy-to-read format. Notably, Johnson|Ramirez worked with artist, illustrator and avid bus-rider, Aaron Bagley, to capture visual vignettes which spark imagination and connect us with transit in a playful, accessible way.
Whether you ride the bus, live in an area serviced by RapidRide, or are transit-curious, there is something for everyone in this Plan.
What is RapidRide?
RapidRide is King County Metro’s premier transit service: arterial bus rapid transit. First implemented in 2009, there are now six existing lines (A-F) serving King County. Different from standard bus service, RapidRide lines look, feel and operate more like trains. RapidRide consistently scores the highest customer satisfaction marks among all Metro services and, when compared to routes it replaces, has 20% faster travel time and over 50% more riders.
RapidRide features include:
- Substantial, permanent stops and shelters.
- Real-time arrival information.
- Off-board fare payment so passengers spend more time moving and less time waiting.
- Significant roadway investment like bus-only lanes and opportunities to jump ahead at signals.
- Distinctive, branded red buses.