4Culture Grants + Calls

RapidRide Expansion Art Master Plan

Develop a master plan for artistic impact across six new bus rapid transit lines with service throughout King County.

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Budget: $50,000 [Budget is inclusive of artist fee, travel, and applicable taxes. A separate contingency fund has been established for the development of the master plan documentation.]
  • Project term: November 2019–May 2020
  • Eligibility: open to artists and curators, working independently or as a team, who reside in the United States or British Columbia and have experience doing large-scale, arts-related planning work with a focus on equity and social justice.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: 4:00 PM PDT on Monday, September 16, 2019.


King County and the Seattle region are experiencing unprecedented population growth. To meet the ever-increasing demand for high quality transit service, a massive expansion of the RapidRide system, King County Metro’s arterial bus rapid transit service, is underway. Six new lines will launch between 2021 and 2025. The lines will serve historically disadvantaged communities, geographies with high ridership potential, and balance transit investment throughout King County, WA. The planning and deployment of these new lines presents an exciting opportunity for artistic impact across the County.

4Culture, which commissions artwork for shared public space, and King County Metro seek a planning artist and/or curator to develop a master plan for artistic impact across the system of six new bus rapid transit lines.

The planning artist or team will:

  • Analyze opportunities and constraints to articulate art opportunities across the RapidRide system and on a line-by-line basis. Visit and research the neighborhoods where the new lines will travel, informed by Metro’s Equity Impact Reviews, which assess equity and social justice impacts and opportunities.
  • Work closely with Metro and 4Culture staff to determine a conceptual framework for system-wide and community-specific art integration and intervention.
  • Work with 4Culture staff to analyze the public art budget available for implementation and present recommendations for individual commissions and allocation of resources within the system, lines, and neighborhoods.
  • Document guidelines that are broad enough to allow other artists to generate ideas, approaches, and projects and specific enough to give a strong conceptual framework for artwork development.
  • Deliver a ready-to-use art master plan as a digital file.

Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:

  • Stand-alone artwork opportunities.
  • Bench design.
  • Bench leaning rail design.
  • Lighting.
  • Ground plane treatments.
  • Bus vehicle treatments (exterior and interior).
  • Dynamic signage.
  • Audio integration.
  • Events and ephemeral art experiences.

Although the plan will lay a foundation for other artists’ work, the planning artist will have the opportunity to propose ideas for their own artwork for the expanded RapidRide system, or a particular line and location. The detailed development and implementation of their idea will be funded separately. Subsequent projects would be implemented between 2021–2025.


See map below.

Artwork planning for six new RapidRide lines:
G Line @ Madison Valley / Seattle (Madison)
H Line @ Burien / Westwood Village / Seattle (Delridge)
I Line @ Renton / Kent / Auburn
Corridor 1013 @ Seattle / Eastlake University District (Roosevelt)
Corridor 1071 @ Seattle / Mount Baker / Rainier Beach (Rainier)
Corridor 1027 @ Totem Lake / Bellevue / Eastgate


4Culture and King County Metro have a long history of working together on public art projects. For many years, 4Culture commissioned permanent art for integration at transit centers, park and rides, and bus bases. Since 2009, the focus has been on ephemeral art experiences, including a line-specific soundscape and mobile game, an award-winning, multi-lingual poetry program, and development of a world-renowned mural corridor. This RapidRide Expansion Art Master Plan is an opportunity for an artist or team to consider past approaches as well as new ones to develop a broad range of art opportunities for six new RapidRide lines.

RapidRide is King County Metro’s premier service: arterial bus rapid transit. First implemented in 2009, there are six existing lines (A-F) serving King County today. Each day, these lines carry almost 20% of the over 400,000 daily Metro transit trips taken around the Seattle region and represent one of the busiest bus rapid transit systems in the nation.

Different from standard bus service, RapidRide lines look, feel and operate more like trains.
They have:

  • 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.

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.

Client Background

King County Metro
4Culture Public Art

2 Timeline

2 Timeline

Selection Timeline**

Application deadline: Monday, September 16, 2019 by 4:00 pm PDT
Selection panel meeting: week of September 30, 2019
Finalist interviews: Week of October 14, 2019 or October 21, 2019*

Project Timeline**

Preliminary research and plan outline: November 2019–January 2020
Preliminary recommendations: February 2020
Plan development: February–April 2020
Plan delivery: April–May 2020

3 Are You Eligible?

3 Are You Eligible?


This project is open to artists and/or curators who reside in the United States or British Columbia and have experience doing large-scale, arts-related planning work with a focus on access, equity, and social justice.

Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit and professional qualifications as demonstrated in past work.
  • Experience developing conceptual frameworks for large and small-scale art opportunities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and social justice-based work.
  • A proven ability to collaborate with design professionals and community stakeholders.
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in working in the context of a public capital project.
  • Demonstrated strength in analysis of opportunities, constraints and resources as well as verbal, written, and graphic communication skills.
  • Availability to work on a part-time basis both remotely and in the Seattle area between November 2019 and May 2020.

Selection Process

A five-person selection panel will review the applications and select finalists/team for orientation and interview, and recommend one finalist for the commission. The panelists reflect a range of communities, artistic disciplines, planning expertise, and transit agency knowledge.

The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalist interviews.

4 How to Apply

4 How to Apply

Interested artists must submit an online application. You may be required to create a new account. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.


Contact information for yourself or all members of your team if applying as a team.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) explaining why you are interested in working on this project and how you would approach this commission opportunity considering your past experience. If there are multiple collaborators as part of your team, please explain how you work together. Consider the selection criteria as it relates to this opportunity. Applicants are not asked to submit a proposal as part of the application.


Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé plus one additional page with references (see instructions below). Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDF is preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member, plus one additional page of references.


Please attach one page to your résumé that lists the name, email address, and phone number of up to three references who can speak to your professional history and community involvement. Briefly note how you know the person. Teams should include no more than three references combined.

Work Samples

You must submit 8 digital images and up to 2 sample planning or communication documents to be eligible for consideration. We encourage you to submit work samples that best illustrate your qualifications for this opportunity. Please include sample planning or communication documents that show experience in communicating complex ideas effectively, as well as master plan development, art plan development, urban design, art integration within transit infrastructure, and/or the analysis of complex systems.

If applying as a team, the team may submit no more than 10 work samples as described above.

    • Digital images: upload JPG files only; images must be 1920 pixels on the longest side, at least 72 dpi, and less than 2 MB in size.
    • Sample planning/communication documents: in the URL field, provide a link to the entire document posted online or a link to a shared folder service such as Dropbox or Google Drive where the entire document can be accessed. Please insure that visibility settings are set so that anyone with the link can view and share.

Each work sample requires a brief description (75 words or less for digital images and 150 words or less for sample planning/communication documents) that includes the following information, if applicable: project location, commissioning agency, budget, project partners, photo credit, copyright owner, summary of the project scope, intention, and outcome.

5 Help

5 Help


If you have questions regarding the application, please contact:

Andy Le

If you have questions related to the project, please contact:

Kelly Pajek

Selina Hunstiger

Deadline: applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm PDT on Monday, September 16, 2019.