The Metro Bus Tunnel, also referred to as the (Downtown) Seattle Transit Tunnel is a 1.3-mile-long transittunnel that runs the length of downtownSeattle, from 9th Avenue and Pike Street to 5th Avenue S. and S. Jackson Street. Approved by Metro Transit in 1983, construction began in 1987. It was completed and service began in 1990, at a total cost of $444 million.
Around two dozen bus routes currently run through the tunnel. The buses are dual-powered, using electricity in the tunnel and diesel on city streets. The tunnel is currently used exclusively by buses, but is scheduled for closure in 2005 so that it can be made to handle both buses and Sound Transit's Link Light Rail trains.
The Metro Bus Tunnel is entirely within the Ride Free Zone, so no fare is required at any station.
The tunnel runs mostly northwest-southeast under 3rd Avenue, with its northern end running southwest-northeast under Pine Street. It has five stations. From north to south, they are:
Convention Place Station, 9th Avenue and Pine Street
The Metro BusTunnel, also referred to as the DowntownSeattleTransitTunnel, is a 1.3-mile (2.1km) public transittunnel that runs the length of downtownSeattle, from 9th Avenue and Pike Street to 5th Avenue S. and S. Jackson Street.
The tunnel was closed on September 24, 2005 for modification to accomodate both buses and Sound Transit's Central Link Light Rail trains.
Metro Transit, or Metro for short, is the public transit authority of King County, Washington, a division of the King County Department of Transportation.
In the tunnel, the hybrid buses use electric traction to 15 mph; after 15 mph, traction is a combination of electric and diesel, operating in a quieter, low-emission mode.
The tunnel is closed for up to 2 years as of September of 2005 to replace the rails, lower the track bed for modern ADA-compliant light rail cars, and complete a stub tunnel for a future LINK light rail extension to the north.
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