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Seattle Squeeze, Chapter Two: Buses No Longer in the Tunnel

Photo of text embedded in the sidewalk in brass: "THIRD AVENIUE". A bus passes by just above, blurred out from the speed.The next chapter of the Seattle Squeeze begins on March 23, 2019, when all buses that use the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will permanently relocate to surface streets. This change is being made to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion to the Eastside in 2023.

Your bus route might be changing.

15 bus routes will change what bus stops they serve.Find out if your bus route is affected. To keep buses and riders moving, the City of Seattle is building a new bus lane on 5th and 6th Avenues and Metro will launch all-door boarding on 3rd Avenue, which means you can tap your ORCA card and board any bus door.

Here’s what you can do:

Plan your trip!

Bike, walk, carpool, or vanpool. Shift your travel time. Visit for ideas and updates. Additionally, the Seattle Accessibility Map has been updated with current elevator pathways to help navigate Seattle’s steep hills. About 800 more buses will travel daily on downtown streets, and about 37,600 daily riders will be affected, including the 11,000 people who catch their bus downtown during the evening rush hour. Things are going to feel differently downtown, and we want to make sure you are prepared.

Spread the Word!

Thank you for sharing these resources and information with your organization and networks. This factsheet (pdf) and postcard (pdf) provide more information on this new chapter of the Seattle Squeeze. Please distribute via email, social media, websites, newsletters, or in person to your employees, constituents, community members, or other key stakeholders. We are also able to provide physical copies of these documents – please email Danielle Friedman at to request physical copies.

Have an upcoming meeting with your staff or stakeholders?

Presentation/Briefing Availability: City of Seattle staff may be able to come speak with you to provide the latest information on the Seattle Squeeze, answer questions, and provide resources. Please email Danielle Friedman at to schedule a briefing.

Thank you for doing your part to spread the word to keep people and goods moving safely to and through downtown Seattle. We’re all in this together!

And in case you were wondering, Merriam-Webster has you covered.