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King County Metro late night bus service is coming this fall

Getting around in the wee hours is about to get easier

Blurry photo of a Number 3 bus at night Happy Hour Photography/Shutterstock

The King County Council approved a transportation package Monday that would add thousands of transit service hours to the late night—or early morning, depending on how you look at it.

Metro currently operates three Night Owl routes—the 82, 83, and 84—each looping around twice between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., serving multiple neighborhoods.

Those options don’t fully serve people who needed to get anywhere during those hours. For example, service employees working in bars or coffee shops or anywhere with late night or early morning shifts often have to leave after 2 a.m. or arrive before 5 a.m.

It also leaves people trying to get home after last call with fewer transit choices.

The new package approved by Council would eliminate the late night only routes, instead adding runs to familiar routes that go through those neighborhoods during regular service hours.

It would also add wee-hours service to SeaTac airport for airport commuters, or those with flights that don’t line up to hours the Link Light Rail is in service.

Specific service recommendations are listed on the King County Metro website. The 3, 5, 11, 44, 48, 65, 67, 70, 120, and 124, plus the C, D, and E RapidRide lines, will all see increased service hours.

About 75 percent of the expansion costs will be shouldered by the City of Seattle using funds from Proposition 1, a car tab fee approved by voters in 2014.

The package was first introduced by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray back in February.

Service changes will go into effect this September.