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Puget Sound transit systems return to full capacity

Riders have more public transportation options as buses, trains, and ferries in the Puget Sound region are returning to full capacity in July 2021. However, passengers still must wear masks on transit and at indoor transit facilities in compliance with the federal mandate.
Community Transit bus with Washington State Ferry. Photo courtesy of Community Transit.

From a June 30, 2021, Community Transit press release.

Riders have more public transportation options as buses, trains, and ferries in the Puget Sound region are returning to full capacity and opening all seats starting in July.

Governor Inslee is dropping state social distancing restrictions for transit as part of his decision to reopen the state. As vaccination rates continue to climb in the Puget Sound region and other state restrictions are relaxed, even more people are expected to use transit this summer.

Passengers still must wear masks on transit and at indoor transit facilities in compliance with the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandate. Passengers also must continue to maintain a six-foot distance from bus drivers, except when paying fare.

The following agencies are removing signs or barriers that have blocked off seats during the pandemic:

Community Transit - Starting Thursday, July 1st, normal passenger capacity resumed on all bus routes, including ST Express bus routes operated by Community Transit, and DART paratransit services. The RideStore will lift its capacity restrictions and is open 7:00 am to 6:00 pm weekdays. Customers can use Community Transit’s bus seat availability tool to check the capacity on their route.

Everett Transit - Starting Thursday, July 1st, normal passenger capacity resumed on all bus routes and paratransit service.

King County Metro - Starting Saturday, July 3rd, normal passenger capacity will resume on Metro buses, on-demand services such as Via to Transit, Seattle Streetcar, water taxis, community vans and shuttles, vanpools, and Access paratransit.

Kitsap Transit - Starting July 1st, normal passenger capacity returned to buses, ferries and vanpools, however, the process of removing seat bands from all vehicles will not be finished overnight. Also, regular operations will resume at Annapolis ferry dock, the agency will drop shadow-bus trips, and will reinstate certain bus routes.

Pierce Transit - Starting July 1st, normal passenger capacity resumed on all bus routes, including ST Express bus routes operated by Pierce Transit, and SHUTTLE paratransit service. The Bus Shop customer service center at Tacoma Dome Station will restore its regular lobby hours of 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays.

Sound Transit - Starting Saturday, July 3rd, normal passenger capacity will resume on Link light rail and ST Express bus routes operated by King County Metro (Routes 522, 542, 545, and 554). On Sounder, Tacoma Link and all other ST Express routes, normal capacity resumed starting July 1st.

Washington State Ferries - Starting July 1st, normal passenger capacity resumed on ferries, and customers will no longer be encouraged to stay in their vehicles.

Returning to full capacity on transit services also comes as the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Storm have announced a return to full capacity at their games starting July 2nd, and Sounders FC will do so starting July 7th.

The Seattle Seahawks and the University of Washington Huskies football teams plan a return to full capacity for home games this fall.

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool, and alternative commute options in Snohomish County.

The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99, the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field, and the new Swift Orange Line coming to Mill Creek and Lynnwood in 2024.

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