Bellevue to get free downtown bus shuttle

The service won't start until 2010 but it, and a new, faster route to Redmond, are part of an agreement with Metro Transit.

Bellevue will get a new downtown bus shuttle in 2010 following an agreement between the city and King County Metro.

The free shuttle will feature specially marked, Bellevue-branded vehicles that will run every 10 minutes. Actual details about the vehicles and service will be worked out over the coming months, city officials said.

The service would cost the city an estimated $3.65 million over five years, approximately 37 percent of the project’s total cost. Metro would pay the balance.

Bellevue also has worked out a new bus route to Redmond with Metro Transit.

That service, called RapidRide, is a type of bus rapid transit service that will connect downtown Bellevue, Crossroads, Overlake and downtown Redmond. RapidRide will feature more frequent buses, faster trips, new bus shelters and passenger amenities. That service is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Part of the RapidRide program includes a partnership between Bellevue, Redmond and Metro to coordinate traffic signal upgrades and other improvements that increase transit speeds along the planned route. In exchange, Metro will add up to 10,000 bus service hours annually in Bellevue and Redmond.