Project Overview

About Route 40

The Route 40 is 13.5 miles long and passes through the neighborhoods of Northgate, Crown Hill, Loyal Heights, Ballard, Fremont, South Lake Union, Downtown Seattle, and Pioneer Square. With three million annual rides prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Route 40 had the third highest number of annual rides of all King County Metro‚Äôs bus routes. As of spring 2022, Route 40 remains one of Metro’s highest ridership routes, serving an average of 6,200 customers each weekday.

Project Goals

The Route 40 is currently scheduled to arrive every 10 minutes or sooner, but buses on this route can be slow and unreliable. On average, Route 40 is late approximately 20% of the time. At busier times of the day, it can be late up to 35% of the time.

Through the Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor program, SDOT and Metro plan to make improvements to this vital corridor, specifically in the high traffic areas of Westlake, Fremont, Ballard, and North Seattle. Project goals include:

  • Reduce bus travel times by 5-10% during peak traffic hours
  • Improve service reliability to:
      • Make the timing between buses more consistent
      • Ensure that trips during peak and off-peak traffic hours take a similar amount of time


      This project is being funded by the 9‑year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015 to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city. Additional sources include federal grants, state grants, King County Metro funds, and Vehicle Licensing Fees from the Seattle Transit Benefit District. Want to learn more? Visit our website.

Project Map

An illustrated map of the Route 40 corridor. Project areas include Holman Road between 3rd Ave NW and Greenwood Ave N, Leary Way NW between 15th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW, NW 36th St between Fremont Ave and 3rd Ave NW, and Westlake Ave N between  9th Ave and the Fremont Bridge.


 Route 40

Click image to enlarge.