Fix the L8

A faster and more reliable Route 8 for Seattle.

Fix the L8!

The King County Metro 8 bus is among Seattle’s most popular routes, yet it’s also one of the most delayed. Serving as an essential east-west link, it connects neighborhoods like Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, Belltown, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, and the Central District. Every day, over 5,000 individuals rely on it for commuting, running errands, and various other journeys. However, these trips are becoming more and more delayed.

During weekday peak hours, eastbound Route 8 buses are often delayed by more than 30 minutes by the time they reach Capitol Hill. This transforms a scheduled 17-minute journey into almost 50 minutes. Given that these buses are usually at full capacity, thousands of passengers face extended wait times both for the bus to arrive and for their trips to conclude in both directions. This consistent delay has even earned the route a nickname: the “L8”.

A line graph showing on-time performance of the Route 8. The target is set at 80%, and the overall route dropped from just under 80% to 60% from January to July. 3pm to 7pm dropped from about 70% to 40% over the same time period.

We can fix this! It’s clear that the majority of delay on this route occurs on Denny Way in SLU, as car drivers funnel onto the I-5. Regular riders of the 8 know that they can typically walk faster than the bus until just after Fairview Ave, where a short stretch of bus lane provides some relief. This bus lane clearly works — let’s expand it!

We urge the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro to prolong the eastbound bus lanes throughout Denny Way. A simple addition of red paint from 1st Ave to Fairview could ensure smoother transit for thousands of passengers and dozens of drivers/buses along this vital route. Importantly, the anticipated improvements in reliability and speed from these extended lanes could encourage many to switch from cars to the more efficient Route 8.

You can help! Email the city and King County officials to make this happen!

Take Action!