Transit buses will drive on I-405 shoulder lanes when traffic is highly congested


community-transit-logoWith the opening of the I-405 express toll lanes, buses, vanpools and other transit vehicles have gained a travel time advantage.

Beginning on Monday, Community Transit and Sound Transit fixed-route buses will gain a further travel advantage by using a right-hand shoulder lane under limited circumstances.

  • A Transit Only shoulder lane has been established on two stretches of southbound I-405:

–   Between Highway 527 (Canyon Park exit) and NE 195th Street; and

–   Between Highway 522 and NE 160th Street.

  • Buses will use the shoulder lane only during the morning commute (6-9 a.m.).
  • Buses will use the shoulder lane only when regular traffic is running substantially slower than posted speeds.
  • When traffic is running at or close to posted speeds, buses will use the right-hand general purpose traffic lane.
  • If there is a stalled vehicle or another obstruction blocking the shoulder lane, buses will use the right-hand general purpose lane.

The Transit Only shoulder lane is clearly marked and will allow buses to quickly travel from one exit to the next without having to merge across all lanes of traffic to get to the express toll lanes and back.

This week, drivers will train on the shoulder lane. Regular operation will start soon afterward. Community Transit operates Sound Transit Express bus routes in Snohomish County. Sound Transit Routes 532 and 535 will use the shoulder lane in regular operation; Community Transit buses may use the shoulder lane while out of service traveling between routes.

For more information about I-405 express toll lanes, visit


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