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Free downtown bus is no longer a best kept secret.
Ridership on two free shuttles in downtown Seattle has doubled since the buses went into operation last October. The city funded the service for low income residents after Metro’s ride free area ended. The service was slow getting started because people either didn't know about it or had difficulty finding the bus stops.
(For an audio tour of a ride on one of the buses, click the Audio button above)
Two hundred people a day now ride the free buses that go from Belltown to downtown to Harborview hospital. That still pales in comparison with downtown ridership on Metro. Tens of thousands of people ride it through downtown everyday.
And, even though ridership has doubled, advocates for low income residents say the buses, which only operate weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., are not a true replacement for Metro's ride free zone.