Sound Transit Line Opens in Spring; Update on Other Projects

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Sound Transit

SEATTLE – A rail line between Bellevue and Redmond on the Eastside will open spring 2024.

Sound Transit will open a new line between Bellevue and Redmond this spring. According to Axios Seattle, light rail service to Mercer Island and Bellevue was supposed to start in 2023, but construction delays have pushed the date to 2025. However, a shorter line will open this year on the Eastside. The full East Link route in 2025 will serve Seattle’s Judkins Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, and other stations in Bellevue.

In Lynnwood, a light rail line north will open this fall and will include four stations. Two stations will be in Shoreline with one station located in Mountlake Terrace and one in Lynnwood. The stations will connect to Sea-Tac Airport.

Back in 2008, light rail to Federal Way was part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure that voters approved. According to the report, this is supposed to be open by 2026. It will include new stations in Kent, Star Lake, and downtown Federal Way.

In West Seattle, the report says the schedule is “less firm with the rest of the planned projects.” These projects are reportedly funded through a $54 billion Sound Transit 3 ballot measure that voters approved back in 2016. The service will connect West Seattle’s Alaska Junction neighborhood to SoDo and would start in 2032. Currently, the project is undergoing an environmental review.

Service from Ballard to downtown Seattle should begin starting 2039, but a debate is “underway about where to place proposed stations around the Chinatown-International District (CID).” John Gallagher, Sound Transit spokesperson, said Sound Transit “is really cognizant of what the construction impacts are going to be to the community.”

The two options are: 1) a new station north of the CID and a second station south of the neighborhood that the mayor and Sound Transit board have both said they preferred; 2) a new station near Madison Street/First Hill (Midtown station) and a second at Fourth and Jackson.

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