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Transit modes

Riders board a Sound Transit Express bus.

Bus Rapid Transit

Starting in 2024 Sound Transit will begin Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a new high-capacity transit service providing fast, frequent and reliable bus connections to communities north, east and south of Lake Washington. Like rail on rubber tires, the BRT system will be designed for fast arrivals and departures including off-board fare payment and multiple-door entry and exit. New bus lanes and transit priority improvements will help riders enjoy faster service and avoid traffic congestion. Many stations will include expanded parking. With buses running as often as every 10 minutes, this new service will connect to the growing Link light rail network at Shoreline, Lynnwood, Bellevue and Tukwila as well as to other transit service provided by Sound Transit, Community Transit and King County Metro.

Link light rail

Link light rail is an electric train rapid transit system connecting widely-spaced stations throughout the region. Because it operates in its own right of way Link offers fast and reliable travel times 20 hours a day, seven days a week regardless of weather or traffic. Each light rail car comfortably carries about 200 riders, including those standing.

The Link system currently serves a 22-mile line between the University of Washington and Angle Lake, south of Sea-Tac Airport. With voter approval of system expansion in 2008 and 2016, the light rail system will grow to 116 miles with new stations opening every two to six years.

Tacoma Link is an electric streetcar service with six stations on a 1.6-mile line running from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District in downtown Tacoma. A six-station expansion to the Hilltop neighborhood is in the planning stage, scheduled to open in 2022. The line will further extend to Tacoma Community College in 2039.

Sounder commuter rail

Sounder commuter rail is a heavy rail service operating on tracks owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company primarily during morning and evening commute hours. Sound Transit owns the trains and stations, which include facilities to connect to local transit as well as parking and pedestrian access. Sounder trains are operated by BNSF and maintained by Amtrak. Sounder trains travel at speeds reaching 79 miles per hour. Each Sounder car has seating for about 150 passengers, including four passengers in wheelchairs.

Sounder north runs between Everett and Seattle each weekday while Sounder south runs from Lakewood to Seattle. Service will be added to the south line in 2036, with new stations at Tillicum and DuPont. Popular event service is provided to select weekend attractions such as Seahawks games.

ST Express bus

Sound Transit runs express buses on long-range, limited-stop routes serving major population and employment centers throughout the region. As light rail and bus rapid transit is built, ST Express bus service on those routes will be re-evaluated.

Sound Transit's bus fleet includes 40 and 60-foot diesel buses, 60-foot hybrid buses, 40-foot natural gas buses, 45-foot coaches and 40-foot double-deck diesel buses.