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Electeds and Sound Transit officials cut the ribbon for the 2-Line opening as the public looks on

Eastside partners come together for historic 2 Line opening

Publish Date

Introducing Link light rail to the Eastside community with our largest opening since 2009 was no easy feat, but with the help of our partners – we made April 27 a historic day!

From South Bellevue to Redmond Technology Station, the community stepped up and showed out for this incredible achievement, and each station was buzzing with activity and excitement.

Presenting partners pull the region forward

The 2 Line opening event’s success was due in large part to our Presenting Partners, Amazon and Microsoft. Both organizations stepped up for the region and created unbelievable experiences for the community.

Passengers board the Sound Transit event themed train

You may have seen people at Amazon’s banana stand passing out fresh fruit to attendees, or maybe you stopped by their Friends of the Grand Connection table to learn more about their work transforming Bellevue into a more accessible city. 

What you might not have seen is their ridership development efforts to help get more ORCA cards into the hands of marginalized communities. 

With a historic investment, Amazon agreed to load up to 20,000 commemorative ORCA cards with $6.50 in fare value and helped distribute them to non-profits and community-based organizations at the opening.  

Two passengers hold up the 2-Line commemorative ORCA card
Amazon reps smile at the camera by their Banana cart

Working with OneRedmond and Centro Cultural Mexicano, Microsoft transformed Redmond Technology Station into a multicultural celebration and a must-stop station. 

In the lead up to the event, Microsoft helped provide over 900 day passes to Sound Transit Community Event Fund recipients to help alleviate barriers to transit access. They also offered free food, cookie giveaways, entertainment support, a Minecraft activation and more to make sure the station touching their campus was jovial and authentic to the community.

A saxophonist and other musicians perform as a train pulls up to Redmond Technology station

Celebrating this milestone, station by station

Once the ribbon was cut, the celebration officially began. And all eight stations brought their own unique flair to the party.  

South Bellevue Station

Pacific Science Center brought their Science on Wheels mobile exhibit to South Bellevue station for a day of interactive learning. Their mini dioramas gave passengers a hands-on look at the engineering magic that makes public transit projects like the 2 Line possible, and hopefully inspired the next generation of engineers.  

Engineering exhibit provided by Pacific Science Center in the foreground of passengers

Bellevue Downtown Station

The Bellevue Downtown Association hosted a street fair next to Bellevue Downtown Station and brought their friends with them, featuring a family-fun station hosted by KidsQuest Children's Museum, carnival games from Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, an interactive display of the future Grand Connection crossing project, live performances, delicious offerings from food trucks and engaging booths from local organizations. 

They also recruited a number of downtown businesses to participate in a promotion – learn the details here.

BDA reps stand in front of a booth with a prize wheel and promotional poster for their Ride2Downtown campaign

A lot was happening on the Sound Transit plaza as well!

HDR, one of the contractors on the project and an On-Board event partner, offered up the opportunity for participants in the Discover. Stamp. Win! to receive a one of a kind 2 Line commemorative cap if they completed a survey.  

You may have also seen some children leaving their table with fresh, 2 Line inspired ink. Fear not; those were festive, but temporary, flash tattoos!

A passenger displays their commemorative 2-Line hat provided by HDR

Symetra worked with their partners at PrideNW to pass out cookies and information from their table.

Visit Bellevue brought out their Mobile Welcome Center to help inform everybody of what was happening at each station and capture a selfie with a 2 Line themed backdrop.

STV, HNTB, Mott Mac, and Parsons provided giveaways, commemorative items and information about the project to curious attendees.

Spring District Station

There was a spring in the step of the folks who stopped at The Spring District station on opening day thanks to our partners at Meta and Wright-Runstad. This transit-oriented development success was buzzing with excitement and activity. 

The local businesses in the area offered discounts, a baby sasquatch was on the loose (no, really), live music filled the air, the aroma from the food trucks wafted to the platform and family-friendly fun was had by all at the KidsQuest activation.

A person in a sasquatch costume in a 2-Line commemorative shirt walks on a red carpet at Spring District station

BelRed Station

In May 2023, a passionate group of community volunteers came together to start something special called the BelRed Arts District Community Alliance. And on April 27, the power of that alliance was on full display. 

Live music, food trucks and an interactive mural with renowned artist, Brady Black, entertained and inspired our riders. The best part? If you contributed to the mural, you can come back to the BelRed station to see it on the street in the coming months as a commemoration to the community.

Passengers help paint a community mural at BelRed station

Discover. Stamp. Win! 

Our partners also stepped up to contribute incredible prizes for our Discover. Stamp. Win! activity that took place on opening day. By visiting all eight stations and collecting a stamp from our ambassadors, passengers were entered to win some incredible prizes. 

If you entered, sit tight; winners will be announced no later than May 3.

Sound Transit ambassadors table the Discover Stamp Win activity booth

Microsoft provided five Xboxes for the drawing and Meta provided four Meta Quest 3 virtual reality goggles and eight pairs of Meta Rayban Sunglasses.  

Amazon also set aside three of the commemorative cards they purchased for Sound Transit to load with free fares for the year!

Additional sponsors

We also had a few partners who couldn’t actively participate, but still supported the community and our opening efforts. Hatch and Hoffman were key contributors to the project itself and both stepped up to sponsor the opening, ensuring it was a memorable day for everybody who attended.

With the confetti settled and the ribbon cut, let’s put our hands together for the partners that helped power the opening event. 

A logo block of all of the sponsors for the 2-Line opening day including the 16 orgs that helped sponsor the event.


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