The next few years will be an exciting time for transit riders in the Central Puget Sound, with multiple Link light rail extensions and all-new Stride bus rapid transit service launching across the region.
At the same time, we know there are trade-offs to retrofitting new high-capacity transit options into already thriving communities.
In order to build infrastructure to serve generations to come, Sound Transit often has to take ownership of privately owned property. So for people who may have to move their homes or business so these projects can be built, “public progress” can also feel very personal, and maybe even scary.
That’s why Sound Transit has a dedicated team of experienced relocation specialists on staff. They provide comprehensive assistance to anyone affected by property acquisition or relocation, with emphasis on:
- Treating affected property owners and tenants fairly.
- Minimizing hardships.
- Maintaining communications with everyone involved.
What happens when Sound Transit acquires a property?
Throughout the relocation process, we’re guided by state and federal laws to ensure consistent and equitable treatment for everyone affected.
Property owners can expect fair compensation from Sound Transit based on independent appraisals and a clearly defined negotiation process, as well as help with finding a new property and moving costs.
If you rent a property that’s affected by acquisition, Sound Transit will also help with the process and cost of moving your home or business.
Everyone’s situation is different, and our qualified staff can help each potentially displaced person or business maximize the benefits they may qualify for, such as:
- Advisory services: Personalized assistance focusing on the specific needs of your move.
- Moving expenses: Amounts aren’t capped, and they vary depending on the size and complexity of the move.
- Reestablishment expenses: To cover a variety of costs, including reimbursing a potential difference in rent in a new location.
- Other related expenses: We know relocation can come with other miscellaneous costs, depending on the particular circumstances.
Our commitment to communicate
If we believe your home or business could even potentially be affected by a Sound Transit project, you can count on us letting you know.
In the planning phase, we contact all property owners who may be affected by any of the locations under consideration for project construction. In many cases, these properties may not be affected at all, but we want to ensure you’re informed as the project takes shape.
We won’t make final determinations on which properties to purchase until the Sound Transit Board selects the project to be built and the project enters the design phase.
At that point, our relocation specialists will contact all affected parties to offer assistance. The relocation process can take 12 to 18 months, or even longer in some cases.
You can view Sound Transit’s real property acquisitions and relocation policy, procedures and guidelines here.
For information about Sound Transit’s voter-approved projects, including how to reach Community Engagement staff with questions, visit soundtransit.org/system-expansion.
Change is never easy, and we understand the stress people can experience when faced with the prospect of relocation. As we keep planning and building new transit options to better connect our region, we’re committed to supporting anyone who has to move, every step of the way.