More parking on the way at Everett Station

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Today Sound Transit broke ground on the Everett Station expansion project, which will add more than 500 new parking spaces there. As more people choose transit for their commutes, Sound Transit is providing Snohomish County residents with more access to high capacity buses and trains connecting the region.

Everett Station is a multi-modal transit hub that serves Sounder commuter rail, ST Express buses, Community Transit, Everett Transit, and other transit providers.

 “With rising gas prices, more people are switching to transit than ever before,” said Aaron Reardon, Sound Transit Board vice chairman and Snohomish County Executive. “Adding capacity at Everett Station to increase Sounder ridership makes smart, fiscal sense.”

The completed expansion project will make it easier to use a Sounder, which in the first quarter of 2008 saw a 28 percent increase in ridership compared with the same period one year ago. Of all commuter rail systems in the nation, Sounder had the biggest increase for the first quarter.

“Our city and our region are growing by leaps and bounds. Partners like Sound Transit help make these kinds of improvements and investments that are critical to the long-term planned growth for the City of Everett, “ said Everett’s mayor, Ray Stephanson. “The improvements that Sound Transit is making here will make Everett Station an even better facility serving an ever-growing number of transit riders.”

Washington State Representative Mike Sells agreed, saying, “The region’s economic health depends on projects like this, and not just for the living wage jobs it brings to the community.  With the rising gas prices, it’s even more important now to give working people convenient, affordable transit options.”

Sound Transit expects to add a fourth round-trip train in the north corridor between Everett and Seattle this fall. The agency also operates six round-trip trains in the south corridor between Seattle and Tacoma; two more round-trip trains will be added in the south corridor this fall, and a ninth in 2009.

“I am thrilled to see Sound Transit hard at work in Everett and the county,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Everett City Councilmember Paul Roberts, “As Everett grows, so do the number of transit options here.”

In addition to more Sounder trains coming and the Everett Station parking expansion underway, work on the South Everett Freeway Station that is set to wrap up at the end of this year.

“This project is a great example of our region’s transit agencies working together,” said Deanna Dawson, Edmonds City Councilmember and member of both the Sound Transit and Community Transit boards. “Sound Transit and six other agencies are working on a single transit smart card. Washington State Ferries and Sound Transit have collaborated on synchronizing the schedules for the new Mukilteo Station. And here at Everett Station we have Everett Transit, Community Transit, and Sound Transit all coming together to improve and expand a great transportation hub and a real community asset.”

The construction budget for the expansion project is $13.6 million and includes parking expansion, pedestrian access from the new parking lot, a new pedestrian plaza, expanded bus layover space, landscaping and public art. The Federal Transit Administration is a project funding partner, with additional planning partners Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the city of Everett, and Everett Transit.

The project’s prime contractor is Granite Construction, formerly Wilder Construction. “Wilder Construction may have changed its name, but we remain true to our roots as a Snohomish County-based company deeply committed to bringing legacy projects to the community with Sound Transit and its stakeholders,” said Andrew Thompson, Everett Area Construction Manager. “We are thrilled to begin work on a new project to connect our communities right on the heels of celebrating to opening Mukilteo Station."

The Sound Transit Board is currently reviewing options for regional mass transit service expansion – including Link light rail, Sounder commuter rail and ST Express bus service -- which could be forwarded to voters in 2008 or 2010. Sound Transit is seeking public input on system expansion options through mid-June via a series of public meetings, including one at Everett Station on Wednesday, June 11, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Public comments are also sought through web and phone questionnaires.  Please click here for more information.

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Sound Transit’s regional network of express buses, commuter rail, light rail and transit facilities connects communities in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.