New Lakewood Station welcomes bus riders today, Sounder riders in the future
The new Lakewood Station parking garage and transit center opens on Sunday, September 21. Sound Transit invites the public to see this new gateway to the regional transit network at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20.
The new $32.9 million facility on Pacific Highway Southwest will host Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, and Intercity Transit buses, as well as Sounder train service that will be extended to South Tacoma Station and Lakewood Station by 2012. In the meantime, the new ST Express Route 599 will connect South Pierce County train riders with Sounder commuter rail at Tacoma Dome Station with a dedicated express bus shuttle, timed to meet all departing and arriving Sounder trains at Tacoma Dome Station.
“Completing this project in Lakewood is yet another sign of the progress Sound Transit is making in this region,” said Sound Transit Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. “Park-and-rides throughout the region are in high demand. As more and more people look to transit to escape high gas prices, this new facility will be a welcome relief to commuters in south Pierce County.”
“We have all worked long and hard to make this new station a reality for the Lakewood community,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Lakewood City Councilmember Claudia Thomas. “Pierce County can be proud to be the first county to have all three of Sound Transit’s modes up and running, and extending Link, extending Sounder, and expanding express bus service is critical to our success here in Lakewood and throughout the region.”
“I am excited to see this new facility open because I am a believer in the larger vision of Sound Transit, and because I believe this and all of the incremental steps we are taking to get to that larger vision are critically important to the goal,” said U.S. Congressman Norm Dicks. “This is another sign of tangible progress in the effort that will ultimately connect people by rail from this southernmost point at Lakewood all the way through the central Puget Sound area up to Everett in Snohomish County.”
“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. “Lakewood commuters who want relief from high gas prices and congestion have a convenient option. When train service arrives, they will have even more choices.”
Lakewood Station includes a new parking garage with more than 600 parking stalls, as well as six bus bays and shelters to serve eight bus routes from three transit agencies. The new station includes other amenities like ticket vending machines for Sounder commuter rail, bicycle storage, public art selected by the Lakewood Arts Commission, and a Sounder train platform that is completed and ready for Sounder commuter rail service to begin in the future.
“This station is a testament to the power of partnerships,” said Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson. “Sound Transit brings the service and the facility; the city provides the road and pedestrian improvements; Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit add to the connections and convenience of this location; and you end up with a great public facility in Lakewood that will benefit everyone.”
State Representative Tami Green remarked, “This project had more than $4 million dollars in federal funding, as well as money from the state Department of Transportation. Because we understand here in Lakewood that the only way to get cars off the road and make our communities more attractive to residents and businesses is to give drivers better options like this facility.”
Lakewood Station opens at a time of big changes and many additions to Sound Transit’s bus and train service in Pierce County. Two additional roundtrip Sounder trains will begin running on the south line on Monday, Sept. 22, for a total of six trains running in the peak direction and two reverse-commute trains. Sound Transit has also restructured the express buses that run between Lakewood, Tacoma and Seattle, with ST Express Route 592 doubling from 22 to 44 trips to and from Lakewood Station each weekday.
“Opening this station is so much more than just another parking garage—Lakewood Station is really a new gateway to the entire region, particularly because it has connections to Thurston County and Olympia, not just to the north,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow. “As the mayor of city that shares a lot with Lakewood, and my roles as both the Pierce Transit Board Chair and member of Sound Transit’s board, this facility represents buses and trains as well as our shared values in the region coming together in one place.”
Once Lakewood Station opens to commuters, the I-5/SR-512 Park-and-Ride and the I-5/Martin Way Park-and-Ride will also continue to serve south Pierce and Thurston County commuters. However, several bus routes and schedules will change to serve Lakewood Station.
Sound Transit: routes 592, 594, and the new 599
Pierce Transit: routes 300, 601, and 603A
Intercity Transit: routes 603 and 620
More information about the Lakewood Station project and the celebration is available here>>.