Nine new ways to get around Puget Sound: Sound Transit to launch its first nine new ST Express regional bus routes
On Sunday, Sept. 19, Sound Transit will launch its new limited-stop ST Express bus service with the inauguration of nine regional routes, two of which are already in service. The public is invited to attend kick-off celebrations being held at five locations in the Central Puget Sound region, including the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, Burien Transit Center and Federal Way Park-and-Ride facility. Festivities will get underway at 10:30 a.m. with marching bands, celebrity appearances, balloons, refreshments, giveaways and free rides to Safeco Field for anyone attending the Mariner's game on the colorful and comfortable new ST Express buses.
ST Express kick-off celebrations:10:30 a.m. - Noon
|S. Bellevue |
Bellevue Way, N. of I-90
|Burien Transit Center |
128th St. and SR 509
|Federal Way Park-and-Ride |
324th St., West of I-5
|Tacoma Dome Station |
Puyallup Ave. and 26th St.
|Ash Way Park-and-Ride |
164th SW, just west of I-5
Commuters wanting to try the new service on Monday, Sept. 20 will be greeted by Sound Transit "street teams" at park-and-ride lots and transit centers throughout the region to help introduce them to the new service. New express routes beginning service on Sept. 19 are the Everett/Lynnwood/Seattle Express (routes 510, 511, 512 and 513), the Everett Mall/Bellevue Express (routes 530, 531 and 532), the Lynnwood Bellevue Express (route 535), Federal Way/Bellevue Express (route 565), Westside Express (route 570), the Pierce/Sea-Tac Express (route 574) and the Lakewood/Tacoma/Seattle (routes 591, 592 and 594). Two express routes, the Bellevue/Seattle Express (route 550) and the Seattle/Tacoma Express (routes 590 and 595) are already in service.
Sound Transit's ST Express will be introducing a total of 18 limited-stop regional express bus routes, with six more routes scheduled to begin service in 2000 and the remainder in 2001 and 2002. Sound Transit is also developing with partner jurisdictions 33 "community connection" projects to improve public access to local and regional transit services. They include new or expanded transit centers and park-and-ride facilities, featuring such amenities as improved pedestrian and bicycle-friendly walkways and passenger shelters.
ST Express services will increase bus service in the Puget Sound region by approximately 86,600 hours in 1999, gradually increasing to more than 550,000 hours of added service by 2006. More than 190 new buses are being added to the region's fleet to provide the regional service, most of them including such amenities as high-back seats, reading lamps and air-conditioning.
ST Express service is one of the components of Sound Move, the 10-year regional transit plan approved by the region's voters in 1996. Next year, Sound Transit will introduce its Sounder commuter rail service providing rush hour commuters with fast, reliable service between Tacoma and Seattle through the Puyallup and Green River Valleys. Sound Transit is also developing a 1.6 mile Tacoma Link light rail system which is scheduled to begin service through downtown Tacoma in 2002, and the 21-mile Central Link light rail system between north Seattle and SeaTac which is scheduled to begin service in 2006.
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.