Sound Transit opens new Mercer Island Park-and-Ride at 6 a.m. Monday
Sound Transit’s new Mercer Island park-and-ride opens Monday, Jan. 21st with almost twice the number of parking stalls as the old facility, new bicycle storage areas and other rider amenities.
“The new Park-and-Ride is a major asset for commuters right in the in the heart of one of the region’s most congested corridors,” said Sound Transit Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. “This is our latest addition to a long list of Sound Transit services and projects that are enabling people to trade fast, frequent, reliable and environmentally friendly buses and trains for rising road gridlock.”
“Sound Transit and the City of Mercer Island worked to overcome a lot of obstacles and challenges to get this project done, and we are really happy to get this facility open to the public,” said Mercer Island Mayor Jim Pearman. “Beyond its role in improving regional mobility and convenience, this project is also a real compliment to the nearby downtown core development, and we are finally ready to check it off the list.”
The old park-and-ride originally had 250 parking stalls, which were typically full by 7 a.m. on weekdays. The new facility, which will be operated in partnership with King County Metro Transit and serve both Sound Transit and Metro bus routes, has 447 parking stalls and has unique design features inspired by community input that reduce visual and height impacts. The park-and-ride is proposed as the location for future light rail service to Mercer Island as part of a future East Link light rail extension that would connect the Eastside to the Sound Transit’s Link light rail line from the airport to downtown Seattle that is set to open in 2009.
An interim parking arrangement and shuttle bus service that was in place during construction will end on Feb. 8th. Parking will begin at 6 a.m. on Monday, and the new Mercer Island Park-and-Ride will be served by the following bus routes:
ST Routes 550 and 554
Metro Routes 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 213, 216, and 942
Sound Transit had originally planned to open the facility in March 2007. In September 2006, the discovery of a cracked beam during construction led the company that designed the facility to acknowledge several errors. After a number of design and structural changes and a test on the cracked beam, the completed structure is now safe for public use. Sound Transit is committed to recovering costs related to the design problems in order to prevent taxpayers from having to cover the costs.
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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.