Sound Transit and partners dedicate new Federal Way Transit Center and Access Ramp
Sound Transit and its partners gathered this morning to dedicate the new Federal Way Transit Center, parking garage and, the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Access Ramp connecting the transit center to I-5 at S. 317th Street.
"These new facilities establish Federal Way as one of the most important transit hubs in our system," said Sound Transit Board Chair/Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "Federal Way is THE major transfer point between Seattle and Tacoma."
As if to emphasize that point, Sound Transit will initiate new ST Express bus service at the transit center, Route #577 from Federal Way to Seattle.
"This project addressed both regional and local needs," said Sound Transit Boardmember/King County Councilman Pete Von Reichbauer. "There are 1,200 new parking spaces where commuters can leave their cars and hop on any of the more than 700 buses that will serve this transit center each weekday. At the same time, the new HOV Access Ramp will ease the pressure on Federal Way's busiest thoroughfare - S. 320th Street."
The ramp for bus and carpool access between the I-5 center HOV lanes at S. 317th Street and the Federal Way Transit Center will open later this week as the weather allows final striping of the roadway. The ramp will allow transit and HOV's to avoid the congested South 320th Street/ I-5 interchange and will improve transit speed and schedule reliability.
In addition to the benefits for transit users and HOV's, the new Access Ramp will also improve the flow of freeway traffic by eliminating the need for buses, carpools and vanpools to cross several lanes of traffic to reach the S. 320th Street.
Senator Patty Murray and Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith also attended the dedication. "At a time when we're all concerned about transportation, congestion and the high price of gas, we're taking a positive step forward to make transit easier, reduce congestion, and give commuters more options," Senator Murray said.
"It is especially gratifying for me to see tangible results of all of our work in the 'other Washington,'" said Congressman Smith. "This project will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of citizens. It is important that we fight for funding for our region so that we can address the enormous transit and transportation needs of the Puget Sound and alleviate some of the worse traffic in the country."
Sound Transit funded and led the design and construction of the Access Ramp in an innovative partnership with WSDOT. "This is just the type of project that people tell us they want - a coordinated effort among agencies that will result in faster, safer and better commutes for drivers and transit users," said Sound Transit Boardmember/WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald.
Joining Sound Transit and WSDOT as partners in these projects are King County Metro Transit, the City of Federal Way, Pierce Transit and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Completion of the two Federal Way projects also represents a significant milestone in the Puget Sound Regional Council's long-range transportation plan, called "Destination 2030." At today's dedication, the PSRC presented to Sound Transit its Destination 2030 award to mark that milestone. The Federal Way Transit Center and HOV Access Projects received $33 million in funding via PSRC.
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.