Board selects sites for further study
Last week, the Sound Transit Board of Directors selected sites to study in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the new Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) South. This action comes from an outpouring of public input, particularly over the last few months. A new map showing the sites is on the project website.
What comes next?
A Draft EIS will be published in 2020, and a Final EIS will be published in 2021. The EIS process documents the OMF's potential impacts to the natural and built environment. Final design, construction, and testing of the facility is scheduled to take place from 2021 to 2026. It is anticipated that the new facility will be open in 2026.
What can I expect as a project neighbor?
If you are a resident, business or property owner near an identified OMF South site, we encourage you to sign up for project email updates or to contact the project team directly. The EIS will evaluate property impacts of potential sites in detail following further design work. An official decision by the Sound Transit Board about which site to select on OMF South will occur following the issue of the Final EIS in 2021.
What is an Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF)?
An OMF is where trains go for cleaning, storage and maintenance and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As the regional light rail system expands, light rail can't operate efficiently in the South Sound without an additional OMF in South King County. Identifying viable sites is challenging, as Sound Transit requires at least 30 relatively flat acres (for reference, 1 football field is 1.3 acres) that are near an operating light rail line, with specific site conditions often pushing the acreage requirement higher.
One OMF currently exists in Seattle, and another facility is under construction in Bellevue. To accommodate additional vehicles for the future 116-mile voter-approved regional light rail system, the system requires an additional OMF in the South Sound and one in Sound Transit's North Corridor.