Publish Date

Thank you for joining the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions Project email update distribution list. As we start a new year, we'd like to update you on where we're at with the project and what's in store.

2017 wrap up

In September, the Board established a budget for preliminary engineering, approved a contract with technical consultants, and gave the green light to move forward with extending light rail in some of the most densely-populated neighborhoods in the region.

We've assembled a team that is getting started on the project, including planning outreach activities early this year. Stay tuned for more information on ways you can participate and provide input.

Alternatives development phase

In April 2019, the Sound Transit Board is anticipated to identify the preferred alternative. Over the next 15 months, we will assess the representative project included in the Sound Transit 3 Plan and, based on additional public engagement and technical analysis, further refine the specific route, station locations and other project elements.The representative project itself is the result of extensive and years-long planning and public involvement work, including high-capacity transit studies, the process to update the agency's long-range plan, and the work that developed the ST3 Plan approved by voters last year. 

We will engage the public in an intensive public involvement process that will lead to the Sound Transit Board identifying a preferred alternative, as well as other alternatives to evaluate in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Community representatives wanted

We are currently forming a Stakeholder Advisory Group to help with the development of alternatives. We are recruiting individuals like you to participate in a group of approximately 25 representatives. These individuals will serve as ambassadors to and representatives of their communities. 

Interested? Visit soundtransit.org/wsblink to learn more and complete a short application. Representatives will be selected later this month. The first meeting will take place in early February. This is just one of the many ways to provide feedback as alternatives are developed. Sound Transit's comprehensive outreach strategy will also include open houses, neighborhood forums, briefings and online information and tools. 

Getting started

As mentioned above, the new year brings opportunities to engage with project staff. We will host project kick-off open houses in February as part of early scoping. 

What is early scoping? Early scoping provides an initial opportunity for the public to learn about and provide comments on the project as it begins. 

It's an opportunity to:

  • Learn about the project background, purpose and timeline
  • Comment on the representative project and help identify potential alternatives
  • Comment on the project purpose and need
  • Comment on potential benefits and impacts Sound Transit should consider  

We will provide more information in the coming weeks. In order to stay connected: 

  • Stay tuned for future email updates. Forward this to your friends, family, neighbors and community! Encourage them to sign up for email updates. 
  • Request a briefing. If you are a part of a business or community organization that would like to host a briefing, please contact wsblink@soundtransit.org.

Webpage resources

Want to learn more? Our project website has a lot of great resources, including:

Representative project routes: https://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/west-seattle-and-ballard-link-extensions/project-routes

FAQ's: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/project-documents/west-seattle-ballard-link-faq-planning-alternatives-development-phase.pdf

Project overview: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/project-documents/west-seattle-ballard-project-overview.pdf

Project phases and timeline: https://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/west-seattle-and-ballard-link-extensions/project-phases-west-seattle-ballard

Previous studies: Visit our "See also" section in the bottom right of the webpage, which highlights some of the key studies that are worth a look through if you have questions about the project history

New to Sound Transit?

Here is a little bit about who we are

  • Sound Transit plans, builds and operates express bus, light rail and commuter train services. We serve the urban areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
  • We currently operate light rail between SeaTac Airport and the University of Washington. Construction is underway to extend light rail to Northgate in 2021.
  • Sound Transit is governed by an 18-member Board made up of local elected officials and the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation. The Board establishes policies and gives direction and oversight.
  • Local taxes, including car tab, property and sales taxes make up just over half of Sound Transit's total funding. The rest comes from federal grants, fares, interest earnings and miscellaneous revenue.
  • Learn more: https://www.soundtransit.org/About-Sound-Transit