With voter approval in 1996, 2008 and 2016, Sound Transit is undertaking the most ambitious transit system expansion anywhere in the country. New light rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and commuter rail stations are scheduled to open in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2030, 2031, 2035, 2036, 2039 and 2041.
Connecting the region's cities and completing the light rail spine
This 25-year program expands the mass transit network to connect 16 cities with light rail, 30 cities with BRT and ST Express bus service, and 12 cities with commuter rail.
- 62 new miles of light rail to complete a 116-mile system with extensions to Everett via the Paine Field Industrial Center (Boeing Field); Tacoma via Federal Way and Fife; downtown Redmond; Ballard via South Lake Union and Seattle Center; West Seattle; and a new light rail line from south Kirkland through Bellevue to Issaquah.
- BRT on major highways to the north, east and south of Lake Washington with service every 10 minutes during peak hours.
- Sounder South capacity expansion with platform extensions to accommodate trains up to 10 cars in length serving up to 40 percent more passengers; extended service from Lakewood to DuPont; and access improvements at stations along the north and south lines.
Expanding the regional mass transit system
This 15-year program authorizes substantial additions to ST Express bus and Sounder commuter rail service and adds 36 miles of new Link light rail service.
- Link light rail service north to Lynnwood, east to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area and south of Sea-Tac Airport.
- More ST Express bus service on the busiest routes.
- Four new daily Sounder round trips on the popular south line, plus improved station access and parking.
Sound Move represents the first phase toward realizing the long-term vision of a regional high-capacity transit system. This vote authorizes the creation of Sound Transit, tax collections for funding, and the first set of regional transit projects.
- Light rail service between Sea-Tac Airport and the University of Washington, with a northward extension to Northgate dependent upon additional funding
- Peak period commuter rail from Lakewood and Everett to Seattle
- ST Express bus routes linking the region's population and employment centers
- Capital investments in transit facilities (transit centers, park-and-ride lots, etc.) plus HOV direct access ramps to improve bus speed and reliability
System plans derive from the Regional Transit Long-Range Plan, which is updated periodically. The Long-Range Plan represents a list of projects the agency can choose from when building a system plan to present to voters.
In a system plan, Sound Transit selects projects, describes approximate route and station locations, funding and tax sources, cost and revenue projections, and project timelines. Sound Transit combines these projects into a draft system plan that goes to the community for input.
Based on public input, technical studies, and budget and time constraints, the Sound Transit Board selects a proposed system plan made up of representative projects and financing and puts the system plan before voters. If voters approve the system plan, Sound Transit begins planning and environmental work for each project, followed by design, engineering and finally construction.