Map of the Operations and Maintenance Facility South proposed locations

Operations and Maintenance Facility South project updates

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Overview

A new Operations and Maintenance Facility in the South Sound is needed to receive, store and service a larger train fleet to support future light rail extensions to Tacoma and throughout the region.

An Operations and Maintenance Facility is where Link trains go for cleaning, storage and care, and it's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To build this new facility, we need approximately 60-70 acres (for reference, one football field is 1.3 acres) near a light rail line.

We service our current light rail trains at a central OMF on South Forest Street in Seattle, but we're building a second facility in Bellevue and will also add another north of Seattle as part of system expansion plans.

The COVID-19 crisis is greatly reducing the revenues Sound Transit relies on to expand our regional transit system. With greatly depleted revenues, Sound Transit will not be able to deliver many expansion projects on their original timelines unless we receive alternative revenue from federal or state sources. Through a process called realignment, the Sound Transit Board of Directors is working to determine which plans and timelines for voter-approved projects will need to change due to lower revenue projections. 

What are the benefits of the OMF South?

  • Creates high-skilled, living-wage jobs for more than 470 people in South King County. At our existing OMF, the average employee wage is more than $40 per hour, or $80,000/year.
  • Ensures thousands of passengers rely on clean, well-maintained trains. We suspend service every night between 1-5 a.m. so we can properly service our Link trains.

Current project status

We received public comments on the OMF South project during the Environmental Impact Statement scoping period, Feb. 19-April 1, 2019. 

We compiled the public feedback from this official comment period into a Scoping Summary Report. On May 23, 2019, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified three sites to study in the Draft EIS.

The Draft EIS, currently in development, will analyze and document the sites' potential impacts to the natural and built environment, and it proposes ways to mitigate unavoidable impacts. During this current phase, we'll continue with more conceptual design work, including potential changes to site configurations.

COVID 19 has impacted both Sound Transit’s finances and our ability to advance environmental review internally and with our planning partners. Consequently, the environmental schedule for OMFS has been affected. We now anticipate publishing the Draft EIS for OMF South in early 2021. 

Our process for providing public opportunity to review and comment on project environmental documents has not changed. The public will have an opportunity to review and make formal comment on the Draft EIS. Postcards with online open house information and ways to comment will be mailed to residents, businesses, and property owners before the public comment period.

Questions or comments before then? We're always here to help. You can contact the project team at omfsouth@soundtransit.org.

We encourage you to sign up for project email updates for all the latest news as OMF South develops.

What can I expect as a project neighbor?

  • If you're a resident, business or property owner near a potential OMF South site, signing up for email updates is the first step to ensuring you're always up to speed on the project. If you have any questions or you'd like to set up a meeting to learn more, contact the project team at omfsouth@soundtransit.org.
  • The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will evaluate possible property impacts in detail. You'll have opportunities to comment on the Draft EIS in early 2021. The Sound Transit Board carefully considers the feedback we receive through this formal comment process, and we'll respond to all substantive comments. 
  • After the Draft EIS public review and comment period, the Sound Transit Board will identify a site as a "preferred alternative" for the Final EIS, in late 2021. A preferred alternative is a statement of where the agency is leaning based on information available at the time. It's not a final decision.
  • The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on the site and the project to be built after we issue the Final EIS.