East Link Connections is a process, co-led by Sound Transit and King County Metro, to create a coordinated regional transit system on the Eastside that gets people where they need and want to go as service expands to the Eastside through 2024. Both East Link and the Redmond Link Extensions will open in 2023 and in 2024 respectively. Once these projects are completed, passengers will be able to take the 2 Line and ride more than 40 miles to Northgate via downtown Seattle, as well as south to Sea-Tac Airport and Angle Lake.
Implementation of the updated bus network will start in 2023 with the opening of light rail service between International District/Chinatown Station and Redmond Technology Station. Additional service updates will occur following the opening of the stations in SE Redmond and downtown Redmond in 2024.
Sound Transit and Metro are committed to implementing a coordinated regional transit system on the Eastside that is responsive to changing mobility needs and improves mobility and access for historically underserved populations. Throughout 2021, there will be many opportunities to get involved with this process and help shape the future bus network on the Eastside.
Areas: Bellevue, Bothell, Clyde Hill, Duvall, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, Woodinville, Yarrow Point.
Potentially Affected Routes and Services: 8, 111, 114, 167, 204, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 221, 224, 225, 226, 232, 237, 240, 241, 245, 246, 249, 250, 252, 257, 268, 269, 271, 311, 342, 541, 542, 544, 545, 550, 554, 555, 556, 630, B Line, 930, 931.
For more detailed information on these bus routes, including maps and route sheets that were created during this project, please visit King County Metro’s site.
King County Metro and Sound Transit held interviews with a wide variety of Eastside stakeholders. Over 80 stakeholders were involved in this process representing community-based organizations, cities, and employers. Additionally, over 1,200 community members provided feedback through an online survey. The feedback received during this phase of engagement provided the framework used by service planners to develop the Draft Service Network that was subsequently reviewed in Phases 2 and 3 of engagement.
Metro and Sound Transit shared the Draft Service Network with the public with the request to help refine the proposed changes. More than 2,000 people engaged with us through in-depth conversations with community-based organizations, local employers, mobility groups, and a public survey. Participants shared their comments and suggestions regarding more than 50 bus routes with proposed service changes. This feedback helped our team learn more about which proposed route changes would be most effective and which needed more refinement.
After refining changes to the Draft Service Network based on community feedback from the previous phase, a third round of community engagement was launched to gather final input on the updated network. This proposal went through a review process with the Mobility Board, Partner Review Board and community-based organizations before being shared once again with the public in a final online survey.
King County Metro and Sound Transit teams are currently working on updating proposed changes by incorporating feedback from the three rounds of engagement. Several common themes emerged from diverse Eastside communities around ways to improve transit service. Here’s what we heard are the community’s needs and priorities:
- More service outside of peak periods.
- Improve first/last-mile connections to transit hubs.
- Leverage connections to frequent, high-capacity transit (i.e., Link, Rapid Ride, buses).
- Improve connections between Renton Highlands, Bellevue and Issaquah. Ensure connections to hospitals and other community assets.
Visit King County Metro's East Link Connections page for detailed project information.
Input from the diverse communities we serve is essential to the development of an equitable bus service plan. In addition to engagement with individuals, community groups, project partners and stakeholders, Metro and Sound Transit will convene a Mobility Board and a Partner Review Board to help us develop and implement the engagement process and service plan.
East Link Mobility Board
The East Link Mobility Board is a group of individuals that provide input to Sound Transit and Metro’s service planning teams throughout the development of the East Link Connections bus service proposals. The Mobility Board will also help us develop and implement an equitable community engagement process.
Partner Review Board
The Partner Review Board is a group of external stakeholders that reviews service concepts and provides feedback. The board will include representatives from jurisdictions and major institutions in the project area, leaders of community-based organizations and representatives from partner transit agencies.