West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions

Serving regional jobs, dense neighborhoods
System Expansion Project map for West Seattle and Ballard

West Seattle/Ballard project updates

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Overview

The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers throughout the region. In addition, a new downtown Seattle light rail tunnel will provide capacity for the entire regional system to operate efficiently. These two separate Link extensions are part of the regional transit system expansion approved by voters in November 2016.

  • West Seattle to downtown
    • Adds 4.7 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to West Seattle's Alaska Junction neighborhood.
    • Includes 4 new stations between SODO and Alaska Junction.
  • Ballard to downtown
    • Adds 7.1 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to Ballard, including a new downtown Seattle rail-only tunnel.
    • Includes 9 new stations between Chinatown-International District and Market Street.

Current project status

Sound Transit and the Federal Transit Administration published the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extension Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public comment on Jan. 28, 2022, followed by a 90-day public comment period. The Draft EIS evaluated potential impacts and benefits of the alternatives on the natural and built environment, and transportation systems and identified potential mitigation measures. 

After reviewing the Draft EIS and the comments from Tribes, the public and agency partners, the Sound Transit Board identified the preferred alternative   for the West Seattle Link Extension and requested further study for the Ballard Link Extension. Read more about the Sound Transit Board’s action in our press release and the Board Motion.

In the Final EIS, expected to be published in late 2023, Sound Transit will respond to comments received during the Draft EIS comment period. Following the publication of the Final EIS, the Board will select the project to be built.

What can I expect as a project neighbor?

  • If you're a resident, business or property owner near a potential WSBLE route or station alternative, visiting the project’s Online Open House and signing up for email updates are the first steps to ensuring you are up to speed on the project. If you have any questions or you would like to set up a meeting to learn more, contact the project team at wsblink@soundtransit.org.
  • After reviewing the Draft EIS and the comments from the public, agency partners and Tribes, the Sound Transit Board will modify or confirm the "preferred alternative" for the Final EIS, expected to occur in 2023. A preferred alternative is a statement of where the agency is leaning based on information available at the time. It is not a final decision.
  • The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on routes, stations and the project to be built after we issue the Final EIS in 2023.