By 2024, Sound Transit intends to offer high-capacity bus service to communities along Lake Washington. Image courtesy Sound Transit

By 2024, Sound Transit intends to offer high-capacity bus service to communities along Lake Washington. Image courtesy Sound Transit

Sound Transit Plans High-Capacity Buses for the Eastside

Faster bus lines along I-405 and SR-522 are in the works.

By 2024, Sound Transit says it will have fast bus service running along both I-405 and SR-522, servicing communities on the north, south, and east sides of Lake Washington.

Officially dubbed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the plans calls for high-capacity buses that with off-board payment, allowing riders to enter or exit through multiple doors, similar to King County Metro’s RapidRide system.

The proposed line along I-405 will run 37 miles from Lynnwood to Burien, stopping at 11 existing bus stations and a proposed new transit center in South Renton. The line will also intersect with yet-to-be-built Link Light Rail stations in Lynnwood, Bellevue, and the existing Tukwila station. Sound Transit projects that riders will be able to reach Bellevue from Lynnwood in 45 minutes, and Burien from Bellevue in 48.

Similarly, the SR-522 BRT route will run eight miles between Shoreline and Woodinville, servicing nine stations and connecting to the planned light rail station in Shoreline at NE 145th St. With this new route, Sound Transit estimates that riders will be able to get from Lake Forest Park to downtown Seattle in 38 minutes.

“The speed, frequency, and reliability of BRT service will mean major improvements in riders’ commutes,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff wrote in a statement.

Building a Sound Transit BRT network is part of the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 transportation funding package, which voters passed back in 2016. The Eastside BRT projects are financed by ST3-driven increases in regional funding sources (property taxes, sales taxes and car tab fees) within the Sound Transit taxing district. Sound Transit does not anticipate seeking federal grants for the expansion.

Sound Transit aims to spend the rest of 2018 soliciting public input and drafting route plans for the Eastside BRT expansion, after which the Sound Transit Board will authorize draft engineering plans and run them through the environmental review process in 2019. Assuming everything goes according to plan, proposed route alignments will be selected in 2020, design and engineering elements finalized by 2022, and construction finished by 2024.

Simultaneously, the Washington state Department of Transportation is working on building out express toll lanes for high-capacity vehicles along I-405 from Bellevue to Renton. Construction is slated to finish in 2024, just in time for Sound Transit’s rollout of BRT along the same route. The BRT buses will be able to utilize the new lanes.

A public meeting on the SR-522 route is expected to occur the last week of May, while a similar event on the I-405 route is slated for June. Details on both have yet to be determined, per a Sound Transit spokesperson.

jkelety@seattleweekly.com

More in News & Comment

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

Two Issaquah High School students are under investigation after a racially insensitive photo surfaced over the weekend. Courtesy photo
Racially insensitive sign sparks investigation in Issaquah

High school students under investigation after Tolo photo goes viral.

Snohomish family detained by Border Patrol while on vacation

Little information has been provided since they were arrested Thursday near Tucson, Arizona.

Yaaah! Hipster Gregr of ‘Nerd Talk’ escapes city life

The morning host of radio station 107.7 The End has traded the Seattle vibe for Snohomish living.

USPS district manager Darrell Stoke, Janie Hendrix and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) unveil the plaque honorarily naming the Renton Highlands Post Office as the “James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix Post Office” on Friday, April 19. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Renton Highlands Post Office honors Jimi Hendrix

Postal Service connected Hendrix to family during his Army service.

After loading passengers, San Juan Airlines pilot Rebecca Watson pulls chocks before piloting a Cessna 207 for an early morning flight out to the San Juan Islands from Bellingham International Airport on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Bellingham, Wash. San Juan Airlines, which has flown small charter flights from Paine Field for decades, will begin twice-daily scheduled flights from Everett to the San Juan Islands on May 1.(Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Paine Field lands a 3rd airline, but this one flies Cessnas

San Juan Airlines begins scheduled passenger service from Everett to Friday Harbor on May 1.

Colton Harris-Moore, known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” as seen on a GoFundMe page where he sought to raise $125,000 for flight training. (GoFundMe)
‘Barefoot Bandit’ asks judge to shorten his supervised release

Colton Harris-Moore says travel restrictions are holding back a lucrative public-speaking career.

A visitor looks at a sculpture on the Cloudstone outdoor gallery in Freeland. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Walk the Whidbey wonderland of 400 sculptures by Hank Nelson

Cloudstone opens to the public for a rare glimpse at pieces “small as a chair and as large as a truck.”

Price of renovated Seattle arena soars to over $900 million

But Tod Leiweke says the privately financed venue will be “one of the finest buildings in the country.”

Most Read