Accelerate Sound Transit Expansion

Move up completion time for Sound Transit expansion, plan for additional Seattle lines.


Sound Transit Link has been very successful, increasing ridership year over year at a time when other transit systems in the country have had decreasing usage. The Link is still in the process of building out. The funding for ST2 is from a 5-10% rise in the regional sales tax. Sound Transit 3 is funded by increases in sales tax, motor vehicle excise tax, and property tax. By 2040, Sound Transit estimates that its services will carry a total of between 561,000 and 695,000 daily riders, with 69 percent of all transit trips using rail services. Light rail trains would run 20 hours per day, and every 3 to 6 minutes during peak hours; the plan requires the purchase of 226 new vehicles to operate on the new lines. Click here for a complete map.

Sound Transit timing is currently bound by the rate at which is funds come in. If more money were made available, then completion times could be moved up. This, in turn, would help people switch from driving to public transit.

Beyond the current plans, we could certainly used more Link light rail. A line that ran from South Park up to north Seattle on Aurora, for example, would attract a large ridership. Now that the State has allowed creation of Sound Transit sub-areas, this is something that Seattle could do on its own, or with assistance from Sound Transit.

Expansion Plans

Here is the current schedule for the buildout of the line:

  • East Link will connect from International District/Chinatown Station across the I-90 bridge to Bellevue and terminating at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. It is expected to complete in 2023.

  • The Orange Line Hilltop Expansion Project will extend in Tacoma from the Theater District Station to St Joseph Hospital.

  • The Lynnwood Link Extension will extend the line from Northgate north to Lynnwood, via NE 145th St., NE 185th St., and Mountlake Terrace. This line will be elevated. Much of the funding for this line has come from Federal grants, and low-interest Federal loans.

  • Federal Way Link Extension will extend the line south from Angle Lake to Redondo/Star Lake, stopping at Highline Community College. Planning for this is in progress, but is expected to run along SR 99.

  • Redmond Technology Station to Downtown Redmond, expected in 2024.

  • Kent/DesMoines station to Federal Way Transit Center, expected in 2024.

  • Federal Way Transit Center to Tacoma Dome Station, expected in 2030.

  • Downtown Seattle to West Seattle, expected in 2030.

  • Downtown Seattle to Ballard via South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne, expected in 2035.

  • Lynnwood Station to Everett Station via Paine Field, expected in 2036.

  • South Kirkland to Issaquah via Bellevue, expected in 2041.

In the Media

  • A Blueprint for Building Transit Better from the Eno Center for Transportation. It looks into the costs of rail projects in the United States and compares them to similar projects in Western Europe and Canada. This is a study that is being used by Sound Transit as it analyses its projects.

Map credit Sound Transit