In addition to the vast new stretches of track Sound Transit will consider for a November 2016 ST3 ballot measure, there are a number of infill stations on existing track segments that ST is considering for inclusion. In December, they presented cost and ridership estimates for these infill stations.
All figures are in 2014 dollars, and boardings are estimated for 2040.
N-04: 130th Street. $79-85m; 2-3,000 riders. This is the rare station that receives strong support from Seattle and highly negative response from others (Shoreline and points north). It has also been the focus of organizing. These numbers are both more expensive (up from $30-50m) and lower in ridership (5,100) than the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) ST released last year.
ST spokesman Geoff Patrick says that the increased costs are due to the difficulty of constructing the station during revenue service. The project also has access and sustainability allowances, as well as a pedestrian plaza, which were not in ST2 planning. Ridership is lower due to updated PSRC land use targets, and a ridership model with 2014-2040 projections as a base instead of 2011-2035.
N-05: 220th Street. $86-92m; 1-2,000 riders. Compared to last year’s study, ridership remained steady but this got much more expensive (from $50m). As Lynnwood actively opposes this station and even Mountlake Terrace considers it a secondary priority, its prospects are doubtful.
C-08: Graham Street. $66-71m; 4-5,000 riders. A priority for the City of Seattle, and the big carrot for people in Southeast Seattle to vote for ST3. The approved “Move Seattle” measure envisions $10m for this project, perhaps reducing the load for Sound Transit.
C-09/10: Boeing Access Road, Link and Sounder. $124-129m; 3-4,000 (Link) + $94-100m; 1-2,000 (Sounder). The City of Tukwila’s stated top priority, building both segments of this relatively expensive project would provide a superior transfer point between South Link on the I-5 corridor and South Sounder in the SR 167 corridor, enable potential development in the area, and arguably address some of the time penalty of truncating buses from South King County (although see some skepticism here). The Link station alone would break up the longest nonstop stretch of Link, which would alleviate some egregious trip planning issues (e.g. Rainier Beach to the Museum of Flight via TIBS.) The ridership estimates assume both are built together.
Also, two of the “Green Line” Link stops that SDOT requested in its letter didn’t make it into the base analysis of a line to Ballard. The study instead evaluated them as infill stations:
C-01e: 99 & Harrison. $367-393m, 3-4,000 riders. As an underground station, this is a higher order of cost. It’s unclear how this might interact with the nearby Deep Bore Tunnel portal, but this station would preserve urban stop spacing in the urban core below Mercer. It also improves the walkshed in South Lake Union and is critical to ensure that virtually all of Belltown is within a half-mile of a station.
C-01f (Interbay): $90-97m; 1,500-2,000 riders. The 15th & Newton station visualized here would be at-grade. The study suggests fewer than 1,000 new riders. Most curiously, the study assumes a 200ft., 2-car station because the concept assumes surface light rail through downtown, which limits train length. For that reason, determined partisans for this station (if there are any) would probably dismiss these results as insufficient.