The extension of Tacoma Link to the Hilltop neighborhood is nearing the start of construction, slated for next year, and Sound Transit has recently finalized several key details, including an order for new light rail vehicles, the permanent names for the stations, and the final design of the stations after public feedback.
On Thursday, Sound Transit Board approved an order of five light rail vehicles from Brookville, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer, and an unfunded option for five additional vehicles. The vehicles, which will likely resemble the Liberty series streetcars that Brookville built for Dallas and Detroit, are expected to cost $26.5 million and be delivered between 2020 and 2021. The new vehicles are needed to increase frequency from twelve minutes to ten minutes during peak periods, supplementing the current fleet of three vehicles.
During the same board meeting, Sound Transit also signed off on names for the seven new stations, along with the renaming of an existing one, in accordance with community wishes and agency guidelines.
|Temporary Name||Adopted Name|
|Commerce Street (opened in 2011)||Theater District|
|Theater District (relocated)||Old City Hall|
|S. 4th St. & Stadium Way||S. 4th|
|Stadium District||Stadium District|
|S. 3rd St. & MLK Jr. Way||Tacoma General|
|6th Ave. & MLK Jr. Way||6th Avenue|
|S 11th St. & MLK Jr. Way||Hilltop District|
|S 18th St. & MLK Jr. Way||St. Joseph|
While the names aren’t as bad as Shoreline’s two stations on Lynnwood Link, the inconsistency between “S. 4th” and “6th Avenue” is going to bug people for decades. The current Commerce Street station, one of two stations on the street, will also be renamed to “Theater District” despite being slightly further from the eponymous theaters than the relocated Old City Hall station.
Earlier in the month, Sound Transit wrapped up its final design open house and showed off its concepts for each of the new stations. The stations will be nearly identical to the existing Tacoma Link stations, and are comparable to Seattle’s streetcar stations with center-street platforms and curbside parking.