Say goodbye to this (VeloBusDriver/Flickr)

2018 is a planning year, not a big one for openings in the Puget Sound region.


  • On July 1st, Metro’s new $2.75 adult flat fare comes into effect. Also, the Regional Reduced Fare Permit — the senior / disabilities version of the ORCA card — will become free some time this year.
  • Amtrak, BNSF, and Sound Transit will get Positive Train Control working this year, allowing Cascades to use the Point Defiance Bypass.
  • Kitsap Transit rolls out passenger ferry service between Kingston and Seattle this summer.
  • Metro and SDOT finish up a series of reliability improvements for Route 8.
  • The Seaway Transit Center opens toward the end of this year.
  • The long-awaited 2nd Avenue cycle track opens in Belltown in January or February.
  • If the hearing goes well, the Seattle Council will vote on the bulk of HALA zoning changes.
  • The Seattle Center Monorail is ready to start accepting debit/credit cards, ORCA cards, ORCA transfers and passes, and implement an ORCA LIFT fare, once it gets final approval from the ORCA Joint Board.

Construction Begins


26 Replies to “What to Watch for in 2018”

    1. The project timeline says 2019. It says ST will choose the construction contractor in early-mid 2019.

      As to why so late, it could be limited South King revenues, or because the work is complex and takes time, or because ST is juggling so many projects at once.

  1. Isn’t the DBT still on track to open near the end of the year? With potentially some select demolition prep work in the viaduct?

    Can’t wait to get Seattle’s waterfront back. It will be huge for this city.

  2. Lynnwood Link….

    Lol. Love the scrub ST did on these pages. Meanwhile, up here in the Lynnwood area we are still waiting for the open house the agency promised to have in the fall of 2017 to discuss the latest project developments.

    Sound Transit’s favorite footnote:

    “*Schedule subject to change”

    1. Have seen worse First Days of Years. Much interested to see how Denny Way works out. Because Route 8 measures are good examples of the interim approach all our projects will need for progress. Really would like to see the Waterfront come back with a streetcar line on top of the Deep Bore Tunnel.

      But if it has to wait ’til Ballard and Olympia become parts of the same regional entity- would be greatest gerrymander in History to redraw 36th District into a beer-bong, with the Capitol dome for the round part and I-5 for the stem. I’ll be patient.


      Have a Great-again New Year!


  3. Martin;

    1) Big typo on your piece. The Seaway Transit Center may be done w/ physical construction this year, but will “begins operation in early 2019” according to Community Transit. SOURCE:

    2) I, like Tlsgwm says at January 1, 2018 at 12:35 pm am literally waiting for half a year for that Lynnwood Station meeting. I’ll just say delicately that I’ve let my displeasure be known repeatedly to staff [].

    3) [ot]

    4) Strum and drang over, I am damn happy Monorail will join ORCA in 2018. Huge thanks to Seattle City Councilwoman Debra Juraez and I think Councilman Rob Johnson for that. Certainly going to do my best to attend the ORCA Joint Board meeting for that and testify for it’s acceptance. Hopefully somebody here in Seattle will start a petition and really get the mojo to finish this marathon… ;-).

    5a) As to Strategic Plans, Skagit Transit will start a five-year strategic plan. It’s small but a good start.

    5b) Everett Transit is wrapping up its big budget strategic plan this year with a finance component and long term route plan coming up, please stay tuned.

    6) Link to Tacoma gets underway too. So I’ll be down in the Ruth Fisher Boardroom and otherwise advocating for my friends who either reside there or work on the project.

    1. The “already underway” bit for Swift refers to the fact that construction has already started on multiple parts of the project (Seaway, the 128th overcrossing, a few stations near Paine Field), and will continue through the year.

    2. Wondering why the Swift Green Line won’t be going all the way to Bothell proper and connect with 522/UW instead of terminating in boondocks Canyon Park area.

      1. Budget limitation. Downtown Bothell is outside the CT tax district and is not the largest airplane manufacturer in the region, so it’s lowest priority and didn’t make the cut. They hope to extend it to UW Bothell someday.

      2. All the long term plans have it going to 522/UW, but that requires KCM funding. It will happen, eventually, but may require a Bothell politician or UW mucky-mucky to make some noise to make it happen.

  4. OK, point taken. But just facing some serious potential problems with Federal funding. Chief Executive of the entity we have to ask is reputed to leave everything science-based a really, really ‘Uge! stocking full of coal for an entitlement. But given our local level of evidence-based planning lately- He’s got our back.


    1. Whenever Lynnwood Link gets out of final design and construction is fully funded. That’s unclear now, partly because of the $300 million shortfall they’re trying to close, and partly because of the unknown state of federal transit grants which would cut a deeper hole if they’re eliminated. But the project timeline says construction starts in 2018. I don’t know where ST will start laying tracks first, but it will open all at once rather than incrementally from Northgate.

  5. If the monorail can start accepting Orca cards, how about getting real time train data on OneBusAway? It would be nice to know whether it’s necessary to run up the stairs/escalator to catch a train.

  6. Question I’ve had for awhile on all transit’s future projects, especially the ones more than ten years out: How come so little curiosity about likely improvements in equipment and construction possibilities by, say, 2035? Should be a lot easier to get a useful understanding of future machinery than either politics or the economy.

    And very likely much more important, and definitely farther into a transit blog’s natural area of interest. Maybe I’ve been noticing too many Planetary Market Numbers-Doing slots on National Public Radio these days. As if average listener has any stocks at all, unless the Koch Brothers listen to NPR. Especially the one who’s on the Board. Same as a listenership that thinks the stock market is our actual economy.

    Though if this is so, this would explain a lot of transportation-related things in a lot worse machinery-related than policy-related mortal danger. And a country, infrastructure and all, falling out from under us, not morally or socially, but literally.

    Terms Waterfront, Ballard-West Seattle, and Year 2035 in same day of comments make possible rise in sea levels and intensity of storms extremely pertinent to subject of this posting. Not only two water crossings, but fact that what we call SODO used to be called a lagoon, which now has some dirt in it.

    So would be good to learn as much as we can about climate, meteorology, and hydrology as we gear up for any project near a shoreline. Truth is that all we really know for sure about higher winds and rising water is that pace is increasing exponentially.

    If the substructure of the Ballard-West Seattle line will rest in ground as as wet as I think it could be by 2035, would be a good idea to know our floating structure engineering for the time when at least the Waterfront becomes one.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Mark,

      It’s easy to defend the shoreline in Seattle. Most of it is already hillsides; the only parts that will require seawalls is the Port area, downtown, and Interbay. That’s perhaps four miles. Seattle is far too valuable to suppose that the money won’t be found.

      Now, sure, if Antarctica starts to melt significantly, then yes, Seattle has a big problem. But if Antarctica starts to melt significantly, the game is up. Seattle will be rather inconsequential collateral damage.

      1. I was really thinking about the Waterfront, Richard, but thanks for reminding me that the Port Area, Downtown, and Interbay can all be put on their own floats. Sort of like a very large Lake Union northern shoreline.

        Because Dutch population is much too small to provide an adequate number of fingers to keep a leaky hole in a seawall from having the tide blow out every toilet on First Avenue, like in the Doc Maynard days.

        Just class-envying sour grapes to complain about what the real estate market will do when Cascades Timbeline becomes beach-front property. But since whole CBD and those other floats will doubtless find an Elliott Bay-sized nook to float into up there…..

        Better just buy those Estonian hydrofoils and start painting them ST colors. Mt. Baker (SR542, not Transit Center) Beach and Rainier Snowline Shores will want to know why the S.S. ST is fixated on submarines, instead of Bayliners, but no toll-channels.

        At Uddevala, coastal western Sweden, museum has displays of an ancient waterborne closely-spaced island civilization very much like Hawaii or Southeast Asia. Similar boat designs for same climate. Some of them, with hulls structured to flex like a fish skeleton, ahead of boat building now

        Though our own power and will to worsen a climatic threat to our own civilization exceeds all precedence. And present deliberate de-competent-staffing is unknown since that comet and all those volcanoes wiped out the dinosaurs. Wiping out eons of intelligent experience obviously still can’t duplicate.

        Seriously, Richard, I’m looking forward to whatever part I’ll live long enough to have in dealing with changes as they come. However, pretty sure history shows that ratio of hardship to benefit depends on work not being done by slaves. Which pyramid crews weren’t

        So could be massive change for the better will come from very large number of jobs. Which will solve the housing affordability problem by paying people to afford them. On both foundations and floats.


  7. Your forgot that project development (ie, “design”) also begins on Tacoma Dome Link extension, 405/522 BRT, and (possibly) Sounder Commuter Rail improvements.

  8. You forgot that project development (ie, “design”) also begins on Tacoma Dome Link extension, 405/522 BRT, and (possibly) Sounder Commuter Rail improvements.

  9. Just FYI, BNSF has been using PTC for freight trains for nearly 2-3 years in this area with the Seattle Subdivision being active in May 17.

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