Thursday, the Sound Transit Capital Committee approved funding for project development for two bus rapid transit routes. As part of the ST3 package, the projects will add 45 miles of BRT to the region.
One BRT route will run between Lynnwood and Burien along I-405 and State Route 518, with 11 stations in between. The other future BRT route will connect Woodinville and Shoreline along SR 522, with nine stations serving communities on the northern tip of Lake Washington.
Both are scheduled to open in 2024. ST anticipates bringing preferred alternatives for both projects to the board early next year, with final designs selected by 2020. As part of community outreach, an elected leadership group, comprised of elected officials that represent the service corridor and the Sound Transit Board, will convene for the planning process. Elected leadership groups are charged with reaching community consensus over key project decisions and recommending a preferred alternative to the Sound Transit Board.
To keep the “rapid” in bus rapid transit, ST says its planning to implement all-door bus boarding and off-board fare payment options along the two lines. Buses will be branded for easy identification — similar to the distinctive branding King County Metro Transit gave to its RapidRide lines.
To support the lines, a bus base and operation and maintenance facility will be built in Bothell, where the two lines meet. The BRT buses will run 19 hours a day, Monday through Saturday, and 17 hours on Sundays. ST is considering using electric buses for the routes.
The I-405 BRT line will run every 10 minutes during peak periods, and every 15 minutes during non-peak times. The 37-mile route will begin in the north at Lynnwood Transit Center, travel further north along I-5 to I-405 and south to Bellevue. From there, it will continue south to Renton before heading west along SR 518 to the Tukwila International Boulevard Link Station, with the last stop in Burien. A new transit center will be added in South Renton.
- Lynnwood Transit Center
- Canyon Park
- NE 195th
- Totem Lake/Kingsgate
- NE 85th
- Bellevue Transit Center
- NE 44th
- South Renton Transit Center
- Tukwila International Boulevard Link Station
- Burien Transit Center
New parking will be added at Totem Lake/Kingsgate, NE 44th and the South Renton Transit Center. ST predicts peak travel times between Lynnwood and Bellevue will be 42
45 minutes, 25 48 minutes between Bellevue and South Renton, and 20 minutes between South Renton and Burien.
One end of the 8-mile SR 522 BRT line will begin in Shoreline at the future light rail station at NE 145th and I-5, travel east along 145th/SR 523, then turn north on SR 522 and head to Kenmore. Buses will then travel to Bothell and connect to the future I-405 BRT before heading to Woodinville. A total of nine station pairs are planned, with parking garages added in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell.
A major part of this project entails completing the business access and transit lanes along SR 522 and adding a series of bus queue jumps along 145th. The line will run every 10 minutes during peak and non-peak periods, except that only every other bus will continue from NE 195th to Woodinville.
Based on the representative alignment, the preliminary cost estimates for the two BRT lines and the supporting operation and maintenance facility is $1.8B and $1.2B, respectively. The project budget will be set in 2020 during the final design phase.
Based on the representative alignment, the preliminary cost estimate for the two BRT lines is $1.8B capital with the supporting operation and maintenance costing an additional $1.2B. The project budget will be set in 2020 during the final design phase.