Seattle Subway has 5 fundamental pillars of rider experience: speed, reliability, accessibility, expandability, and safety.
Ensuring expandability, and the financial and operational feasibility of future expansion, is fundamental to making sure ST3 is a good transit investment, and Sound Transit seems to have forgotten that. We need your help to remind the Sound Transit Board at their meetings on July 7th, July 14th, and July 28th. Sign up to testify or send an email today with links below.
ST3 can be a fantastic expansion of our regional system, but it will not be the end of light rail expansion for our region. As the Seattle Transit Blog Editorial Board wrote in 2018, ST3 must be built for the future. Light rail lines must be designed so that future expansion can happen without high cost reconstruction of the lines we’re planning today, or future service disruptions during construction. When ST3 is complete, 13 of 30 Seattle’s “urban villages” and “urban centers” will be connected, but completing our vision map would connect 27 of 30 urban villages and centers in Seattle. There are four areas where Sound Transit needs to explicitly future-proof the system as part of ST3 so future expansion remains financially and operationally feasible, saving money and reducing operational impacts long term:
- South Lake Union
Either the South Lake Union or Denny Triangle Station must be designed with future expansion to the North (Aurora Ave N Corridor to Snohomish) and along Denny (King County Metro Route 8) in mind, requiring expansion points in South Lake Union and stations designed for future passenger volumes.
The new SoDo station must be built with future expansion to the south (Georgetown, South Park, Sea-Tac, Renton, South King County) in mind, requiring stub tracks south of the turnoff towards West Seattle and stations designed for future passenger volumes.
- West Seattle
The West Seattle Line must be built with future expansion to the South (White Center/Burien) in mind, requiring stub tracks south of the West Seattle Junction Station and stations designed for future passenger volumes.
Ballard Station must be built with expansion to both the north (Crown Hill/Greenwood/Lake City) and east (Ballard to UW) in mind, requiring expansion points north and east from the future Ballard Station and stations designed for future passenger volumes.
Of these, only Ballard to UW, and West Seattle to White Center and Burien are on Sound Transit’s current Long Range Plan. That is unacceptable. For a small additional investment in expansion points during ST3 construction, we ensure future expansions are financially feasible. Designing ST3 stations with enough redundancy and passenger capacity to be completely sure future expansions are operationally feasible without reconstruction is just as important. Future transit riders deserve it.
Tell the Sound Transit Board the path forward is clear: they need to plan for future expansions from South Lake Union, Sodo, West Seattle, and Ballard as part of ST3 so we don’t forgo future expansions to more destinations throughout the region.
Sign up to testify; or click here to send an email today, just add your name at the bottom.
This form will be open between 8:00 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. Thursday, July 7, 2022:
Sign up to comment at July 7 ST System Expansion Committee
This form will be open between 8:00 a.m. and 1:25 p.m. Thursday, July 14, 2022:
Sign up to comment at July 14 ST System Expansion Committee
This form will be open between 8:00 a.m. and 1:25 p.m. Thursday, July 28, 2022:
Sign up to comment at July 28 ST Board of Directors Meeting