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Dec 10, 2015
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Sound Transit 3 (ST3) is an upcoming ballot measure that aims to build the next phase of transit in the Seattle area, relying primarily on light rail extensions to the suburbs of Everett, Tacoma, Redmond, and Issaquah as well as the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and West Seattle. Most of these extensions will be grade-separated, following a pattern set by Sound Transit 2 in 2008, which will be extending light rail from Seattle north to Lynnwood, east to Bellevue and Redmond's Microsoft campus, and south to Midway/Highline College.

The $50 billion plan is anticipated to be on the November 2016 general election ballot, pending approval next month by the Sound Transit Board of Directors. A draft plan was released in March 2016, garnering a lot of attention over its price tag, coverage, choice of corridors, and—most of all—its planned timeline that will have light rail openings from 2023 (the end of the Sound Transit 2 program, approved in 2008) to 2041.

On May 26, 2016, an amended Sound Transit 3 draft plan was released, bring the price tag to $54 billion (in YOE expenditures in 2040) and accelerating most light rail projects by 3-5 years.

Some highlights of the amended plan:

  • $54 billion now, but with sooner deliveries for light rail
  • Ballard to Downtown in 2035 (3 years sooner) and fully grade-separated
  • West Seattle to Downtown in 2030 (3 years sooner)
  • Everett to Lynnwood in 2036 (5 years sooner)
  • Federal Way to Angle Lake in 2024 (4 years sooner), delays Highline Station by one year to eliminate need to make it into a terminus
  • Federal Way to Tacoma in 2030 (3 years sooner)
  • Downtown Redmond to Overlake in 2024 (4 years sooner): only one year after East Link (ST2)
  • Infill stations at Graham Street and Boeing Access Road in 2031 (5 years sooner)
  • New line to S. Kirkland P&R to open in 2041, alongside Issaquah line
  • Regional funding for new downtown tunnel (based on ridership by subarea)

MAP OF CHANGES (PDF, image below)



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