Sound Transit moves forward with Bus Rapid Transit projects

  • Thursday, March 1, 2018 5:00pm
  • News

The Sound Transit board approved consultant contracts for the I-405 and SR 522 bus rapid transit (BRT) projects that will start the first phase of project development.

The BRT lines intend to provide fast, reliable service to people along the I-405 and SR 522 corridors, with connections to Link light rail in Lynnwood, Shoreline, Bellevue and Tukwila.

“Bus Rapid Transit will play an important role in connecting communities on the Eastside not only to other parts of the region, but to one another,” Sound Transit board member and King County council member Claudia Balducci said in a press release. “As our area grows these Bus Rapid Transit projects will be part of the first wave of ST3 investments to come online and will provide a fast, reliable way for people to get around without wasting unnecessary hours in congested traffic.”

“Kenmore and the communities north of Lake Washington along SR 522 and SR 523 have worked together with Sound Transit to address the need for fast, frequent connections to locations throughout the region where our residents work, play and go to school,” Sound Transit board member and Kenmore Mayor David Baker said in a press release. “We’re excited to get started on the work that will bring the benefits of BRT to our area.”

“BRT is an exciting component of the I-405 Master Plan that will get people moving more quickly through this heavily traveled corridor,” Washington Secretary of Transportation and Sound Transit board member Roger Millar said in a press release. “Our partnership with Sound Transit has been instrumental in delivering many improvements in the I-405 Master Plan, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative work throughout the region.”

“Sound Transit’s first BRT projects will provide frequent, fast and reliable transit service to people living and working along the I-405 and SR 522 corridors, who currently experience some of the worst traffic congestion in the region,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said in a press release. “BRT will reduce peak-hour transit travel time along I-405 by about 30 percent, and provide reliable connections to Link from SR 522, enabling faster trips to downtown, the airport and throughout the region.”

The board capital committee approved a contract with David Evans and Associates, Inc. for $2,750,000 for consulting services for the first phase of the SR 522 BRT project at its Feb. 8 meeting. Today, the board approved a contract with WSP USA, Inc. for $6,424,000 for consulting services for the I-405 BRT project.

Also in a related action, the board approved a $223,893 task order with the Washington State Department of Transportation for overall coordination during the first development phase of the I-405 BRT project.

BRT is a new high-capacity transit service that utilizes features such as specialized buses with multiple doors for fast entry and exit, platform-level boarding and off-board fare payment, as well as new bus lanes and transit priority improvements to provide service similar to rail on rubber tires.

Funding for the I-405 BRT and SR 522 BRT projects was approved by voters in 2016 as part of the Sound Transit 3 Plan. The two lines will connect 11 cities serving 20 BRT stations with new and expanded parking facilities and transit centers, a dedicated bus fleet and a new bus operations and maintenance facility.

The first phase of project development will run through 2018. Staff will review the assumed routes and configurations in the ST3 Plan, known as the representative projects, and further refine the specific route, station locations and other project elements based on additional public engagement and technical analysis.

In early 2019, the Sound Transit board will be asked to identify a preferred alternative for both the SR 522 and I-405 project corridors, which will be followed by conceptual engineering and environmental review. In 2020, the Board will select the projects to be built after completion of environmental review.

Preliminary engineering, final design and construction will follow, and service is scheduled to start in 2024.

I-405 BRT

I-405 BRT will connect communities along 37 miles of I-405 and SR 518 from Lynnwood to Burien. The project will include a new transit center in South Renton and 11 BRT stations, three of which will include added parking. Buses will travel in managed lanes to increase speed and reliability.

I-405 BRT will build upon the multimodal I-405 Master Plan, whose development was led by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, King County Department of Transportation, Sound Transit and WSDOT, with corridor improvements facilitating faster bus travel.

Connections to Link light rail will be available at Lynnwood, downtown Bellevue and Tukwila.

When service begins in 2024, riders will be able to travel from Lynnwood to Bellevue in 45 minutes, and from Burien to Bellevue in 48 minutes.

Learn more and sign up for alerts at https://www.soundtransit.org/projects-and-plans/bus-rapid-transit-i-405

SR 522 BRT

The eight-mile SR 522 BRT route will serve the growing North Lake Washington communities with a range of enhancements to provide connections to Link light rail at Shoreline South/NE 145th and BRT on I-405. The project includes nine stations with additional parking at Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell and an expanded transit center at UW Bothell.

Riders will be able to reliably travel from Lake Forest Park to downtown Seattle in 38 minutes via BRT and light rail from the future Shoreline South Link station when BRT starts service in 2024.

Learn more and sign up for alerts athttps://www.soundtransit.org/projects-and-plans/bus-rapid-transit-sr-522

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