Tag Archives: Light Rail

Sound Transit Searching for Equitable Fare Enforcement Solutions

by Lizz Giordano


Two years after Sound Transit acknowledged that internal data showed Black and low-income riders were more likely to be cited and punished for failing to pay on trains, the agency is still searching for a solution for fare enforcement equity.

According to 2018–2019 rider surveys and enforcement data, 9% of light rail and Sounder train riders were Black but accounted for 21% of the people cited or fined by officers. And nearly 60% of the riders cited had a household income of less than $50,000.

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Light Rail in the Rainier Valley, 10 Years Later

by Lizz Giordano


For more than a decade, light rail trains have whizzed through the Rainier Valley, but the development along the corridor that many expected would follow has lagged behind. 

The 2008 recession combined with a negative perception of the South End by developers are both blamed for some of that lethargic growth around the South End stations. Though the pace of development has picked up in recent years, swaths of land still lie vacant near many stations. Meanwhile, frustrations over Sound Transit’s decision to build the line along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South at street level linger because of increased safety concerns.

“The big story with light rail is that some parts of the corridor saw the kind of development that was anticipated and some didn’t, notably Rainier Beach,” said Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales. “The things that were anticipated were delayed substantially, but they are coming.”

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A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.

by Lizz Giordano


As Steven Wayne and Emoke Rock crossed the light rail tracks near the Columbia City Station last summer, they were unaware a light rail train was barreling toward them about to hit and kill the couple, according to a recently completed investigation of the July 2 collision.

“At no point does either pedestrian make any movement to get out of the path of the train or acknowledge its presence,” concludes the “Final Accident Report” written by King County Metro Transit. The bus agency is contracted by the light rail agency to operate the trains. 

The report is sparking renewed discussions about pedestrian safety along the light rail corridor, a critical conversation for Rainier Valley residents. 

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Graham Street Station Light Rail Unknowns Frustrate Neighborhood

by Lizz Giordano


In 2016, after a successful push to add a station to the light rail system at Graham Street, between the Columbia City and Othello stops, the community in South Seattle quickly developed a neighborhood vision to guide development and prevent displacement. But skyrocketing costs for light rail expansion, which could delay or scale back projects, have suddenly left the future of this neighborhood ambition murky. 

“We’ve been going after the station for the last 15 years,” said Abdi Yussuf, an organizer at Puget Sound Sage, a social equity organization. “The community has been waiting a long time.” The station should have been built when the line was constructed more than a decade and a half ago, he added. 

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Mount Baker Mural Washed Vast Sea Across Two Walls

by Steve Potter

Artists Ari Glass and Craig Cundiff have collaborated on a new mural near the Mt. Baker light rail station, and it’s a beauty. Covering the southern and western walls of Cash America Pawn at 2825 Rainier Ave. S., the artwork spans approximately 4,000 square feet and took about a month to paint.

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Scenes in Motion: SODO Track murals bring public art to transit travelers

by Lisa Edge

(This article originally appeared in Real Change and has been republished with permission.)

Has your commute become more colorful? Those traveling via bus or light rail along Fifth Avenue South between Royal Brougham Way and South Spokane Street have recently been treated to a new sight: A continuous line of murals, known as SODO Track, turning an otherwise uninteresting route into a charming one.

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