Tag Archives: Sound Transit

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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Mount Baker Community To Meet With Officials Over Latest Fatal Shooting

by Ben Adlin


Following a deadly shooting last week next to the Mount Baker light rail station, a group of South End residents are set to meet privately with City and County officials on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to discuss how to prevent future violence in the area.

Residents say they’re frustrated with the lack of progress by Seattle, King County, and Sound Transit officials to address their safety concerns. The director of a nearby preschool, for example, said the situation has gotten so bad that she’s hoping to install ballistic fencing around the school’s playground.

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NEWS GLEAMS: SPS Students’ Extra Day Off, Sound Transit Seeks Community Input, & More

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


✨Gleaming This Week✨

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: SPS Students’ Extra Day Off, Sound Transit Seeks Community Input, & More

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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Connecting the South End and North End and the John Lewis Memorial Bridge

by Lizz Giordano


South King County residents now have a new travel option to the University of Washington’s campus and Northgate, one that will offer a reliable travel time through one of the region’s most congested areas — downtown Seattle. 

On Saturday, Oct. 2, Sound Transit launched three more light rail stations, stretching the line to roughly 25 miles from Angle Lake to Northgate Mall. 

Thousands of people streamed through the new extension over the weekend, clapping and cheering as trains pulled into Northgate Station. For now, Northgate marks the northern terminus point until Lynnwood Link opens and trains begin running into Snohomish County — sometime in 2024, according to current projections. 

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Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

The new route will ferry 12K passengers daily from downtown to Madison Valley by way of First Hill.

by Ben Adlin


A groundbreaking ceremony in Madison Valley this week marked the official start of construction of a new RapidRide bus route — the G Line — expected to carry nearly 12,000 people daily along Madison Street between downtown and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The 2.3-mile transit expansion, projected to open in 2024, will include major upgrades to roads and sidewalks, including 240 curb cutouts to increase accessibility, new traffic signals, more visible crosswalks, signs that show real-time bus arrivals, and raised-curb stations designed to make it easier to get on and off buses — which will come every six minutes at peak times and have doors on both sides.

In the short-term, the $133 million project will likely mean a snarl of construction traffic on Madison, only adding to the region’s growing pains. But the investment of time and money will eventually mean a more connected, built-out transit system that links some of the city’s densest neighborhoods, speakers at Thursday’s, Sept. 30, event said.

“In some cities, the best lines of communication are from the city center to the suburbs,” said the Rev. Patricia Hunter of Mount Zion Baptist Church, where the groundbreaking ceremony was held. “But in Seattle, one of the best lines of transportation will serve those within the city, all along Madison.”

Continue reading Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

Graham Street Light Rail Station Dodges Delay

by Lizz Giordano


While other Sound Transit projects face delays, all three future light rail infill stations — stations to be inserted along existing rail lines — including one planned for South Graham Street, remain on time or early, the agency decided Thursday, Aug. 6, as it confronts a $6.5 billion budget deficit. 

At the beginning of 2021, Sound Transit declared much of Sound Transit 3 (ST3) “unaffordable” as the agency faced a shortfall. The agency blames rising land costs, declining sales tax revenue due to COVID-19 shutdowns, and pricey project add-ons for the budget gap, which has since narrowed in part due to increased tax revenue projections. 

The board approved a plan Thursday that placed projects into four tiers, prioritizing those in the top two tiers, which are mainly light rail and bus rapid transit extensions. Most of these are facing a two- to five-year postponement. Sound Transit estimates items in tiers three and four, mostly parking and Sounder train projects, could be delayed up to 10 years. On top of a financial setback, some ST3 projects face a one- to two-year planning lag which the agency attributes mostly to the pandemic.

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Block Party Lays Groundwork for Proposed Youth Achievement Center

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Last Sunday, the Seahawks cheerleaders, local activists, and graffiti artists gathered along Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Angeline Street in Columbia City for one purpose — to bring a youth achievement center to that block of South Seattle.

The building proposal for the center consists of a north and south site which will provide permanent and emergency housing and amenities for different age groups, in addition to space for commercial businesses. Both sites are located next to each other along Martin Luther King Jr Way South adjacent to the Columbia City light rail station. 

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Couple Killed in Light-Rail Accident Remembered as Kind Community Members

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Emoke Rock, 76, and Steven “Skip” Wayne, 66, both involved community members, died July 2 after being struck by a Sound Transit light-rail train near the Columbia City Station.

The couple were crossing the street at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Alaska Street in the Columbia City neighborhood in South Seattle at roughly 6 p.m. They were hit by the train while walking during a “Don’t Walk” signal, according to a Seattle Police Department (SPD) statement. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad are investigating the incident. 

Both Rock and Wayne were recently retired real estate agents — Rock at the Edmonds Windermere office and Wayne at the Seattle-Mount Baker Windermere location. They were known for being community-minded, cheerful, and for their love for each other by many who knew them.

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