With more parking and special service, Sound Transit suggests giving train a try

hero_sounder_455Story and photo by Larry Vogel

With 103 additional parking spaces now open at the Edmonds station, Sound Transit has launched a new promotional effort aimed at encouraging residents to take a second look at the Sounder train as a transportation alternative.

In the past, station parking was at a premium, but Sound Transit was able to address the issue by leasing additional parking spaces from Echelbarger Properties, the Salish Crossing developer now renovating the Waterfront Antique Mall property. That brought the total number of Sounder parking spaces to 259.

The next step is to encourage residents to use the train, starting with this weekend’s A Taste of Edmonds, where the agency will have a customer outreach booth. And the message is that the train is not only good for weekday Edmonds-Seattle commuting; it can also provide a swift and easy trip to other events, including downtown Seattle sports events and even the Puyallup Fair.

More information on round-trip Edmonds-to-Puyallup Fair transportation — scheduled for two Saturdays, Sept. 14 and 21 — can be found at soundtransit.org/SoundertotheFair. “We are still working out the fare structure from Snohomish County, including Edmonds,” said Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason, who advises checking the website for details.

Sound Transit also recently confirmed Sounder service to select Sunday Seahawks games starting Sept. 22 through Dec. 29, with two round trips from Edmonds per game. The website will be updated this week with more details at soundtransit.org/Seahawks. In addition, game-day train riders can go to this link for service to Mariners and Sounder FC games.

No one is a bigger Sounder train booster than Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, who sits on the Sound Transit board. While good local bus service is available from Community Transit, the train “provides an alternative for citizens of South Snohomish County to get around,” Earling said. And it’s not just used for Edmonds-to-Seattle commutes, he said, noting that some commuters are traveling between Edmonds and Everett.

And what about mudslides that have posed an ongoing problem for the commuter rail line, especially in recent years? Earling noted that Sound Transit announced in January that it is participating in a slide management study — funded by a $16.1 million grant — with the Washington State Department of Transportation and BNSF railroad to address the causes and develop solutions.

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