Sound Transit secures $15.9 million in new federal funds to support I-405 bus rapid transit construction

Sound Transit said Wednesday it will receive $15.9 million in new federal funding for Stride bus rapid transit investments on south I-405 aimed at  improving bus service for the region’s residents.

The goal of the Stride system, according to a Sound Transit news release, is to provide faster and more reliable bus service along a 37-mile corridor stretching from Lynnwood to Burien and a 9-mile corridor from Shoreline to Bothell. The new funding will support construction of the S1 Line between Burien and Bellevue, which the agency is working to open in 2026. In the particularly congested stretch between Bellevue and Renton, S1 Line buses will operate mostly in express toll lanes developed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, with additional routing on general purpose lanes of I-405 and SR 518 and local streets in Burien, Renton and Bellevue.

The funding announced Wednesday includes:

  • A $12.9 million Federal Transit Administration grant secured with support from Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell and the rest of the region’s congressional delegation. The grant will be used to procure new bus rapid transit vehicles, and to construct the South Renton Transit Center and Tukwila International Boulevard inline BRT stations on the S1 line, between Burien and Bellevue.
  • A $3 million earmark in the 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that includes Sound Transit’s 2022 installments of $200 million for grant agreements previously awarded by the Federal Transit Administration. The funding supports the Lynnwood and Federal Way light rail extensions that the agency is working to open in 2024.

“Stride will offer faster, more reliable commutes to thousands of riders every day on new dedicated lines spanning the east, north and south sides of Lake Washington,” said Sound Transit Board Chair Kent Keel. “This funding for building the Stride S1 line on south I-405 will help us give our residents relief to chronic congestion. I want to thank the Biden Administration, Senators Murray and Cantwell, and the rest of the congressional delegation for their partnership and support.”

The Stride S2 Line is scheduled to open in 2027 between Bellevue and Lynnwood. The S3 Line is scheduled to open in 2026 between Bothell and Shoreline. Stride passengers will be able to transfer to and from Sound Transit’s Link light rail system at Tukwila, Bellevue, Shoreline and Lynnwood and an array of local bus routes. In Bothell, the S3 Line will connect riders with bus service to Woodinville.

Before the Stride lines open, Sound Transit will complete Link light rail expansions that more than double the reach of the Link system. In 2023 Sound Transit will open the 2-Line, extending light rail from Seattle to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake area. In 2024 Sound Transit is scheduled to open 1-Line extensions to Lynnwood and Federal Way and a 2-Line extension to Downtown Redmond.

 

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