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East Link Connections is a coordinated, co-led process for improving transit connections throughout the Eastside as Link light rail service expands through 2024.

Project goals:

  • Improve mobility for priority populations, as defined by Metro’s Mobility Framework, including un(der)served populations
  • Equitably inform, engage, and empower current and potential customers
  • Deliver integrated service that responds to Link expansion
    • Minimize duplication of bus service with Link
    • Improve connections to Link
    • Be consistent with Metro Connects, and current and future mobility needs

Areas: Bellevue, Bothell, Clyde Hill, Duvall, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle (Chinatown/International District, Central District, Mt Baker, and Rainier Valley), Woodinville, Yarrow Point

Affected routes: 8, 111, 114, 167, 204, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 221, 224, 225, 226, 232, 237, 240, 241, 245, 246, 249, 250, 252, 257, 268, 269, 271, 311, 342, 541, 542, 544, 545, 550, 554, 555, 556, 630, B Line, 930, 931.

About the project

The purpose of the project is to implement a coordinated regional transit network on the Eastside that gets people where they need and want to go.

By 2024, Sound Transit will open 12 new light rail stations connecting downtown Seattle and the Eastside. In 2023, East Link, or the 2 Line, will connect to the existing alignment at Seattle's Chinatown/International District, and will expand to Judkins Park, across I-90 to Mercer Island and South Bellevue, through downtown Bellevue and the Bel-Red area to Redmond Technology Station. In 2024, the Downtown Redmond Link Extension will add two more light rail stations to the 2 Line serving Marymoor Village near Marymoor Park in southeast Redmond, and the downtown Redmond residential and retail core. More information about the East Link and Downtown Redmond Link extensions is available on the Sound Transit website.

To prepare for the extension of Link light rail service, respond to changing mobility needs, and improve mobility and access for historically underserved populations, Metro and Sound Transit are initiating a mobility project on King County’s Eastside serving communities from Bothell and Woodinville to Issaquah and Mercer Island. The project will deliver an updated mobility network that integrates with and complements Sound Transit’s new Link light rail service. Metro and Sound Transit are co-leading the project in coordination with our many agency and jurisdictional partners. Implementation for the updated mobility network will start in 2023 in conjunction with the first service change immediately following the opening of light rail service between International District/Chinatown Station and Redmond Technology Station, followed by two additional stations in 2024 serving SE Redmond and downtown Redmond.

What’s happening now

Shape the future of transit on the Eastside

Take the East Link Connections Survey and Visit the Online Open House.

  • Preview potential route changes and provide feedback on draft ST Express and Metro routes that will connect riders to 12 new Link light rail stations as part of East Link and Downtown Redmond Link extensions opening
  • Explore the benefits of connecting to Link light rail
  • Review the transfer experience at each new Link light rail station
  • Register for upcoming virtual community information sessions

East Link Connections survey is open from September 13, 2021 – October 18, 2021.

The survey and the online open house are available in multiple languages. Please choose from the options below.

Understanding the needs of the Eastside

In our first phase of engagement, Metro and Sound Transit sought to identify needs and priorities, including important connection points, availability, frequency, reliability, overcrowding, safety, barriers to transit use, as well as improvements that would encourage more transit use.

Metro and Sound Transit identified the following needs and priorities through conversations with community-based organizations, local employers, local mobility groups and a public survey:

  • Make transfers easier by being frequent, safe and accessible.
  • Faster travel times to get me where I want to go .
  • More connections to new locations like Sea-Tac airport, UW, Northgate and downtown Seattle.
  • Minimize transfers for long-distance travelers who may already have multiple transfers.
  • Make transfers fast and easy especially for seniors and riders with disabilities.
  • Improve and add local connections.
  • More service outside peak periods and more service on weekends.

How Metro and Sound Transit are using what we learned:

  • To map destinations that are important to the community.
  • To address barriers and increase transit use and access.
  • To find improvements that will encourage more transit use.

Current network

Area map

Below is a map of how the buses in this project currently move in and out of the area.

East Link Connections Phase 1 East Study Area and Routes

East Link Connections Phase 1 West Study Area and Routes

Route Information

Below is a list of the routes in the service area. Click the corresponding link to open a one to three page PDF detailing possible route changes and a corresponding map.

What will not change

There are many bus routes, and other mobility services not listed above, that are not changing as part of this project. Examples include pilot flexible services, Vanpool, a number of I-405 bus services, and bus routes that do not serve areas near the new light rail stations, such as Route 230.

Downloads & resources

Project materials

Project materials, such as fact sheets, flyers, and posters, will be added as the project progresses. The materials are downloadable pdfs and are available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Tagalog, and Hindi. These materials can be shared with family, neighbors, and community members. Written materials can also be made available in alternate formats upon request.

East Link Connections Info Sheet

Community engagement

East Link Connections Mobility Board

Metro and Sound Transit are convening a Mobility Board that equitably represents groups of people historically left out of decision-making conversations related to transit and who are disproportionately affected by these decisions. The Mobility Board’s primary role is to collaborate with Metro and Sound Transit staff to develop and refine a coordinated regional transit network on the Eastside.

Mobility Board members include:

  • Those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities; people with low- to no-income; people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; immigrants and/or refugees; and people with linguistic diversity.
  • Those transit riders and potential transit riders who live, work, or travel within affected communities (including but not limited to areas east and south of Kenmore, east of the I-90 and SR 520 bridges, north of east Renton, and west of Sammamish and Issaquah).
  • Those who bring their perspective as an individual, not representing the interests of a larger group or organization.
  • Those who can draw connections between racial equity, transportation issues, and access to opportunities.

Metro and Sound Transit aim to convene a Mobility Board that equitably represents groups of people historically left out of decision-making conversations related to transit and who are disproportionately affected by these decisions. These groups of people include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities; people with low- to no-income; people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; immigrants and/or refugees; and people with linguistic diversity. We recognize that people can have multiple identities from which they experience both privilege and oppression, and we encourage those who identify as coming from multiple un(der)served groups to apply to serve on the East Link Connections Mobility Board.

East Link Connections Partner Review Board

In addition to individual engagement with project partners and stakeholders, Metro and Sound Transit are convening a team to serve as a concept review board of external stakeholders. The Partner Review Board’s primary role is to review and provide comment on service concepts developed by the Mobility Board, Metro and Sound Transit as well as provide guidance on both engagement opportunities and implementation plans that will ultimately result in successful adoption and implementation of the service change.

The board includes representatives from jurisdictions and major institutions in the project area, leaders of community-based organizations, and representatives from partner transit agencies.

Timeline

  • Identify community stakeholders, needs, and priorities. Metro and Sound Transit will collect quantitative and qualitative data and identify barriers to transit use, as well as improvements that would encourage more transit use.
  • Develop proposed concepts for service changes and collect public feedback through surveys, on board engagement, and at community events.
  • Present a proposed network of service changes to the public and gathered feedback through surveys, virtual community meetings and at community events (pending Healthy Washington – Road to Recovery).
  • Revise and finalize a recommended network based on public input and the Mobility Board’s recommendation.
  • Metro presents recommended changes to King County Council.

    Sound Transit presents recommended changes to Sound Transit Board of Directors.
  • Adopted changes to scheduled bus service will coordinate with the opening of Sound Transit’s Link extensions between International District/Chinatown Station and Redmond Technology Station in 2023 and the following extension to Redmond Town Center in 2024.

Community involvement

Contact us

Tristan Cook
Metro Senior Communications and Engagement Planner

Gunner Scott
Metro Senior Communications and Engagement Planner

Corrie Adams
Sound Transit Senior Engagement Specialist

haveasay@kingcounty.gov
(206) 263-1939

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