Your search results

ST3 Light Rail–The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: Light rail lives! The new Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stations are operational and successful, and riding on the wake of their popularity, Sound Transit has announced the new ST3 draft plan, which lays out the future of Seattle’s public transportation.

This draft plan matters. It’s huge, developmentally speaking. As Seattle keeps growing bigger and as traffics keeps worsening, public transit will make or break this city’s future. The basics of ST3:

  • The Bad: A $50 billion price tag ($23 billion from federal funding and existing taxes, $27 billion from new taxes). This will cost the average household $400 annually.
  • The Good: Expand Link Light Rail to to 108 miles, with 75 light rail stations across 17 cities (including Everett, Tacoma, Redmond, Issaquah, Ballard, and West Seattle), with a target of serving 500,000 passengers daily.
  • The Good: Allow express buses to drive on the shoulder, other expansions to Sounder commuter rail and bus rapid transit.
  • The Ugly: A 25-year timeline, with the West Seattle station opening in 2033 and the Ballard station opening in 2038.

1458860639-screen_shot_2016-03-24_at_4.01.39_pm

Seattle lags behind other major cities (NY, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco) for public transportation, and this new plan addresses that deficiency. But this draft ST3 plan might be a case of “too little, too late.” I’m not saying it’s bad—not at all. But I am saying it can be better.

The Ugly: For instance, the Ballard-downtown line won’t be finished until 2038—one of the last pieces of ST3. The current plan also would make this line at-grade and cross the water via a drawbridge, meaning this route would lose the reliability that makes people love light rail. Regular trains every 6-8 minutes can’t happen when you need to wait for a boat to pass through. Yet this line will attract the most riders and have the lowest cost/rider ratio of any part of the new light rail lines (it’s expected to received 145,000 riders per day, which is on par with the entire Portland MAX system). The Ballard line needs to be a top priority, and it needs to be done right.

The Bad: Also, this plan does not provide a line from Ballard to the UW station. Traveling east-west is comically difficult already, and this plan does little to address that. North-south transit will improve drastically, but we’d like to see a similar improvement the other way, too.

But this isn’t all about our ideas. Do you like ST3? What would you improve?

Tell Sound Transit! They have an open survey, and they’ll be reading responses and modifying the plan before it goes on the ballot in November. Make your voice heard.

 

Also, although this plan pushes right up to that $50 billion budget, there’s a chance a ST3 will end up underbudget (as what happened with the UW and Capitol Hill stations). If so, would you rather see light rail expand deeper into West Seattle or see a Ballard-Fremont-Wallingford-UW line?

 

We want to hear what our people think before we weigh in on ST3. Tell us your ideas and preferences on our Facebook page.

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
    See All Reviews