Welcome

Scroll through this site to learn what East Link Connections is and how it helps link transit and your community.

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.

Metro and Sound Transit are initiating a mobility project on King County’s Eastside to implement a coordinated regional transit network that gets people where they need and want to go. The project will deliver an updated mobility network that integrates with and complements Sound Transit’s 12 new Link light rail stations connecting downtown Seattle and the Eastside.

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. Find out more in the background section.

Overview of online open house:

  • Learn about East Link Connections
  • View the draft ST Express and Metro route changes to connect riders to 12 new Link light rail stations as part of East Link and Downtown Redmond Link extensions opening
  • Find background information about the East Link Connections
  • Explore the benefits of connecting to Link light rail
  • Review the transfer experience at each new Link light rail station
  • Find out more about proposed fares
  • Learn about how we measure equity and view the project timeline

Learn more

Preview the proposed future of transit on the Eastside

To learn more about the changes that are being proposed, navigate through the geographic areas and bus route numbers to view the proposed route map, schedule, and other changes.

Please note that these proposals are subject to change based on public feedback that was received during our October 2021 outreach. Updates will be announced in early 2022, along with a new survey opportunity. You can subscribe to email updates if you are interested in receiving project updates.

Learn more

North subarea: Bothell, Duvall, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville

Routes: 224, 225, 232, 237, 250, 251, 252, 256, 257, 311, 930, 931

Mobility Board-identified needs, prioritized by importance:

  1. Improve and add local connections.
  2. More service on nights and weekends.
  3. Ensure transfers are easy and seamless.
  4. Preserve easy access to downtown Seattle.

Central subarea: Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, Medina, Clyde Hill

Routes: B Line, 202, 203, 221, 222, 223, 226, 241, 245, 246, 249, 268, 270, 271, 541, 542, 544, 545, 550, 554, 555/556

Mobility Board-identified needs, prioritized by importance:

  1. Routes that make transfers easier by being frequent and accessible to all travelers, with early and late trips that can serve transfers to or from East Link.
  2. Routes that offer more transfer opportunities so that riders can travel to many different local and regional destinations.
  3. Routes that offer speed and reliability, with more direct paths on faster routes where possible.


South subarea: Renton, Renton Highlands, Newcastle, Factoria, Bellevue

Routes: 111, 114, 167, 240, 342

Mobility Board-identified needs, prioritized by importance:

  1. More service outside of peak periods.
  2. Improve first/last-mile connections to transit hubs.
  3. Leverage connections to frequent, high-capacity transit (i.e. Link, rapid bus).
  4. Improve connections between Renton Highlands, Bellevue and Issaquah.
  5. Ensure connections to hospitals and other community assets.


East Subarea: Mercer Island, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, North Bend I-90 Corridor

Routes: 200, 204, 208, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 269, 630

Mobility Board-identified needs, prioritized by importance:

  1. More service outside of peak periods.
  2. More service on weekends.
  3. Maintain frequent service in peak periods.
  4. Real time information technology.


Seattle: Judkins Park

Routes: 8

Mobility Board-identified needs, prioritized by importance:

  1. More service outside of peak periods.
  2. More service on weekends.
  3. Maintain frequent service in peak periods.
  4. Real time information technology.

Background

What is East Link Connections?

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.

Impacted areas:

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

Routes with proposed changes:

B Line, 8, 111, 114, 167, 200, 202, 203, 204, 208, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 232, 237, 240, 241, 245, 246, 249, 250, 251, 252, 256, 257, 268, 269, 270, 271, 311, 342, 541, 542, 544, 545, 550, 554, 555/556, 630, 930, 931

East Link Connections Phase 1 East Study Area and Routes

This maps shows the East Link Connection study area and bus routes in east King County, as well as where the Link 2 Line will operate. This map also identifies which routes are frequent, all-day, and peak service.
Eastside – This map is showing impacted bus routes in the East Link Connections project area in east King County. The identified routes have been chosen because they travel near light rail stations or overlap the path and connections of the rail alignment. | Click to enlarge

East Link Connections Phase 1 West Study Area and Routes

This maps shows the East Link Connection study area and bus routes that extend across Lake Washington and operate into the Seattle area, as well as where the Link 2 Line will operate in Seattle. This map also identifies which routes are frequent, all-day, and peak service.
Westside – This map shows the western portion of the project area in Seattle, including the Judkins Park Link Station. Most of the routes shown connect downtown Seattle and UW with the Eastside. | Click to enlarge

Understanding the needs of the Eastside

In our first phase of engagement, April 5 - 25, 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:

icon bus and train

Make transfers easier by being frequent, safe and accessible.

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Faster travel times to get me where I need to go.

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Minimize transfers for long-distance travelers who may already have multiple transfers.

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More connections to new locations like Sea-Tac airport, UW, Northgate and downtown Seattle.

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Make transfers fast and easy especially for seniors and riders with disabilities.

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Improve and add local connections.

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More service outside peak periods and more service on weekends.

How Metro and Sound Transit are using what we learned:

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To map destinations that are important to the community.

To address barriers and increase transit use and access.

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To find improvement that will encourage more transit use.

Link

What are the benefits of riding Link?

From Redmond to downtown Seattle, Link light rail trains will travel on dedicated or semi-dedicated right-of-way at speeds up to 55 mph. Up to four-car trains will run every eight minutes during rush hour.

Projected travel times:

  • 18 min downtown Redmond to downtown Bellevue.
  • 24 min Seattle (Westlake Station) to downtown Bellevue.
  • 50 min South Bellevue to Sea-Tac Airport.

Light rail moves more people in less space

Trains arrive every eight minutes during rush hour

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1

four-car light rail train can move 800 people

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10

buses

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500

cars


icon of light rail link train

Link light rail provides

icon of parking sign with car and bus waiting

Easy access. Find local bus connections and parking at many stations.

icon of woman waiting to board link

No schedule needed! Service every few minutes.

icon of link train moving on tracks

Fast, traffic-free travel. Arrive at the same time every day.

link of person bicycling towards a house

Connections at stations. Reach your final destination with sidewalks, bike paths and buses plus pick-up and drop-off areas.

This map shows the Link 2 Line which will extend light rail between Seattle and Downtown Redmond via I-90. The 2 Line will meet up with the 1 Line at the International District/Chinatown Station and continue north. Seattle to the Redmond Technology Station will open in 2023 and SE Redmond and Downtown Redmond stations will open in 2024.
Link light rail – the 2 Line | Click to enlarge

How will I transfer

Transferring from bus to light rail

As the Link light rail continues to expand, bus service around the area will continue to evolve in order to better serve the new light rail stations. This will mean that many riders will need to transfer from a bus to light rail in order to reach their final destination.

We do understand that this may be a change for some riders and so we have provided some references to help you understand what the transfer experience will look like at each new light rail station. For each station you will find a station rendering, a site plan map which will show the station entrances and adjacent bus stops, and a vertical circulation map which will show you how a rider can navigate from the entrances to the station platform to catch the train.

Fares

What will my fare be?

The easiest way to pay for your ride is with an ORCA card that you can purchase at any one of our ticket machines. You can also pay your fare with cash or the Transit Go Mobile Ticket app. Please note that when paying in cash on a bus you will want the exact fare because you do not get change back. When paying cash to use the Link system, you must first purchase your ticket at a ticket vending machine.

ORCA card animation

Why use an ORCA Card – because it makes transferring is easy!

When you use the ORCA Card to transfer between ORCA-family transit services, like Link light rail and Metro or Sound Transit buses, your first-leg fare counts toward to the second leg of your trip. If the second leg of your trip costs the same or less than your first, your transfer is free. If your second-leg fare costs more than your first, your ORCA card will automatically deduct the difference from your E-purse balance. Transfer value expires two hours after you first tap your ORCA Card to begin your trip.

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Link fares:

Currently Sound Transit’s Link fare model is distance-based and ranges from $2.25 - $3.50 depending on how far a rider is traveling.

trains transfer animation

Bus fares:

Metro’s fares range from an adult single ride fare at $2.75 with cash, ORCA Card or Transit Go Mobile Ticket to lower or no cost fare for those who qualify for a reduced fare using an ORCA card.

Sound Transit’s fare ranges from an adult single ride fare at $3.25 with cash, ORCA Card or Transit Go Mobile Ticket to lower or no cost fare for those who qualify for a reduced fare using an ORCA card.

orca card reader animation

What are the guidelines and policies we are using to make sure service is equitable?

Where are we now

December 2020 – February 2021

Identify community stakeholders, needs and priorities.

Spring 2021

Develop proposed concepts for service changes and collect public feedback

Summer 2021

Presented a proposed network of service changes to the public and gathered feedback

Winter 2021 – 2022 – We Are Here

Present an updated proposed network of service changes to the public and gather feedback to inform finalizing a recommended network

Summer – Fall 2022

Metro presents recommended changes to the King County Council.

2023 – 2024

New scheduled bus service begins with opening of Sound Transit’s Link extensions.