New ST3 map. (Sound Transit)

Sound Transit upgraded its old ST3 map with a cleaner new map and website. The old map helped sell the package to the regional electorate that voted 54% in favor of the 25-year investment last year. The new map is more elegant and legible. The interactive map also includes slightly updated quick facts on the new lines voters authorized.

Click on the Ballard line, for example, and you’ll quickly see Sound Transit’s expected operational date of 2035 and see the movable bridge crossing of Salmon Bay that the transit agency is heavily leaning toward–despite the obvious advantages of a tunnel crossing: no service disruption for passing ships and no costly, time-consuming, and ultimately perhaps only partially successful environmental mitigation for sensitive salmon runs.

New Systems Expansion map with legend. Visit website for interactive version. (Sound Transit)

ST3 promised light rail to the Tacoma Dome by 2030, with a trip to Sea-Tac taking 35 minutes. (Sound Transit)

On the positive side, the new map continues to reflect the split spine concept Sound Transit unveiled in December 2015. Under the concept, the Ballard line continues to Tacoma (as the green line) and the West Seattle line turns north to Lynnwood as the red line–and will continue on to Everett by 2036. This should increase the operational efficiency of each line by avoiding a marathon 65-mile route from Tacoma to Everett that’d take at least two hours each way. Meanwhile, the new map’s blue line would be a Lynnwood to Redmond via Downtown Seattle line.


Draft Plan expansion concept for the region. (Sound Transit)
Draft Plan expansion concept for the region from last year. (Sound Transit)

Not a lot has changed from the old map, but the new map is easier to read and worth perusing. The new map is also available in a PDF version and the website includes a newly-formatted project list. Here’s how long Sound Transit estimates you’ll have to wait for ST3 light rail projects:

Timelines on ST3 projects reflecting how must faster than the initial proposal. (Sound Transit)

Building ST4: The Case For Upgrading RapidRide E To Rail

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Doug Trumm is publisher of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in 2019. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.