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.
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.
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: