Sound Transit announced that the Link 2 Line can begin operating passenger service between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology stations in Spring 2024.
The Sound Transit Board approved opening the eight-station segment for service prior to completion of the full East Link Extension.
Service on the 2 Line is proposed to run with two-car trains every 10 minutes, 16 hours a day. The final service level will be approved by the Sound Transit Board as part of the 2024 Service Plan. This action is expected in October.
What the 2 Line Service Will Offer
This initial 2 Line service will offer Eastside passengers traffic-free trips between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology stations.
Service will also connect passengers to Overlake Medical Center, the Spring District, and the BelRed area.
The Board’s action included provisions to meet ridership demand on the 1 Line, including maximizing peak-hour service, adding bus service in Snohomish County, and support for Lynnwood passengers until the opening of the full East Link Extension.
“It’s an exciting step to connect more communities via fast, carbon-free Link light rail, and opening these stations on the Eastside is the opening act of the 2 Line,” said Dow Constantine, Sound Transit Board chair. “From Redmond to Bellevue, people have a new option to get to work, school, and all the things that make this community special, and I’m excited to see what’s next when the 2 Line crosses Lake Washington in 2025.”
Sound Transit Working on 2 Line Plans
Sound Transit is working with regional transit partners on plans to coordinate the 2 Line opening with other spring service changes on ST Express, King County Metro Transit, and Community Transit bus routes.
Existing ST Express and King County Metro routes including Route 550, B Line, and other local routes are anticipated to continue operating on their current routes until the full 2 Line opens in 2025.
Voters approved the East Link Extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure.
Construction on the project began in 2017, including sequential excavation mining of the one-half-mile Bellevue tunnel, which was completed in 2020.
Light rail test trains have been operating across the alignment to test the overhead electrical power system and train signal system, and simulated service is expected to begin in early 2024.
The Sound Transit Board authorized up to $43 million from the existing East Link Extension $3.68 billion budget to fund the activities necessary to open the East Link Starter Line in Spring 2024.