Sound Transit Opens Link Light Rail on the Eastside


Sound Transit, Seattle, WA, has opened the initial segment of its Link 2 Line light rail service, connecting passengers on the Eastside to destinations throughout Bellevue and Redmond. The 6.6-mile segment includes eight stations, with service every 10 minutes, 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are about to board light rail on the Eastside for the first time thanks to the years of collaboration and hard work that our community members, project partners, Sound Transit staff, and contractors have dedicated to make this moment possible,” said Interim CEO Goran Sparrman. “Congratulations and thanks to the many hundreds of people who have played such an important role in bringing the vision of a more connected Eastside to life.”

This is the first opening in a year of transit expansions. In August, the 1 Line will extend into Snohomish County to Lynnwood, and in spring 2025, the 2 Line is expected to add two more stations in Redmond.

“Public transit is a top priority for people across Washington state, so it’s a top priority for me, and I’m proud to have fought for, and won, crucial investments in our state’s public transit system,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). “I am so excited to be able to tell everyone we will no longer have to wait years for light rail to come to Bellevue; instead, it will be here every ten minutes! Delivering the federal dollars to support Puget Sound’s incredible expansion of public transit has not been easy, but as long as I serve as the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, it’s going to be a priority for the federal government.”

Voters approved the East Link extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The project broke ground in 2016, and the one-third mile-long Downtown Bellevue Tunnel was completed in 2020.

In August 2023, the Sound Transit Board of Directors authorized the opening of the initial segment of the 2 Line on the Eastside, while construction to correct quality issues on the I-90 segment continues. Since last February, trains have been running simulated service between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology Station, during which all Link trains run a normal schedule without passengers.

A construction team from HDR assisted Sound Transit from procurement through completion, including project oversight, constructability reviews, environmental monitoring, scheduling, field inspections, independent cost estimating, and more.

“We’ve been working toward this moment for eight years, and it’s great to see trains full of passengers making the most of this new mobility option,” said Transit Construction Manager Justin Garrod, who led HDR’s work on the line. “Our team worked hard to build a collaborative spirit that prioritized problem solving and risk management and that helped keep everyone focused on the right things.” The full 2 Line is expected to open in 2025. The Downtown Redmond Link Extension is projected to open in spring 2025 with the Marymoor Village and Downtown Redmond stations. When completed, the I-90 segment will add the Mercer Island and Judkins Park stations to the 2 Line and connect to the 1 Line at the International District/Chinatown Station in downtown Seattle.