Integration of Bus and Rail Transit
|80th Avenue SE bus turnaround proposal (from Dec 2014; now abandoned); click for larger version|
One of the significant issues yet to be resolved around light rail on Mercer Island is the way that the future system will connect with existing bus transit at the Mercer Island Station. The objective of this effort is to identify opportunities to minimize overlap with existing services along I-90, maximize transit efficiency, and reduce air pollution, while protecting the quality of life for Island residents.
What's Happening Now
At this point there is no active proposal regarding Bus-Rail Integration on Mercer Island.
Click here to view past, abandoned proposals.
Council has rejected the most recent proposal (from December 2014 -- See image above) due to ongoing concerns over lack of sufficient commuter parking for residents wishing to use regional transit, local traffic impacts due to center roadway closure, and general pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle mobility impacts around the proposed bus drop-off location.
Discussions on this important topic continue.
There are no meetings currently scheduled focusing solely on bus-rail integration, but community outreach continues on light rail in general and the impacts expected during construction. See the "Get Involved" section of the main light rail page.
Comments on bus-rail integration are currently closed.
Visit the Sound Transit webpage for contact information.
- May 11, 2015: Mayor Bruce Bassett transmitted a formal letter, indicating the full City Council's rejection of the Bus Intercept proposal, to Sound Transit.
- May 1, 2015: Sound Transit letter responding to the City's memo.
- April 20, 2015: The Council Subcommittee and City Manager met with Sound Transit and King County Metro staff in order to gain greater detail on the potential impacts of the proposed project. Although the meeting was held before Sound Transit and Metro had fully developed their proposal, the Subcommittee unanimously concluded that the Bus Intercept proposal, as currently presented by Sound Transit and Metro, is not a basis for further negotiations. Read the April 28 memo summarizing the meeting and recommending action by the full Council.
- March 30, 2015: City memo regarding the Bus Intercept concept and Sound Transit funding update.
- June 16, 2014: Based on a Study Session presentation to City Council by Sound Transit and King County Metro, Mayor Bruce Bassett made the following summary comments about the Bus/Rail Interconnection Study:
“The City of Mercer Island certainly wants to be supportive of regional transit as a whole, which is clearly an asset to the entire region, including Islanders. However, there is little within the various bus turnaround proposals that really benefits Island residents. Funneling thousands of commuters from the Eastside to Mercer Island so they can then make transfers to light rail doesn't improve the transit experience for Islanders at all...
Read Mayor Bassett's full comments here
Click here to view the East Link Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)
Click here to read the East Link Bus/Rail System Integration study, July 2014 (6.5Mb)
The study developed various scenarios exploring a future interconnection between the Metro and Sound Transit bus systems with East Link light rail at the Mercer Island Station.
Note that previous work related to transit operations along I-90 and Mercer Island was completed as part of Sound Transit’s East Link FEIS. For the purposes of the integration study, the East Link FEIS preferred alternative represents the baseline future condition; all of the findings associated with the bus/rail integration scenarios are compared back to this baseline future condition.