A map of planned bus rapid transit on I-405. (Sound Transit)

A map of planned bus rapid transit on I-405. (Sound Transit)

Sound Transit kicks off planning for I-405 bus rapid transit

A second line will run on Highway 522 between Bothell and Shoreline’s light rail station.

EVERETT — Sound Transit and the state Department of Transportation kicked off planning for two new bus rapid transit lines last week.

One will run 37 miles along I-405 from Lynnwood to Burien and have 11 stations. Three stations will include additional parking and a new transit center will be built in south Renton.

Service is expected to start in 2024 and Sound Transit estimates it will take riders 45 minutes to travel from Lynnwood to Bellevue and 48 minutes between Bellevue and Burien.

The second line, with a total of nine stations, will run along Highway 522 from Bothell to the future light rail station in Shoreline. Parking will be added in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell, and the transit center at UW Bothell will be expanded.

When service begins in 2024, the same year the Shoreline Light Rail station is scheduled to open, Sound Transit estimates the ride between Lake Forest Park to downtown Seattle via the bus rapid transit line and light rail will take 38 minutes.

Described by the agency as “like rail on rubber tires,” bus rapid transit systems are designed for improved capacity and reliability compared to other bus systems.

Sound Transit says the two lines will have off-board fare payment to allow riders to enter through multiple doors, reducing times at stops for loading passengers. And a new signal system will give buses a green light before general traffic.

Both projects are part of the Sound Transit 3 plan voters approved in 2016. In 2019, the state transportation department is planning to start construction on two express tolling lanes on I-405 between downtown Bellevue and Renton. Express toll lanes already run from Bellevue to Lynnwood.

“Roadway improvements, including completing business access and transit lanes on SR 522 and expanding express toll lanes on I-405, will be critical to allowing Sound Transit to deliver bus rapid transit,” said Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO, in a news release.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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