Plans for Sound Transit’s I-405 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system are moving forward as the project begins preliminary engineering and environmental review.
At the July 16 Kirkland City Council meeting, representatives from Sound Transit gave an update on a planned BRT station and interchange plans for Kirkland. Sound Transit’s I-405 BRT aims to provide more options for the cities along I-405.
According to Sound Transit, the bus route will connect to light rail stations in Lynnwood, Bellevue and Tukwila, as well other transit services. The official project website notes that 11 BRT stations are expected as part of the project. One of these stations will be located at the intersection of I-405 and Northeast 85th Street in Kirkland.
Paul Cornish, BRT director at Sound Transit, explained that project will also add parking facilities along with the bus stations, including one at Kirkland’s Kingsgate Park and Ride. Sound Transit is bringing on a new bus fleet, he added, but they are still working on the details of the fare payment.
Buses are planned to run every 10 minutes at peak and 15 minutes at off peak hours. In terms of total coverage time, 19 hours of service are expected Monday through Saturday, with up to 17 hours on Sunday. Those times are subject to change, Cornish said, as Sound Transit aims to line up the schedules with light rail.
Cornish also outlined the expected timeline for the project. The planning phase began in 2018 and will run until 2020. Design will be conducted from 2020-23. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with completion in 2024.
According to Kirkland’s communications program manager Kellie Stickney, Sound Transit has conducted several public outreach events over the past year. In 2018, four stakeholder workshops and an open house were held to share the planning information with the community. This year, representatives from Sound Transit have spoken to the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods, visited six neighborhood areas, held another open house and presented information to the Kirkland Transportation Commission.