Sound Transit given $68.9M federal grant for south King County bus stations


Sound Transit has been awarded a $68.9 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the design and construction of two planned stations in Tukwila and Renton on the new Stride Rapid Transit, or BRT, line on Interstate 405 South – dubbed S1 – in King County, Washington.

The grant comes as the bus network is struggling to find drivers and ridership slowly creeps back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The award was the sole capital construction grant handed out in Washington state as part of this year’s round of $3.3 billion in funding, announced March 13 by USDOT.

The federal money – awarded via the Neighborhood Access and Equity program under the umbrella of USDOT’s Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods program – will support the Tukwila International Boulevard Stride BRT Station, including pedestrian bridges over State Route 518, as well as the BRT South Renton Transit Center, including transit signal prioritization, bus-only lanes, and bicycle and pedestrian amenities.

The goal of the project is to create a multimodal hub, dubbed a Transit Oriented Development site, in the center of the community.

The voter-approved Stride rapid transit program includes plans for three bus lines. In addition to S1 from Burien to Bellevue, S2 will run from Bellevue to Lynnwood, and S3 will serve the growing north Lake Washington communities from Shoreline and Seattle to Bothell.

The Stride project has been criticized for multiple delays due to construction-related challenges, including higher costs and slower procurement timeframes.

The combined budget for the Stride BRT program is $2.35 billion, according to Sound Transit, which is a 14% increase over the initial cost estimate.

“Sound Transit pursues grant funding to help pay for voter-approved projects,” Sound Transit public information officer Rachelle Cunningham told The Center Square in an email. “As is the case with projects around the region and state, cost estimates for Stride BRT program have increased, and this NAE grant will help pay for some of the additional costs.”