SEATAC – The first light rail station south of Sea-Tac airport is millions under budget and ahead of schedule, according to Sound Transit’s CEO.
Peter Rogoff said at the Angle Lake station Wednesday that the $383 million project is currently about $40 million under budget. He didn’t release an opening date.
Crews are current in preliminary testing, those of systems. Next, they’ll test operations when the public will start to see trains coming in and out.
"We’re actually looking to open this station four years earlier than was originally planned for the south 200th Angle Lake station,” Rogoff said. "The farther south we go in King County, the more it's going to make sense for more passengers to decide to not drive all the way north to the city."
The trains will start their journey north toward Sea-Tac here, much like those at the University of Washington station do now to the south.
Miles Haupt, Executive Project Director, pointed to the two art projects on site: a cloud project on the platform that uses dozens of circles timed with special lighting based on the train schedule and a bones-like exhibit that fits in the central staircase going down to lower parking.
"It's going to be the best station in terms of its views obviously,” Haupt said. “So it'll be tough to top this one."
You can see Rainier from the northbound platform.
Sound Transit expects 2,700 people will use this station each day. That equals to more than 5,000 boardings. There are only 1,100 parking spots. Rogoff said Sound Transit will be testing a new paid parking system where drivers can get permits for high occupancy carpools.
"They'll be able to obtain a permit to guarantee themselves a parking spot,” he said. “That's how we're going to work to try and get greater efficiency and greater utilization of passengers for the number of parking spots that we can provide."
The Angle Lake station is just the first step in a journey south. The transit agency plans to continue to build light rail down to Kent-Des Moines. How far it goes past that though will be up to voters in November. They'll decide if they want to spend billions to run light rail to Tacoma.