East Link Light Rail Seattle Bellevue Connection
Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

According to Sound Transit, the East Link light rail project has been delayed. It was originally slated to reach completion in summer 2023.

East Link will include 10 stations connecting Seattle to the Eastside. In total, it spans fourteen miles long from Seattle’s International District to Judkins park, across I-90 to Mercer Island and South Bellevue, and through Downtown Bellevue and the Bel-Red area to Redmond Technology Station.

Sound Transit officials attributed the main factors in delaying the project to COVID delays, the concrete workers strike, construction issues on part of I-90, and extended training period for light rail operators.

A revised timeline will be put together this spring. It is expected to stay within their approximately $3.7 billion budget.

Light rail vehicle testing on East Link began in late 2021 to ensure that the new line would be ready for riders. Crews have been evaluating controls, safety, and signal systems, and communications.

Once reaching completion, East Link will run every 8 minutes in peak hours. Projected ridership is 43,000 – 52,000 daily riders by 2026.


  1. FYI, Sound Transit’s Eastlink light rail project was originally scheduled to open service to Downtown Bellevue in 2020. Like every other Sound Transit project, it is years behind schedule. Service to Microsoft’s main campus was also promised to begin in 2021. Do you think they’ll change the date embossed on the Downtown tunnel entrance?

  2. Did Sound Transit remind you that the EastLink DEIS projected that 80% of the 43,000-52,000 daily riders will come from existing bus routes serving the same corridor? Yes, Sound Transit’s popular 550 will be discontinued, and the 554 will be terminated on Mercer Island forcing a transfer to Eastlink to get to Seattle and beyond. Other King County Metro busses will be adjusted. ST projects that 16,000 of the 419,000 person trips (BKR mode for 2018) in Downtown Bellevue (3.8%) will use Eastlink (0.8% as ‘new transit riders’). What a deal for $3.7 Billion!
    Light rail: Costs too much, Takes too long, Does too little.

  3. And will anybody pay the fare to ride given its not enforced? what a joke these government agencies and politicians have made our region.