Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KNKX, along with NPR, will bring you all the information you will need as we close in on Election Day 2016. Stay up to date with local and national issues along with stories about how this election cycle will affect you and your family here in Washington and around the world.Also be sure to check out our series on Sound Transit's Proposition 1, also known as Sound Transit 3. You can read more about ST3 and this series here. Be sure to stay up-to-date with our national coverage too by clicking here.

Sounder South Line Could See Extension, Longer Trains Under ST3

A southbound Sounder train waits at King Street Station in Seattle.
Simone Alicea
A southbound Sounder train waits at King Street Station in Seattle.

If voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties approve the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, they would approve an expansion of not only the light rail system but also the Sounder commuter rail.

Sounder trains share the track with freight and Amtrak trains, which is partly why they can't run in both directions all day. The two Sounder lines together see an average of more than 16,000 riders a day.

Right now, the North Line runs from Everett to Seattle a few times in the morning and then in the opposite direction in the evening. The South Line between Lakewood and Seattle runs on a similar schedule, but more frequently.

Under ST3, the South Line would be extended to Tillicum and DuPont to serve Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Sound Transit also wants to extend platforms along this line. They would accommodate 10-car trains to carry more people than the 7-car trains do now.

South Line riders waiting for a train home at King Street Station said they liked having the option to avoid highway gridlock. They said having access to regional transit, not just in-city transit, meant they could take jobs that are farther away from home.

While South Line commuters have been asking for more runs and more space, they've also been asking for more parking. ST3 includes plans for parking for the North Line stations, but does not explicitly plan for parking along the South Line.

This is Part IV of our series Sound Transit 3: The $54 Billion Question.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.