Sound Transit is out with its analysis of the “Vision Line” that we wrote about a week ago. As predicted, the route preferred by a majority of the Bellevue City Council is cheap and quick, coming in at $145 million below Sound Transit’s budget and shaving three minutes off light rail travel time.
But it pays for those cost and time savings with lower ridership. The Vision Line is projected to have fewer boardings than all but one of the 10 downtown Bellevue alignments Sound Transit has studied. One reason is the Vision Line puts the downtown station next to Interstate 405 rather than where people work and live. Only 7 percent of downtown residents and 27 percent of downtown workers would be within a five-minute walk of the Vision Line.
Sound Transit also took a look at a couple of other new alignments – one at-grade, one below-grade – that appear promising. Seattle Transit Blog has more on those here.