Tacoma Projects Moving Forward on ST-3 List

The finalized ST-3 candidate project list is available for the public to view. This list identifies the next round of projects that could be included in future expansion of transit in the region. These are priorities that came out of a couple rounds of public input, Sound Transit Board input on its priorities for the system, and an initial round of staff analysis.

The list includes a few Tacoma projects for bus, light rail, and commuter rail (find a pdf of the full list here):

Light Rail:

  • Federal Way to Tacoma Dome Station via I-5 - This project would extend light rail from the Federal Way Transit Center area to Tacoma Dome Station. This option would generally follow I-5 primarily on an elevated structure or on a mix of elevated and atgrade sections.
  • Federal Way to Tacoma Dome Station via SR 99 - This project would extend light rail from the Federal Way Transit Center area to Tacoma Dome Station generally following SR 99 in a primarily elevated profile or with a mix of elevated and at-grade sections
  • Tacoma Dome Station to Tacoma Mall - This project would extend light rail from the Tacoma Dome Station to a station in the vicinity of the Tacoma Mall.
  • Tacoma Link Extension - Tacoma Link extension to Tacoma Community College


  • Bus capital enhancements for speed, reliability, convenience along Pacific Avenue - This project would be a partnership with Pierce Transit's BRT project along Pacific Avenue (where PT route 1 currently operates) by contributing toward capital improvements that support efficient flow of buses, such as traffic signal pre-emption, queue jumps, stop amenities, etc. The Pacific BRT route would provide direct connections between Tacoma Dome Station, central/south Tacoma, and Parkland and Spanaway areas.

Also listed are improvements to the north and central sections of Sound Transit's service area, and more general improvements to the whole system, including:

  • Investments in the regional express bus system
  • Additonal service for Sounder commuter rail, station access improvements, and expansions for Sounder stations to handle more cars
  • Investments in programs and policies supporting innovation and technology, and transit-oriented development

Some improvements have multiple options with differing routes, differing levels of investment, and other considerations. Decisions on these differences need to be sorted out in the next round of more in-depth analysis by Sound Transit staff. That analysis of the projects identified will include information about capital, operating and maintenance costs, ridership, travel time and reliability, system integration and access, connectivity and mobility, socio-economic benefits and potential project risks. The results of that process are expected to be ready for presentation to the Board and the public later this fall, and will provide the basis for a draft Sound Transit 3 System Plan expected to be ready next spring. Find all of the projects and details on the process on the Sound Transit ST-3 project page.

It's not a finalized list yet, obviously, but some popular Tacoma projects are continuing to move forward through the planning process. Are there any in particular that you're pulling for? Is anything missing?

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