The Sound Transit Boeing Access Road station was originally approved by voters as a part of Sound Move in 1996. Billed as the only multi-modal station along both the Central Link and Sounder lines, the Boeing Access Road station was designed to enable riders to transfer between heavy and light rail, as well as access the nearby employment center and residential communities. Along with another light rail station in Tukwila, the Boeing Access Road station was deferred in 2001 when the agency needed to find cost savings in order to finish light rail from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac airport.
There are over 11,000 jobs in the nearby area, and some of the region’s most prominent employers including Boeing, Group Health, Sabey Corporation, BECU and Providence have thousands of employees commuting to this area every day. The Museum of Flight, just north of the site, receives over 600,000 visitors each year and there are a number of residential areas that have easy access to the Boeing Access Road station.
A ridership study commissioned by the City of Tukwila and Sabey Corporation shows that if the station were open today, it would have high ridership with over 1,400 daily boardings. This reflects more passengers at the Boeing Access Road than three of Sound Transit’s existing Link Light Rail stations. In addition, the study showed that the station has the potential to increase to 3,770 daily boardings by 2035.
Area employers are supportive of a private shuttle to maximize connectivity for commuters and residents alike. The Museum of Flight’s own analysis indicates that its current attendance of 600,000 visitors a year would increase by 25% once the station comes online. And, with existing infrastructure already in place, the cost of The Boeing Access Road multi-modal station is considerably lower than one that requires laying more tracks.
The Boeing Access Road commuter and light rail stations is consistent with six of Sound Transit’s Core Priorities for System Plan and Development. The time has come to build this important missing transportation link and connect the area with high capacity transit.