Early Scoping + Preferred Alternatives Could Change The Plan For Everett Light Rail

November 7, 2021


Sound Transit is starting what it calls “Early Scoping” for the extension of Light Rail to Everett, Washington. Here is what the agency posted regarding the process getting underway. Take note of what we highlighted in bold below covering Early Scoping and Preferred Alternatives. There is also a YouTube video with more information.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Everett Link Extension project is now conducting early scoping and requesting public comments! Early scoping is one of the first opportunities you will have to help Sound Transit better understand your community and potential environmental concerns related to the project.

You can also provide input on the potential routes, station locations and the location of the new operations and maintenance facility (OMF). Comments may be submitted by visiting our interactive website, emailing everettlinkcomments@soundtransit.org, leaving a voicemail at (888) 512-8599 or by mail:Everett Link Extensionc/o Kathy FendtSound Transit401 S. Jackson St.Seattle, WA 98104


Early scoping is an important part of the alternatives development process. During this phase, Sound Transit will evaluate potential alternatives to the ST3 representative project that could also meet the project’s purpose and need.
During the early scoping comment period, we would like to hear from you about:

  • Your community, its history, and places important to you that we should consider when studying the representative project and alternatives for stations, routes and a new operations and maintenance facility location.
  • Potential benefits and impacts of the project on your community, the environment and/or transportation.
  • Your thoughts on the project’s preliminary purpose and need.
  • Any additional input you would like to share with us.

Comments accepted until Dec. 10.

You can click here to learn more about the “Early Scoping” process and provide comments.
Here is where the Everett Link Extension currently stands (per Sound Transit)

The target schedule for opening service to Everett Station is 2037. This target schedule requires an estimated $600 million in additional funding and/or savings, and we will seek out all options to open for service on this timeline. However, if additional funding and/or reduced project costs cannot be secured, the timeframe that is affordable to open service to SW Everett Industrial Center is 2037, and opening service from there to Everett Station is 2041.

To connect Everett as soon as possible, the Sound Transit Board deferred funding for new park and ride structures in the corridor until 2046. At service opening (2037), transit riders will be able to access Link via existing and new local bus connections, and existing park and ride facilities at Everett, Ash Way and Mariner Stations. Sound Transit will also explore innovative ways to expand parking availability and provide other station access choices before 2046, where and when budget allows.
Here is what Sound Transit says about Preferred Alternatives
After working with stakeholder groups and the community during alternatives development and considering input from later EIS early scoping, the Sound Transit Board will identify a preferred route, station locations, and an OMF North location (which we call the “preferred alternative”) for evaluation in the project’s Draft EIS. After completing the Draft EIS, the Board may modify the preferred alternative that is then studied in the Final EIS.

The alternatives development process to identify alternatives to evaluate through an EIS process and to reach a preferred alternative for the Draft EIS is summarized below:

In addition to starting with the representative project from the system expansion plan, Sound Transit identified other potential alternatives that could meet the project purpose and need, including alternatives developed through local planning efforts such as the Metro Everett Subarea Plan and Snohomish County’s Light Rail Communities. These are the potential alternatives currently proposed that will be analyzed in a Level 1 evaluation. Any new alternatives identified by the public, agencies or Tribes during early scoping will be first screened to see if they could also meet the project purpose and need. If they could, then they, too, will go through the Level 1 evaluation.

In Level 1, we will evaluate in greater detail the representative project, other potential alternatives, and any new alternatives that meet the project’s purpose and need. This includes alternatives for routes, station locations and OMF sites. Alternatives will be evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative measures using criteria that reflect the project purpose and need. At this level of evaluation, alternatives will be analyzed in discrete sections to help evaluate tradeoffs in various locations. The goal is to carry forward alternatives that best meet the project’s purpose and need for more detailed analysis during the next level of evaluation.

In Level 2, we will evaluate full corridor alternatives in greater detail using even more quantitative measures and conceptual design. The intent of Level 2 is to identify the full corridor alternatives from Level 1 that best meet the project purpose and need. The results of the Level 2 evaluation will be presented to the public, agencies and Tribes for comment during the EIS scoping comment period. Based on the technical information from Level 1 and Level 2 evaluations, and input from the community and stakeholder groups, the Sound Transit Board is expected to identify a preferred alternative and other alternatives for further design and environmental review.


About My Everett News Staff

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

View all posts by My Everett News Staff