Mercer Island Transit Interchange

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The Mercer Island Transit Interchange is the integration of bus transit service from the Eastside with East Link light rail. When East Link opens for service in 2023, some bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.

Learn more by reading the articles below, as well as the FAQs and studying the Document Library; use the tools below to Ask a Question or Post a Comment. [Note: FAQ's not updated after Oct 2020]

The Mercer Island Transit Interchange is the integration of bus transit service from the Eastside with East Link light rail. When East Link opens for service in 2023, some bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.

Learn more by reading the articles below, as well as the FAQs and studying the Document Library; use the tools below to Ask a Question or Post a Comment. [Note: FAQ's not updated after Oct 2020]

Guest Book

Please post your Comments to the City on the Bus/Rail Interchange below; all comments will be considered as part of the public record and reviewed by staff. Be a good neighbor and keep your comments civil - please refer to our moderation policy for more details. 

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Increasing the size and scope of the bus interchange on Mercer Island is problematic for several reasons. The are already significant foot, bicycle, and car safety issues. Traffic congestion, and alternative traffic routes are not an option as the island is very small and already fully developed. Air quality will deteriorate significantly in close proximity to multiple senior housing facilities with diesel buses using the area for staging. An aside- the notion that the buses will be turned off while sitting on the side of the road is faulty, to run air conditioning or heating, the motor needs to be running. In Seattle, this means at least 6 months of the year the buses will be idling while staging. Road based surface water runoff will create additional pollution and deteriorate water quality within hundreds of yards of Lake Washington.
Finally, a very real additional factor in my comments is Sound Transits track record. Sound Transit has not been a partner either with Mercer Island, or with other entities that have come in contact with Sound Transit. The story is a broken record of autocratic control, broken promises, and no accountability. If anyone from Sound Transit is reading this, understand that past actions impact future credibility. There is no going back on this in ten years and having no recourse is not an option. Sound Transit's promises are tainted by Sound Transit's lengthy track record and for these reasons, I support litigation.

Jim Gregson over 1 year ago
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Thanks for the update. Sad situation but I support going forward with litigation and using the utility tax increase to pay for the litigation.

Bonnie over 1 year ago
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As part of the Metro Vision 2040, it says that it will take 51 minutes for a 15.5 mile trip to take light rail from Issaquah to Seattle. That is not fast at all. It would be quicker for Metro/ST to put Rapid Bus Transit buses which would go non-stop from Issaquah to Seattle which would take 30 minutes, and have commuters then transfer to light rail to Mercer Island for a total trip time of 40 minutes, 11 minutes quicker than had they taken light rail. And Metro have the same concerns as myself and that is that people would rather drive to Mercer Island, park in our Park and Ride, and then take light rail into Seattle. There would not even be a need for a roundabout.

fletchsa1 over 1 year ago
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The 6 year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) includes SP123, “North Mercer Way Park and Ride Frontage Improvements”, which I strongly oppose for the following reasons:
1. It is too expensive. It is the largest TIP at $1,284,107, which is 70% of all REET projected for 2024.
2. It is very low priority. It cannot be considered either mandatory or necessary. REET can alternately be used for the General Fund or to accelerate more important Capital Improvement Plans, such as replacement of about 200 undersized and deteriorated water main projects.
3. It is a detriment to safety by mixing bicycle traffic with pedestrians. Bicyclists should be required to dismount south of the parking garage.
4. It is redundant to the bike trail on the north side of the parking garage.
5. It precludes better solutions for Mercer Islanders and bus riders from the east and southeast. Mercer Islanders and Eastside bus commuters are better served when busses arriving from the east continue on to Seattle, either without stopping on Mercer Island, or by using the existing bus bay without forced transfer to light rail. The roundabout is certain to cause major traffic jams on NMW and trip delays. The bus bay on the north side of NMW should at least be retained for local buses and private car, Uber, Lyft, and taxis drop offs. Layovers/idling should be prohibited.
6. Forced bus transfers are not customer friendly. Eastside riders will not like to make an extra transfer that takes longer.

Dwight over 1 year ago
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Considering the slavish support for Sound Transit's schemes for Mercer Island exhibited by our past mayors and city council majorities, including several of those on our current city council, I find the letter to Sound Transit laughable. The ideological priority of our city council majority has been and, I suspect will continue to be, to sacrifice our community to the broader leftist regionalist, county and state government priorities which do NOT care about our neighborhoods, our town center or our ability to access our island via SOV. Do NOT listen to what the city council majority and the mayor say; Watch what this city council majority and mayor actually do. They want the ST hub, expanded urban density, higher population growth, neighborhood upzoning, short-platting and all the negative consequences for our city of pursuing those objectives.

Madrona Crest over 1 year ago
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One approach to the problem of loud motorcycles and cars racing on EMW, WMW, NMW and ICW might be to pass an ordinance similar to Seattle’s which “allows officers to issue tickets if exhausts can be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of 75 feet or more from the vehicle itself.” ( Enforcing the ordinance might also generate some revenue for the city.

mihiker over 1 year ago
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I wanted to raise the issue of the increase in speeding motorcycles and high-end cars coming to the island and using EMW, WMW, NMW, and ICW as a race track. This dangerous and reckless activity will make any increase in commuter traffic that much more dangerous. There needs to be a solution to this problem. The only suggestion given to residents has been to call the police to report this activity. This is not an effective intervention. Declaring the access roads to residential neighborhoods for resident traffic only is one possible solution. I’m sure the creative minds of this community could come up with even better options but something has to change before people are injured.

Jackie over 1 year ago
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Along with the problems listed in the comments below, we should also consider the the opportunities the increased foot traffic could offer MI businesses. There has been a lot of discussion in other forums about how to increase traffic to and support of island businesses. Attracting even a small percentage of this ST foot traffic to island businesses could offer a significant boost and deserves exploration.

Jstan almost 2 years ago
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I agree with the last comment even though I don't access I-90 from Island Crest Way. An argument could be made that it would benefit regional public transit to keep Mercer Island single occupant vehicles from interfering with the bus/rail interface by allowing all motorist to access I-90 west bound via the ICW entrance. Perhaps that argument would allow the entrance to go back to it's original use by all motor vehicles. It was easy to understand why MI could not use the express lanes to Seattle since it would have had been impossible to enforce but why the west bound entrance from ICW could only be used by HOV at the expense of pedestrians at the Park and Ride was not clear to me. Perhaps it was an example of state and federal officials being S**ts.

Clark Powell over 2 years ago
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Frankly, I would be open to just about any option for busses if I could just get on the freeway going west. Since the MAIN onramp for westbound I90 was converted to carpool only, I have to go through 6 additional stoplights to get on the freeway or use WMW, which adds significant time to my commute. As far as I'm concerned, regaining access to that onramp is the single most important thing for the council to be working on.

MercerBob over 2 years ago
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An 80th Ave SE-Sunset Highway configuration should be considered, with buses circulating clockwise around the station.

It seems superior in most ways:
- less congestion: fewer pedestrians crossing NMW, buses don't need to turn left onto it
- safer, as pedestrians dropped off on same side of the street as lightrail
- no need to build a roundabout at 77th/NMW
- keeps buses away from residential neighborhood to north
- drops off pedestrians closer to town center businesses

Noise, aesthetics, impact on greenspace all still concerns - but they're concerns with any plan.

Erik over 2 years ago
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I know there are lots of potential drawbacks of the Bus Intercept, but we should also consider benefits.

I see two potential benefits with the intercept:
1. increased foot traffic that could conveniently patronize Mercer Island businesses, without consuming our parking!
2. if it were done one stop east, we might not be able to get on the trains because they'd already be overcrowded. ST will have to ensure there's plenty of room for boarding at MI.

Obviously, I think we should push back on ST to mitigate the traffic, noise, and aesthetic impacts of this. But we should also look to maximize win-wins where we can find them. A configuration that makes it convenient for transit passengers to do some quick shopping or meet a MI friend for a drink could be a benefit!

Erik over 2 years ago
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The "optimal configuration" for buses on MI has no benefit for our city. Sound Transit has only its own best interests at heart - they aren't looking out for ours. We've already given away much too much in negotiations with ST, getting pitifully little in return. Restricting the bus intercept to the option that has the smallest impact on the island is essential. Please stand up for what's best for your constituents and neighbors, not for the region, ST or Metro. Our "regional partners" are looking out for themselves, and we must do the same.

mjislandinfo over 2 years ago
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From giving away Islander SOV access to the I-90 HOV lanes to colluding with Sound Transit and Metro to choke our community with bus traffic and diesel fumes, to conspiring to increase MI population density via short platting and using funds derived from selling building permits to fund the expansion of city government, from burning hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on "consultants" and providing support for pet-projects like MICA to then punishing the community for not supporting last November's tax increase proposition by cutting the summer celebration (but keeping the consultant spending, "lime bikes", and financial support for MICA), ..MI city government NEVER fails to underscore it's contempt for the citizens of this community. The only thing our current city government is good at is colluding with Seattle, King County and Washington state liberals (including those at Sound Transit and Metro) against the interests of MI citizens. It has not gone unnoticed.

Madrona Crest over 2 years ago
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Removed by moderator.

CMI-Test over 2 years ago
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Page last updated: 22 November 2021, 16:37