Eastside Light Rail Opens, Marking a Monumental Change for BC Commuters  

Sean Wu // The Watchdog

On April 27, the first segment of the Link 2 light rail opened, connecting Redmond and Bellevue in a historic step for transportation on the Eastside. Stretching over 6.5 miles, with 8 stops across Redmond and Bellevue, this light rail will have significant impacts on commuting students and staff at BC. 

Stations feature secure bike parking and e-lockers, and the Redmond Technology, BelRed, and South Bellevue stations have free parking available for riders. Trains arrive every 10 minutes, from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm, every day of the week. The easiest way to ride the light rail is using an Orca card or the Transit GO Ticket App, but single-ride tickets can be purchased in person as well. Fees range from $2.25 to $2.50, but youths ride free, and reduced fees are available for seniors, those with disabilities, as well as low-income adults.

The light rail has been in the works for over a decade; it was approved by voters in 2008, and construction officially began in 2016. Since then, stations have been constructed across the Eastside, marking a big change for commuters. 

Public transit is a top priority for many on the Eastside, especially for BC students. Approximately 30% of students at Bellevue College rely on public transit to commute to campus, a number which has more than doubled in the past decade. 

The Link 2 rail will continue to expand throughout the rest of 2024 and into 2025, eventually stretching across I-90 and connecting to the Link 1 rail in the International District of Seattle. The further expansion of the light rail will continue to reduce commute times for those across the Eastside and promote more sustainable modes of transportation.

To learn more about the Link 2 light rail, please visit the Sound Transit website or view light rail schedules and connecting bus routes here.

Sound Transit (https://www.soundtransit.org/discover2line)

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