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Mayor Law Proposes Relocating Renton Transit Center to Provide Accessible and Integrated Public Transportation for Renton Residents and Businesses

January 14, 2016

For more information contact:
Preeti Shridhar,
Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569; cell 206-491-8158

Renton, WA: Mayor Denis Law, with support of the Renton City Council, is proposing relocating the Renton Transit Center from downtown Renton to the former Sound Ford site at the corner of South Grady Way and Rainier Avenue South, which has been on the market for many years.

“I have received positive support to explore my proposal from King County Executive Dow Constantine, members of the Sound Transit Board and Washington State Department of Transportation,” said Mayor Law. “The current location does not provide adequate public transportation services for Renton residents; nor does it meet the needs of businesses and commuters in the valley area of the city. As downtown redevelopment continues it will also pose challenges for buses to navigate. This new transit vision will lead Renton into the next phase of our community’s growth, both in our downtown core and at the new transit center location.”

As part of the proposal, Mayor Law cited benefits to METRO, Sound Transit and the City of Renton, including:

  • Meeting the growing transit needs of businesses expanding in Renton such as Group Health, Boeing and Providence Medical Center by utilizing and expanding on the South Renton Park and Ride already in existence.
  • Providing better access to transit services for residents in Fairwood and West Hill.
  • Utilizing the transit corridor of Rainier Avenue where Sound Transit has already invested in improvements.
  • Expanding the full capacity METRO Park and Ride adjacent to this property to meet current and future needs.
  • Easing congestion in downtown Renton and contributing to the revitalization of the downtown Renton core. The potential conversions of one-way streets to two-way streets, currently being studied as part of the downtown redevelopment plan, would likely create more difficulty for transit buses maneuvering in downtown Renton.

The Transit Center at the new location would include a large public parking garage with easy access to I-405 and SR 167 for commuter buses. The location and size, a total of 8.3 acres with easy access to Rainier Avenue and South Grady Way is ideal for transit-oriented development (multi-family housing and retail), which is a priority for King County officials. It will also facilitate future plans for Bus Rapid Transit in the upcoming Sound Transit 3 initiative. The current transit center site would continue to be a bus stop location to serve downtown destinations and local downtown residents, while the city-owned garage will be utilized for local businesses and events.

The proposal also provides a funding mechanism for this project. There is $68 million earmarked in the Sound Transit budget (the Sound Move initiative) for a Renton project to add a direct access ramp from I-405 at N 8th that was conceived 20 years ago and no longer provides value to the community; funding that could be redirected for the new location.

“This proposal provides significant benefits to the Renton community, South King County and our region, said Law. “It offers direct access to public transportation systems and enhanced services such as easy connections to the Sounder Train station located in the southwest area of the city at SW 27th St. for our growing employment base. It is my hope over the next few weeks to gain additional support from members of the Sound Transit board.”