Courtesy of Sound Transit

Sound Transit has opened the 1,500-stall parking garage at the future East Link South Bellevue Station on Bellevue Way Southeast, the transit agency announced yesterday.

The garage, just north of Interstate 90, is available nearly two years before East Link begins operating in 2023, providing easy transit access to Eastside passengers. 

ST Express and King County Metro riders who had to use alternative parking spaces when East Link construction began in 2017 can now return to the new garage at the same park-and-ride location, Sound Transit said in a news release.

Bus stop and schedule information for ST Express routes 550 and 556 are available here; information for King County Metro routes 241 and 249 are available here.

The garage features a connection to the I-90 and Mercer Slough trails to facilitate non-motorized access to transit; bicycle racks, including a bike cage for secure storage of up to 35 bikes, with additional racks and on-demand lockers to be added when East Link opens; a nature overlook of Mercer Slough, open to the public; and public art by artist Katy Stone.

With service to Seattle every 15 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, and 30 minutes on Sundays and late night/early morning hours, ST Express 550 riders can use the garage to transfer to Link light rail to destinations between Angle Lake and Northgate, including local sporting events. ST Express 556 serves the University of Washington and Husky Stadium. 

“Today we are celebrating the first facility opening of the East Link project, fulfilling our commitment to make this garage available to riders as early as possible,” Sound Transit Deputy CEO Kimberly Farley said in the release. “We turned this long-term vision into a reality through strong partnerships with the City of Bellevue, WSDOT and King County Metro.” 

Construction continues on the adjacent light rail station and guideway. Those activities will not impact the parking garage and bus transit operations, Sound Transit noted.   

The original South Bellevue park-and-ride lot, which was demolished in 2017 when East Link construction began, was built in the 1970s with federal funds to mitigate the impact of nearby I-90 construction.