The Sound Transit East Link light rail line, scheduled for completion in 2023, will change how Mercer Island residents travel and live. A new light rail station located north of the Town Center, on the I-90 corridor between 77th Avenue SE and 80th Avenue SE, will provide access to destinations in Seattle, Bellevue and other cities that are part of the Sound Transit system. As part of this change, many of the buses from the east side of Lake Washington will terminate at Mercer Island and bus riders will transfer to light rail. The existing park and ride at North Mercer Way is frequently at or near capacity, and parking demand will increase with light rail. As part of the mitigation agreement with Sound Transit, additional parking for the light rail station will be added in the Town Center.
In sum, these regional changes will likely affect travel and land use development patterns, particularly for the north end of the Island. The changes will also provide new opportunities for the Island and will support the vision and development of the Town Center.