King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Board member Dave Upthegrove recently announced that SeaTac will receive a $500,000 grant from Sound Transit to improve pedestrian access to the SeaTac/Airport Link light rail station.

The grant will fund improvements to sidewalks east of the station, better connecting it to the diverse low-income neighborhood where many local residents rely on light link rail to get to jobs and other destinations throughout the region.

Nearly 1,000 affordable homes exist within a half mile of the SeaTac/Airport station, and the neighborhood is home to many immigrant and refugee families. In addition, the station serves as the gateway for SeaTac tourists who use light rail to get around the region.

“Local residents should be able to easily and safely enjoy the benefits of having a light rail station in our backyard,” Upthegrove said. “I applaud the city of SeaTac for its desire to partner with Sound Transit to improve the connection between the station and the surrounding neighborhood.”

“I think there are opportunities for additional partnerships with King County and Sound Transit to further improve the connections to and from this station,” Upthegrove added.

The grant is part of the Sound Transit System Access Program, which aims to help cities and public agencies increase access to public transit services. Councilmember Upthegrove supported the funding request after meeting with city staff and touring the site.

The program was established through the voter-approved Sound Transit 3 (ST3) ballot measure, which included funding for projects that improve pedestrian access, bicycle infrastructure, or pick-up and drop-off areas near Sound Transit stations.