Sound Transit approves light rail station names in Kent, Federal Way

Kent Des Moines Station, Star Lake Station and Federal Way Downtown Station

Kent Des Moines Station, Star Lake Station and Federal Way Downtown Station will be the official names for the new light rail stations under construction.

The Sound Transit Board approved the names at its June 23 meeting. The three stations will serve the 7.8-mile extension from Angle Lake in SeaTac to Federal Way scheduled to open in 2024.

Agency staff met with staff from local jurisdictions to discuss the station naming process to review a list of proposed names composed by agency staff. Sound Transit extended a station naming table at two open houses and an online open house where participants ranked their preferences of a short list of names or provided a suggested name.

Kent Des Moines Station will be along Pacific Highway South, across from Highline College. Sound Transit staff considered Highline College Station as the name.

“This name (Highline) avoids a redundancy issue with the existing Kent-Des Moines Park and Ride and Kent Station,” according to Sound Transit documents. “However, the cities (city councils) of Kent and Des Moines strongly support the name Kent Des Moines Station and passed council resolutions in support of that name.”

Public input also favored Kent Des Moines as the station name with 67% of the vote. Highline Station received 27% and Highline College Station 5%.

“People who ride the regional transit system this will let them know they’re in Kent and in Des Moines,” said Kelly Peterson, city of Kent Public Works deputy director, during his April 18 report to a council committee about the preferred name.

For the station in Kent near South 272nd Street and Interstate 5, Star Lake Station was evaluated to be most compliant with the station naming policy. Star Lake Station also received support from the Kent City Council and through the public input process with 72% in favor compared to the name of South 272nd Station that received 21%.

For the station near the current Federal Way Transit Center, Federal Way Downtown and Downtown Federal Way were evaluated to be equally compliant with the policy.

The Federal Way City Council expressed a preference for Federal Way Transit Center Station.

“However, this name was deemed to be out of compliance with the policy’s word count limit,” according to Sound Transit.

Public input also favored Federal Way Downtown as the station name with 83% in favor. Downtown Federal Way received 17%.

A total of 1,264 people voted on the names.

Sound Transit policy identifies that the names should be chosen in this order:

1) City

2) Neighborhood

3) Landmark

4) Street or combination of a city or neighborhood name with a minor street or landmark

The extension will travel primarily along I-5. New parking structures will be provided at all three stations. The project began final design in mid-2019 and is currently planned to open for service in 2024.