Monday, May 05, 2008

Sound Transit Seeks Public Input on Transportation Package

One of the primary take aways from last year’s failed Roads and Transit initiative, Proposition 1, was that voters want a transportation package that will provide real congestion relief in a reasonable timeframe and at a cost that will not burden future generations.

Sound Transit’s response is a scaled back transit-only proposal in which all projects can be completed within 12 years for 62 percent to 67 percent less than the total price tag for the roads and transit projects that formed Proposition 1.

Sound Transit staff will be providing an overview of the proposal at the next RAMP meeting May 7th, 8am - 9am at the Fabulich Center at the Port of Tacoma.

The scaled back proposal includes the following projects:

Link light rail: 18 to 23 miles of light rail expansions to the north, south and east, potentially serving communities including Bellevue, the Overlake area of Redmond, Mercer Island, Des Moines and Seattle’s northern University District, Roosevelt and Northgate areas. Connector light rail service would link Seattle’s International District, First Hill and Capitol Hill areas.
Sounder commuter rail: Increases of up to 90 percent in Sounder service between Tacoma and Seattle, potentially including 12 additional daily trips and platform extensions to allow longer trains.

ST Express regional bus: Service increases of 10 to 15 percent in key corridors, bus rapid transit service on State Route 520 and up to 20 miles of new arterial transit lanes.

Improved station access: Funding to increase access to transit facilities in Auburn, Edmonds, Everett, Kent, Lakewood, Lynnwood (including Ash Way and Mariner), Mukilteo, Puyallup, South Tacoma, Sumner, Tacoma and Tukwila. Projects will be tailored to the needs of each location and may include expanded parking; pedestrian improvements at or near stations; additional bus/transfer facilities for improved feeder service to stations; bicycle access and storage; and new and expanded drop-off areas to encourage ride-sharing.

Partnerships for expanded transit: Partnership funding for Eastside passenger rail on existing freight tracks; as well as for potential extensions of Tacoma Link light rail and projects in Bothell, Burien, Kirkland and Shoreline.

This month Sound Transit will launch a major public involvement effort to get input on the new plan. The public outreach includes meetings around the region (to be scheduled in Mid-May) as well as opportunities to comment in an online survey and by mail. In June and July the Board will consider the public priorities that are identified and whether to move forward with a 2008 ballot measure.

In the mean time you can e-mail your comments to

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