Voters approve historic Sound Transit 3 measure
Last updated 11/11/2016 at Noon
With the adoption of Sound Transit 3, residents of the Puget Sound region have made a historic move to continue building a true mass transit system that has been talked about for decades.
Work to move forward on the further expansions approved by voters started Nov. 10 as the Sound Transit Board Capital Committee discussed next steps for two of the first projects, extending light rail to Federal Way and downtown Redmond.
“Our region has embraced a generational opportunity to move forward with a transit network to connect millions of people across three counties,” said Sound Transit board chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
“After decades of waiting, we are ready to start building a light rail system that will grow our economy, improve our quality of life, and ensure access to jobs, education and all the central Puget Sound has to offer.”
By 2021, Sound Transit will complete light rail to Roosevelt and Northgate and in 2023 trains will reach Mercer Island, Bellevue, Overlake, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood.
From there, Sound Transit will keep building until the agency has completed a 116-mile regional system.
Next up will be getting light rail to Federal Way, downtown Redmond, Tacoma, West Seattle, Ballard, Everett, south Kirkland and Issaquah.
“Light rail will provide our workers and customers with fast and reliable transportation that will reach Boeing and the many other aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies that fuel our communities,” said Sound Transit board member and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.
“Connecting Everett with the region via light rail will create jobs, provide opportunities for transit-oriented communities and help to improve the quality of life of our residents as they travel throughout the Puget Sound.”
The agency has a running start on the Federal Way and downtown Redmond projects.
Light rail will reach Federal Way in 2024. On Nov. 10, Sound Transit published the environmental impact statement that allows the agency to adopt the final route and move the project into design and construction.
Sound Transit will also reach downtown Redmond in 2024. This month the board is set to approve the funding to move forward with a route that has already received federal approval.
Sound Transit will also start working on platform extensions that enable longer Sounder south line trains to serve 40 percent more riders, and will work with BNSF on options for running more trains each day.
The measure’s passage also extends Sounder to Tillicum and DuPont.
After adding Sounder parking in Puyallup and Sumner, Sound Transit will move on to also expand parking in Edmonds and Mukilteo.
“Sound Transit 3 will keep Snohomish County’s people and economy moving, increasing options for getting around as our population keeps growing," said Sound Transit board member and Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling. "It’s time to move forward with helping more people ride Sounder commuter rail, including expanded parking in Edmonds, and building light rail to Everett.”
Sound Transit will establish bus rapid transit along the north, east and south sides of Lake Washington, providing faster and more reliable service that runs every 10 minutes in peak hours supported with new parking and expanded stations.
Information on the Sound Transit 3 plan is available at http://www.soundtransit3.org.