Sound Transit on Tuesday launched a month-long effort to hear from residents on its draft plan. Residents are urged to sound off with their views via an online survey at soundtransit3.org and attend upcoming public meetings around the region.
“The public input we receive will help us shape the best final plan that will be on the November ballot,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The ST3 Draft Plan for additional mass transit expansions — 58 miles of light rail and 39 stations — comes as the region’s population is projected to grow by an estimated million residents by 2040.
Over a 25-year period the draft plan would complete the regional transit spine to Everett, Tacoma and downtown Redmond, while also adding new lines to the system reaching West Seattle, South Lake Union, Ballard and a new Eastside line linking downtown Bellevue, Eastgate and Issaquah. The plan also emphasizes Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the I-405, SR 518 and SR 522 corridors in an effort to dramatically improve the speed, reliability and frequency of buses, with service up to every few minutes in peak hours.
Comments received during the public comment period, which runs through April 29, will help the Sound Transit Board adopt a final plan in the June time frame for voter consideration Nov. 8. The interactive soundtransit3.org website offers a chance to learn about the plan and take a survey to help guide the Sound Transit Board.
A series of seven public meetings around the region starts on April 19:
- Ballard—April 19, Ballard High School, 1418 N.W. 65th St.
- Tacoma—April 21, Evergreen State College Tacoma, 1210 6th Ave.
- Everett—April 25, Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave.
- West Seattle—April 26, West Seattle High School, 3000 California Ave. S.W.
- Redmond—April 27, Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, 16600 N.E. 80th St.
- Federal Way—April 28, Todd Beamer High School, 35999 16th Ave. S.
- Seattle (daytime)—11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 28, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St.
Except for the daytime meeting in Seattle on April 28, all of the meetings will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with presentations at 6 p.m. Through April 29 residents can also provide comments on the draft plan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; mailing 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104; or calling 206-903-7000. Information can be provided and comments submitted in alternate languages by calling 1-800-823-9230. Accommodations for people with disabilities can be arranged by calling 1-800-201-4900 / TTY Relay 771 or emailing email@example.com.
The ST3 Draft Plan’s $50 billion in investments would be funded in part by $28 billion in new voter-approved sales, MVET and property taxes. The estimated additional costs of the new taxes for a typical adult in the Sound Transit District are approximately $200 annually or $17 a month. Additional information on funding for ST3 can be found at https://soundtransit3.org/document-library.
The projects would be delivered in steady succession over the plan’s 25-year period. The timeline reflects the significant time requirements for building major infrastructure projects and the scale of the light rail extensions and capital investments, which are more than double Sound Transit’s first two phases. The major investments require revenues collected over the full 25-year period as well as bond sales and federal funding.
The University Link light rail extension, with new stations on Seattle’s Capitol Hill and near Husky Stadium, opened last week six months ahead of schedule and approximately $200 million under budget. Later this year Sound Transit is also on track to open its extension to Angle Lake, one stop south of the airport. In 2021 light rail service is scheduled to open to Northgate. By 2023 Sound Transit is on track to extend service further north to Lynnwood, south to Kent/Des Moines and east to Redmond’s Overlake area.