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Metropolitan King County Council

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April 28, 2008

Light Rail Expansion Package Advances

Sound Transit Board sends draft transit proposals out for public review

Sound Transit is looking for public input on plans to reshape the commute in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. The Sound Transit Board approved sending out draft options for expanding regional transit for public review and comment at their April 24 meeting.

“Citizens are looking for leadership on the transportation problems of this region,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, a member of the Sound Transit Board. “I continue to push for an ST2 vote in November 2008 because we can’t afford any more delay in bringing people relief from their frustrating commutes. This action is an important step in moving forward to find the best plan for providing more transit options.”

“We are thirty years behind most cities in this country in building light rail. As we approach the opening of light rail to Sea-Tac Airport next year, it is critical that this region move forward to expand our system,” said King County Councilmember and Sound Transit board member Dow Constantine. “An opportunity to vote in 2008 for the expansion of our light rail system will help us keep the momentum for transit in this region strong as we move into the coming decade”

Citizens will have a chance to comment on the trade offs between two smaller, lower-cost 12-year plans or the larger 20-year transit expansion package included in last year’s Proposition 1. The expansion package, called Sound Transit 2 (ST2) would build 18 to 50 miles of light rail, increase Sounder’s standing-room only commuter rail service, expand express bus service, build a First Hill Link Connector, and construct several transit access improvement projects.

The light rail expansion allows environmentally friendly electric light rail trains to operate in their own right-of-way, providing fast, reliable service that isn’t delayed by congestion. Trains will run 20 hours a day and every few minutes during rush hours. Stations will act as hubs where riders transfer from buses, such as the Ballard and West Seattle Rapid Ride lines.

Sound Transit will be hosting a series of public meetings and accepting written and online comments on the draft proposals. For more information, visit future.soundtransit.org.