Long-Range Plan update

How, when and where should mass transit continue to grow after current voter-approved projects are complete in 2023? To begin answering that question, Sound Transit is asking the public to help update its Long-Range Plan. The process will identify the public's priorities for future services and destinations and will also begin to explore when future expansions should occur and how to pay for them.


Sound Transit has begun a process to update the Long-Range Plan for regional transit. Voters in Central Puget Sound approved the formation of Sound Transit to develop a high-capacity transportation system for the region, where about 40 percent of the state's residents live. The Long-Range Plan (LRP) is the vision for how the system should grow over many decades after current voter-approved projects are complete in 2023.

In 2014 Sound Transit will continue to involve the public in updating the LRP as part of preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). This important process will identify public priorities for future services and destinations. 

Sound Transit's role in the regional transportation system 
Every day, Sound Transit trains and express buses provide more than 100,000 rides to work, school and community services. Transit will become even more vital to the region's transportation system as our population grows an expected 30 percent by 2035, greatly increasing the demand for service. 

In some of our most congested areas, transit is the most realistic option for significantly increasing the region's capacity to move people and freight. Transit helps everyone by moving thousands of people who would otherwise drive. Congestion-free commuting options also protect our environment and improve our regional economy. An effective transportation system makes it more attractive for businesses to locate and expand here.

Goals of the Long-Range Plan:

  • Provide a public transportation system that helps ensure long-term mobility, connectivity and convenience for the citizens of the Puget Sound region for generations to come
  • Preserve communities and open space
  • Contribute to the region's economic vitality
  • Preserve our environment
  • Strengthen communities' use of the regional transit network 

Why update the plan now? 

Transit can dramatically expand our region's transportation capacity, yet these major infrastructure investments take years to deliver. 

  • Planning and public involvement to shape ballot measure: 3 years 
  • Route decisions and environmental review: 4-6 years 
  • Final design and property acquisition: 2-3 years 
  • Construction: 5+ years 

Updating the Long-Range Plan sets the stage for a future ballot measure. Starting the process now makes it possible to plan and design new transit expansions at the same time currently funded projects are under construction. This could speed up the delivery of new transit service to more communities. 

When could we vote on another transit expansion? 

The Sound Transit Board will decide whether and when to initiate a ballot measure on proposed expansions. 

The majority of existing taxes are committed through the 2030s for operating current services and building the extensions that are now underway. Any significant new expansion before the 2030s will require new revenue sources. Updating the Long-Range Plan will help set the stage to explore future funding options.


Email: LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org

Phone: 206- 903-7000

Comment by mail: Sound Transit, Attn: James Irish, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104

Latest news

Scoping Summary Report
Mar 26, 2014: Description of how Sound Transit conducted public involvement and outreach activities to support scoping for the Long-Range Plan update and a summary of comments received.

Scoping display boards
Nov 25, 2013: Information from Long-Range Plan scoping meetings