Long-Range Plan update

public meeting

A sound tomorrow starts today
The Puget Sound region's population is projected to grow 30 percent by 2040. Join the conversation about how to maintain the region's mobility, economy and environment.

The Sound Transit Long-Range Plan is the vision for how our transit system should grow over many decades after voter-approved projects are complete by 2023. The Sound Transit Board is working to update the Long-Range Plan and will identify the public's priorities for future services and destinations. This plan will determine how future expansions should occur, and how to pay for them. 


Sound Transit is updating 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 the fall of 2013, as the Sound Transit Board kicked off the process to update the Plan, more than 12,000 people provided input to Sound Transit on where mass transit should go when current voter-approved projects are complete in 2023.

Based on this feedback, Sound Transit developed a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) in the summer of 2014.

On November 26, 2014, Sound Transit released the Long-Range Plan Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS), in accordance with the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This document supports Sound Transit's current planning and decision-making efforts for an updated Regional Transit Long-Range Plan and a future system plan. The Final SEIS updates analysis in the Draft SEIS released in June 2014. 

The Sound Transit Board will consider the Final SEIS and other information before updating the Regional Transit Long-Range Plan. The Board is expected to formally update the Long-Range Plan in December 2014. The Long-Range Plan will serve as the basis for where mass transit should expand after the current set of projects are complete in 2023, funding for which was approved by voters in 2008. This is also referred to as a "system plan." 

Learn more about Sound Transit planning history

Goals of the Long-Range Plan:

  • Provide a public high capacity transit system that helps ensure long-term mobility, connectivity and convenience
  • Strengthen communities' use of the regional transit system
  • Create a financially feasible system
  • Improve the economic vitality of the region
  • Preserve and promote a healthy and sustainable environment

Why is the Long Range Plan important?
Sound Transit is a critical part of the region's transportation system. Everyone - from employers, manufacturers, and farmers, to parents driving their kids to school and soccer practice - needs a transportation system that works.

Every day, Sound Transit trains and express buses provide more than 100,000 rides to work, school and community services. These regional services are closely integrated with local transit services and the State's investments in ferries and highways.

Transit will become even more vital as our population grows by a million people by 2040, greatly increasing the demand for service.  

Transit helps everyone by moving thousands of people who would otherwise drive. Congestion-free commuting options also improve our regional economy because having an effective transportation system makes it more attractive for businesses to locate and expand here.

Why update the Long-Range 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 
  • Environmental review and route design: 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. 

Did you know?
Daily ridership on Sound Transit is projected to increase to nearly 350,000 in 2030 following the completion of more than 30 miles of light rail expansions. 

When could Puget Sound vote on another transit expansion?
The Sound Transit Board will decide whether and when to initiate a ballot measure on proposed expansions. 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. As Sound Transit explores system expansion options and seeks public input, the Board will begin working with the legislature to discuss revenue options.


Email: LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org

Phone: 206- 903-7000

Contact by mail: Sound Transit, Attn: Karin Ertl, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104

Latest news

Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
Nov 25, 2014: Document required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) that builds on the last update of the Long-Range Plan, adopted in 2005

System Access Issue Paper (Draft)
Oct 24, 2014: This draft issue paper provides strategies to improve planning and programming for access to transit facilities by pedestrians, bicyclists, connecting buses and private vehicles.