Regional Transit Long-Range Plan

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.

On December 18, 2014 the Sound Transit Board updated the regional transit Long-Range Plan, the vision for how our transit system should grow over many decades after voter-approved projects are complete by 2023.  The updated plan, shaped by more than 24,000 survey responses and public comments, will determine how future expansions should occur.

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On December 18, 2014 Sound Transit's Board of Directors adopted the updated Long-Range Plan (LRP). The LRP, which was first adopted in 1996 and last updated in 2005, serves as the basis for where mass transit should expand after the current set of projects funded through Sound Transit 2 are complete in 2023.  In 2015 the Sound Transit Board will begin the process for shaping a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure identifying further transit expansions for voter consideration as soon as November 2016.

How did we get here?
From fall 2013 to fall 2014, more than 24,000 people provided Sound Transit feedback on where mass transit should go when current voter-approved projects are complete in 2023.

Here's what we heard:

  1. Keep expanding high-capacity transit, especially light rail
  2. Build the system faster than currently planned
  3. The system should be easy to use
  4. Transit should be fast, reliable and frequent - by separating it from vehicle traffic

As part of the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process completed for the LRP update, Sound Transit notified the public at key milestones:

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.

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?

In 2015 and 2016 Sound Transit will begin engaging with local residents and jurisdictions to shape a ballot measure for consideration by the region's voters as soon as November 2016. The Sound Transit Board is also asking the Washington State Legislature for new local revenue options that can be considered by voters.

Learn more about Sound Transit planning history

Sound Transit's Long-Range Plan is the blueprint for future development of our regional transit system. A fast and effective transit system is essential to maintaining our quality of life and economic health. 

The Long-Range Plan identifies proposed transit service technologies in major corridors throughout the region and will serve as a guide for future phases of voter-approved transit projects. In July 2005, the original 1996 plan was reviewed and updated to reflect extensive analysis of the region's growth in the coming decades, and how a regional transit system might best accommodate that growth.

The process in 2013 and 2014 to update the Long-Range Plan took a renewed look at the region's needs based on current projections for future population and employment growth. By 2040, the Puget Sound Regional Council has projected that the region's population will have grown approximately 30 percent from its 2010 level.

The lines on the Long-Range Plan map show general travel corridors and not specific streets or alignments. Route decisions are made through environmental review processes that incorporate extensive involvement by local residents and jurisdictions.

Long-Range Plan issue papers were drafted at the request of the Sound Transit Board of Directors to provide them with information they need to make long-range decisions about the future of our regional mass transit system.

More information:

 

In 2015 Sound Transit will begin shaping a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. The process begins with development of conceptual system expansion alternatives. These alternatives are conceptual in nature and will help examine how a variety of principles could be applied to expand the current system. Following public feedback, the conceptual expansion alternatives will be further refined to produce system expansion package scenarios, a draft plan, and eventually a final plan. The final plan will include a specific set of regional transit projects to be implemented once current projects are completed in 2023

The system planning process begins with development of conceptual system expansion alternatives. These alternatives are conceptual in nature and will help examine how a variety of principles could be applied to expand the current system. Following public feedback, the conceptual system expansion alternatives would be further refined to produce system expansion package scenarios, a draft plan, and eventually a final plan. 

The Sound Transit Board in November 2014 voted to work with the Washington State Legislature to secure local funding authority for a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure that will provide the opportunity for voters to expand mass transit for the region. More information is available here.

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