During the last several months, Sound Transit staff and Board members have been considering how the agency should respond to lower tax revenues and higher estimated project costs.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in.
The COVID-19 recession caused a drop in sales tax and other revenues that we rely on to build new transit projects, like Link light rail extensions as well as Sounder and Stride bus rapid transit investments.
But the recession has not slowed our region’s steep increases in real estate and construction costs, which are driving up estimates as we advance early engineering work for future projects.
Lower revenues plus higher cost estimates mean our capital program faces an affordability gap that is currently projected at $11.5 billion.
This projection will be updated on April 22 after our economists complete an assessment of the latest indicators.
The Sound Transit Board is working to create a realignment plan to respond to these unprecedented financial challenges.
Your input is important to shaping decisions this summer on a framework to manage the affordability gap.
Visit our online open house by April 30.
All current construction moving ahead
Realignment only affects future projects, not those already under construction.
By 2024 we will almost triple the light rail system, from 22 to 62 miles, adding 28 new stations, starting with three stations to Northgate opening this fall.
Alongside actions to control costs to the greatest degree feasible, the first emphasis of the realignment process is working to minimize impacts on voter approved projects by securing additional financial capacity.
To absorb whatever affordability gap ultimately remains, the realignment will identify actions that include delaying, modifying and/or phasing projects.
We hope you’ll take a few minutes between now and April to take the survey and let us know what you think the Board should prioritize as it makes realignment decisions this summer.