Federal Transit Administration approves $500 million light rail grant

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Sen. Patty Murray and Sound Transit Board members gathered in Seattle this afternoon to announce Federal Transit Administrator Jenna Dorn's approval of a $500 million full funding grant agreement for Central Link light rail.

"We are going to build this project and make the Seattle area a happier place for commuters!" said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Ron Sims. "Sound Transit will turn this funding into transportation and economic benefits that will last for generations to come."

"The Puget Sound region thanks Administrator Dorn, the Bush Administration, Congress and all of the people who are turning this priority into a reality," Sims said.

"Sound Transit is the Little Engine That Could," said Sen. Murray. "It will be the engine that improves transportation, and it's also an economic engine that will put thousands of people back to work. Because of Sound Transit, about 4,200 more people will have jobs building light rail. For a region that has faced two years of tough economic times, the signing of the FFGA could not come too soon."

"How do you spell relief from Seattle traffic? Full Funding Grant Agreement," said Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member Greg Nickels. "At long last, we're getting an alternative to clogged roads and we're getting 4,200 new jobs. This is great news for the Seattle economy and for our work to build a 21st Century transportation network."

Sound Transit Board members joined in praising Sen. Murray's pivotal contributions in securing the federal funding.

"Many people worked very hard to deliver this project. None worked harder or more effectively than Sen. Patty Murray," Sims said. "The residents of the Puget Sound region will think of her when they ride the region's first modern rail transit system. She's a true hero to the people who are stuck in traffic and looking for new transit options."

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.