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Hilltop Tacoma Link extension awarded $75 million in federal funding

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Hilltop Tacoma Link extension awarded $75 million in federal funding
Federal Transit Administration Small Starts grant critical funding piece for 2.4-mile light rail expansion

Following tireless advocacy by members of Washington’s congressional delegation, a $75 million grant awarded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts program will support upcoming work to break ground on the Hilltop Tacoma Link light rail extension. 

The grant, which completes the project’s financing, was awarded following intensive collaboration with the FTA and key proponents including Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Derek Kilmer. Construction is scheduled to get underway this fall, with service beginning in 2022.

“As communities in and around Tacoma continue to grow, we have an opportunity to make sure transportation options for workers, students, patients and families keep up. Expanding light rail to the Medical Mile and Hilltop communities is a major step forward that will increase access to safe, reliable transportation and facilitate economic development in the city, “ said Sen. Patty Murray. “The federal government can and should be a good partner to local communities and support transportation solutions — like the Hilltop Tacoma Link — and I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to strengthen investments that help make these solutions a reality in our communities.” 

“Expanding Tacoma Link to the Hilltop will provide our current residents and commuters from other areas with more ways to get to and from downtown and fuel our continuing economic growth. We owe our ability to break ground this year to the hard work of our entire federal delegation, especially Sen. Murray and Rep. Kilmer and our close partnership with the FTA,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Tacoma will continue to attract more and more people and jobs in the coming years. The expanded Tacoma Link system will improve transportation around the city and connect riders with regional light rail, Sounder trains and bus service at the Tacoma Dome. 

The 2.4-mile Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension will continue Link north along Commerce Street and run along Stadium Way to the Hilltop District, with six new stations. The project will provide additional access to Tacoma’s downtown corridor, with several new housing, retail and commercial developments already planned along the new route.

Funding for the $217 million project also includes Sound Transit 2 funds, funding from the City of Tacoma and other federal and state grants. A future voter-approved extension of Tacoma Link will extend the line out to Tacoma Community College in 2039