Open houses offer citizens opportunities to learn more and share their views on light rail, commuter rail and other projects in Pierce County

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Tacoma and Pierce County will be among the first areas to receive both commuter rail and light rail services being developed by Sound Transit ­ the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. Under Sound Move, the regional transit plan approved by voters in 1996, Sounder commuter rail service using existing railroad tracks between Tacoma and Seattle is scheduled to begin operation in late 1999, with service extended to Lakewood in 2001. By the end of 2001, a new 1.6-mile Link electric light rail line will connect downtown Tacoma destinations to the Tacoma Dome Station regional transportation hub. 

Three informal public open houses are scheduled for citizens to learn more and share their views about environmental impacts and route and station location options being considered for the Tacoma Link light rail, and about alternative station locations and the environmental considerations for the Sounder commuter rail service to Lakewood: 
 

    Tuesday, March 24
    4 p.m. ­ 8 p.m.
    Tacoma Public Library, Olympic Rm.
    1102 Tacoma Ave. S.
    Tacoma
    Thursday, March 26
    4 p.m. ­ 8 p.m.
    Freight House Square, Phoenix Hall
    602 E. 25th Street
    Tacoma
    Tuesday, March 31
    4 p.m. ­ 8 p.m.
    Pierce Transit Training Center, Colonial Center
    6132 Motor Ave.
    Lakewood

The open houses are a part of the "scoping" process for preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required under state and federal laws for the Tacoma Link light rail system. The EIS will analyze alternative routes, station sites and related facilities for the Tacoma Link light rail line.

They also represent the next step in defining the environmental review process for developing the Sounder commuter rail line between Tacoma and Lakewood. Elements being discussed for review include improvements to the existing rail line, construction of a new track connection from the Tacoma Dome Station along South Tacoma Way, and siting and construction of two new stations ­ one in Lakewood and one in South Tacoma. Citizens will be invited to leave written comments at the open houses regarding either or both rail transit services. Anyone unable to attend or wishing to send their comments later may send them to:
 

    For Tacoma Link Light Rail: 
    Perry Weinberg, SEPA
    Responsible Official
    Sound Transit
    1100 ­ Second Ave., Suite 500
    Seattle WA 98101-3423
    For Sounder Commuter Rail:
    John Hubbard, Project Manager
    Sound Transit
    1100 ­ Second Ave., Suite 500
    Seattle WA 98101-3423

More information about Sound Transit ­ and about the open houses ­ is available by calling 206-398-5000  during normal business hours, or by visiting Sound Transit's world-wide web site: www.soundtransit.org.

The Tacoma Link light rail and Sounder commuter rail are significant components of Sound Move: The Ten Year Regional Transit System plan for which the region's voters approved local funding at the November 1996 general election. Sound Transit is also developing a Link light rail line from the University of Washington to SeaTac; and Regional Express, a network of 20 new express bus routes throughout the region and supporting transit improvements.


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