Regional leaders kick off historic combined roads - transit effort
The time for transportation planning and studying is over. We know the big things that need to be done. We are going to take those studies now and put them into an actionable plan for the region. That's what this effort is all about."
John Ladenburg, Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive
"This is the first time all of the region's leaders responsible for transportation have come together to focus on both roads and transit in the most heavily traveled corridors of the state. This is a tremendous opportunity to move our transportation system forward. We're off and running!"
Shawn Bunney, RTID Executive Board Chair and Pierce County Council Chair
Leaders from Sound Transit, the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) and other agencies met today to forge a major, integrated roads and transit improvements package for the Puget Sound region.
"The lead agencies responsible for regional transportation are now officially working together in one room, planning major transportation improvements for the people of the Puget Sound region," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "The investments resulting from this effort will improve people's lives and grow our economy for generations to come."
"This is the time for action," added RTID's chair and Pierce County Council Chair Shawn Bunney. "The region needs - and the public wants - transportation improvements in the major traffic corridors in our region. People want to see traffic flow better and they want more transportation choices - now and into the future."
"We know the highway and transit investments that are needed," said Washington State Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald. "We are here to make sure that the projects chosen work together for maximum efficiency. Integrating our planning and coordinating our construction will help control costs so that we get the biggest bang we can for the buck."
Today's announcement kicks off a process for Sound Transit and RTID staff to work on traffic solutions in the most heavily traveled corridors of the region. Both agencies have narrowed their focus on specific projects and now their staffs will jointly review and refine this work so that the roads and transit projects are integrated into the regional transportation system. Sound Transit, RTID, WSDOT and the Puget Sound Regional Council staff will coordinate their work on scoping, cost estimating, scheduling and public comment. Late this year Sound Transit and RTID will identify preferred investment plans. Early next year a combined roads and transit package will be finalized for submission to voters in November 2007.
At today's meeting, board members from both Sound Transit and RTID explored legal parameters and began to set schedules, milestones and joint-organizational structures. They also discussed interaction with the state's expert review panel and coordination with the Puget Sound Regional Council.
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.