Sound Transit clears legal hurdle to light rail construction

Publish Date

A King County Superior Court judge today firmly rejected Sane Transit's attempt to derail the voter-approved Central Link light rail project. The ruling means that Sound Transit can continue to move forward with the badly needed transportation project.

"This is good news for commuters who have been stuck in traffic for too long," Sound Transit Board Chair Ron Sims said. "Voters have said time and again they want us to stop talking about traffic and just build a regional system of transportation solutions. Today's ruling allows us to keep moving forward on a key element of that system."

Voters approved a regional system of transportation improvements—including Sounder commuter rail, ST Express regional bus service, numerous capital improvements (including park-and-ride lots, transit centers and direct access ramps) and Link light rail—by 56.5% in 1996. Since then polls have consistently shown that voters continue to support building Central Link light rail, even when told it will cost more and take longer to build.

Sims praised King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick's opinion, saying, "I am grateful Judge Erlick chose to support the voters' decision to create a regional transportation system rather than second-guessing their choices."

To review the full text of the decision see the King County Web site:

The Central Link light rail project has been getting green lights from the federal government all summer, including the granting of Final Design authority, the release of $50 million, and getting a Letter of No Prejudice for pre-construction work. Sound Transit began pre-construction work (site preparation and building demolition) for the Central Link light rail Operations and Maintenance Facility last month.

"It's time for this region to stop arguing about transportation solutions and just build them," Sims said.

# # #

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