Sound Transit heads into 2015 with focus on expanding light rail construction, shaping future ballot measure

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Board approves $1.2 billion 2015 budget

The Sound Transit Board today approved a $1.2 billion 2015 budget that continues major light rail expansions, anticipates carrying more than 32 million riders and prepares for a future Sound Transit 3 ballot measure.

"Sound Transit is poised to see record ridership growth in 2015, while staying on track for the early, under-budget completion of light rail to the University of Washington and rollout of the next rail expansion plan," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine.  

Major light rail project funding in the 2015 budget include:

  • $121 million to complete station construction, systems installation and testing  for the University Link project opening in early 2016
  • $208 million for Northgate Link construction
  • $143 million for East Link pre-construction work
  • $16.3 million for Lynwood Link as the project finishes preliminary engineering and moves into final design

The budget also includes $19.7 million to replace 22 ST Express buses, including five new double-decker buses to be used on Snohomish County - Seattle routes and overhaul seven Sounder locomotive engines.  

Sound Transit is responding to strong support for the continued expansion of regional mass transit services by launching efforts to shape a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure for regional voters to consider as soon as November 2016.  Efforts are underway to work with the Washington State Legislature to secure the additional local funding authority necessary to move a ballot measure forward. Public input during 2015 is planned to shape a draft package for public review as soon as early 2016.