Sound Transit launches 13 public meetings on transit system expansion

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The Sound Transit Board today called on residents of the Puget Sound region's fast-growing communities to help guide expansion of the regional mass transit system.

"We know more growth is on the way. If we don't act now, rush hour will last most of the day and people will have no alternatives," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "It's time to roll up our sleeves and look at what types of transportation choices we should present to voters in the years ahead."

A series of open houses starting Monday, May 23 — see the below list — will provide a chance for community members to continue shaping the Regional Transit Long Range Plan.

"Sound Transit has looked at all kinds of options for expanding the system," Ladenburg said. "The next step is deciding which transit modes make sense for which corridors."

The community meetings will provide an opportunity for people to discuss and comment on a draft Long Range Plan that the Sound Transit Board released for public review in April. The meetings will provide information on estimated costs, travel times and rider volumes for transit expansion options.

The draft plan updates a plan that was originally adopted in 1996, reflecting extensive analysis of the region's growth in the coming decades. After finalizing the Long-Range Plan in June, Sound Transit will work with the public to identify the highest priority projects for inclusion in Sound Transit 2, a subset of the Long-Range Plan. Sound Transit 2 projects will be constructed if they are approved by the region's voters.

Sound Transit is successfully delivering the first wave of projects. Sounder trains are running daily between Tacoma and Seattle and Everett and Seattle, and the service is expanding. Sound Transit's extensive ST Express bus network includes 19 routes, more than 10,000 new Park-and-Ride slots, and new infrastructure such as direct access freeway ramps allowing buses to avoid congestion. Tacoma Link light rail is attracting more riders than expected, and Sound Transit remains on track to deliver Central Link light rail on time, on budget, and all the way to the airport.

Highlights of the draft Long-Range Plan include:

  • Bus rapid transit operating in the HOV lanes of Interstate 5, Interstate 405 and State Route 167, with major infrastructure improvements including transit centers, park-and-ride facilities and direct access freeway ramps.
  • Rail and/or bus rapid transit service on I-90. (The Sound Transit Board is continuing to evaluate options for high capacity transit service on the I-90 corridor.)
  • Light rail running all the way from Everett to Tacoma, as well as a westward extension of the existing Tacoma Link light rail system.
  • Potential light rail service on Interstate 405 and a potential extension to Burien.
  • High capacity transit service on State Route 522 and across Lake Washington on State Route 520.
  • A bus rapid transit system running on State Route 99 from Seattle to Everett.
  • Additional ST Express bus service around the region.

The public meetings are scheduled for the following times and locations:

Monday, May 23rd, 2005 - Puyallup
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Puyallup Public Library
524 S. Meridian, Puyallup

 

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 - Everett
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Evergreen Branch Library
9512 Evergreen Way, Everett

 

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 - Issaquah
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Issaquah Public Library
10 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah

 

Thursday, May 26th, 2005 - Downtown Seattle
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Union Station
401 S. Jackson St., Seattle

 

Thursday, May 26th, 2005 - Northgate
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Olympic View Elementary
504 N.E. 95th Street, Seattle 

 

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005 - Bellevue
12 noon - 3 p.m.
Key Center Building
601 108th Avenue N.E., Bellevue

 

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005 - Tukwila
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tukwila Community Center
12424 42nd Avenue S., Tukwila

 

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005 - Factoria
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Newport Way Library
14250 S.E. Newport Way, Bellevue

 

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005 - Redmond
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center
16600 N.E. 80th St., Redmond

 

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005 - Kirkland
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kirkland Performance Center
350 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland

 

Thursday, June 9th, 2005 - Mercer Island
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Mercer Island High School Commons
9100 S.E. 42nd St., Mercer Island

 

Monday, June 13th, 2005 - Bothell
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bothell Regional Library
18215 98th Avenue N.E., Bothell

 

Thursday, June 16th, 2005 - Mountlake Terrace
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace Library
23300 58th Avenue W., Mountlake Terrace

See additional information on the Long-Range Plan process. Community members can also make their voices heard by phoning (206) 398-5000 or 1-800-201-4900; faxing (206) 689-3360; or e-mailing main@soundtransit.org.

 

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