Sound Transit releases call for system access funding proposals

System Access Fund approved as part of ST3 will support projects that make it easier for more people to ride transit

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Sound Transit has issued the first invitation for local governments to submit funding proposals under a new program to help make the region's transit services more accessible. The System Access Fund will fund projects that promote multi-modal access to transit, such as safe sidewalks, protected bike lanes, shared use paths, improved bus-rail integration, and new pick-up and drop-off areas.

"Easy access to transit increases ridership and creates better customer experiences," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. "The System Access Fund underscores Sound Transit's commitment to removing barriers for potential riders who would like to take advantage of the high-capacity transit system."

The System Access Fund provides $100 million (2014$), allocated equally among Sound Transit's five subareas. In this first call for project proposals, up to $10 million will be available in each of Sound Transit's five geographic subareas.

Cities, counties and transit agencies are eligible to submit applications for the first round of System Access Funds. Qualified entities must submit a screening form, which is due March 11, to determine if the proposed project meets eligibility requirements. Sound Transit will notify entities by March 18, 2019 if their project qualifies them to complete an application, which is due April 12.  

Sound Transit staff will evaluate the project proposals based on policy and technical factors, rating applications high, medium, or low for each factor, and assigning each project an overall rating of highly recommended, recommended, or not recommended. Following this evaluation phase, Sound Transit will post all application materials received and their ratings, and will open a public comment period.  

Sound Transit staff will review evaluated projects and public comments with the Executive Committee of the Sound Transit Board. The Sound Transit Board is expected to award this initial round of System Access Funds to projects this summer.

For more information about the System Access Fund, please visit https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/creating-vibrant-stations/connecting-to-stations/system-access-fund.