Sound Transit releases environmental study on expanding transit system

Publish Date

Sound Transit today released a draft environmental study of long-range alternatives for expanding the regional mass transit system. 

"Sound Transit has completed or begun construction of almost the entire first wave of projects voters approved in 1996," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "Bus by bus, rail by rail, brick by brick, we've built the foundation of a mass transit system that connects the region. Now, the question facing our communities is how we'll continue the momentum." 

"In the next 25 years, population estimates predict the Puget Sound region will grow by 1.2 million. Picture everyone who lives in the metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon moving in among us," Ladenburg said. "If we want to preserve mobility and a good quality of life for ourselves and our children we must continue including mass transit projects in our preparations for future growth." 

The projects voters approved in 1996 were the first phase of a Long Range Plan that was identified for continuing transit improvements throughout the region. The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) that was issued today will be used to update the 1996 Long Range Plan based on current and projected growth patterns, travel volumes, and other updated information. The plan will play a key role in the public's review of options for the future, including a second wave of voter-approved projects — Sound Transit 2 — as well as expansions for further out.

The DSEIS addresses potential transit system alternatives throughout the urban areas of Pierce, King and Snohomish counties, including extensions of rail or other mass transit projects from Seattle to Bellevue and East King County, North Seattle to Everett, SeaTac to Tacoma, and along the I-405 corridor. The document, which supplements earlier environmental work underlying the 1996 plan, includes information on potential environmental impacts, benefits, and other details such as projected transit ridership levels and transit travel times for specific corridors. 

Steps coming up in 2005 include discussions on potential updates to the plan, to be followed by additional public involvement on specific projects that could become part of a future Sound Transit 2 ballot measure.

Sound Transit will gather public comments on the DSEIS through Jan. 31. During January, Sound Transit will host a series of 10 public meetings around the region to provide information and gather comments. Times, dates and locations are provided below. Members of the public can also submit comments by sending them to 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104 or Copies of the DSEIS are located in electronic format, public libraries and Sound Transit's offices, and are available free of charge on CD-ROM or for $10 in hard copy. For information on viewing or obtaining a copy please call (206) 398-5278 or contact Sound Transit via letter or e-mail at the above addresses. 

Public meetings are scheduled for the below times and locations:



5-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10

Sound Transit Board Room

401 S. Jackson St.



5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12

Bellevue First Congregational Church

700 108th Ave. N.E. 


5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13

Shoreline Conference Center

18560 1st Ave. N.E.



5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18

Everett Station

3201 Smith Ave.



5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19

Washington State History Museum

1911 Pacific Ave. 


5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20

Lakewood City Hall

6000 Main St. S.W.


Federal Way

5-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24

Federal Way Regional Library

34200 1st Way S.



5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25

Lynnwood High School Cafeteria

3001 184th Street S.W.



5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26

King County Libraries Svc. Ctr.

960 Newport Way N.W. 



5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27

Auburn City Council Chambers

25 West Main



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