Sound Transit releases final environmental document for updating the Regional Transit Long-Range Plan

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Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will inform Sound Transit Board action scheduled for next month

Sound Transit today published the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that will inform upcoming actions by the Sound Transit Board to update the regional transit Long-Range Plan and develop the next phase of transit investments for the region.

Last summer, thousands of residents expressed interest in regional transit by commenting on the Draft SEIS. Those comments helped shape the Final SEIS. This environmental document provides the technical and environmental analysis supporting future Board decisions about where mass transit should expand after current projects are complete in 2023. The Final SEIS evaluates the mass transit extensions that are eligible to be included in future system plans and ballot funding measures.

The Final SEIS is now available on the Long-Range Plan webpage: soundtransit.org/longrangeplan 

The Sound Transit Board is scheduled to update the agency's Long-Range Plan in December. In January 2015 Sound Transit is poised to begin the process of shaping the next phase of transit investments for the region ("Sound Transit 3"). These investments will be presented for voter funding consideration in November 2016 or thereafter. Sound Transit will launch an extensive public involvement process in mid-2015 through mid-2016 that gives the region's commuters and local jurisdictions opportunities to weigh in on this next set of transit improvements.

Last week the Sound Transit Board voted unanimously to work with the Washington State Legislature to secure local funding authority for a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. The Board voiced support for a bill with a range of flexible funding options that can be considered by local voters, identifying requests for local sales tax, motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) and property tax authority.

In some of our most congested areas, transit is the most realistic option for substantially increasing the transportation system's capacity to move people and freight. Transit helps everyone by moving thousands of people who would otherwise drive. Congestion-free commuting options also protect our environment and improve our regional economy. An effective transportation system makes it more attractive for businesses to locate and expand here.
 
The current Long-Range Plan for high-capacity transit is part of Transportation 2040, an action plan for transportation in the Central Puget Sound region for the next 30 years. By the year 2040, the Puget Sound Regional Council estimates the region is expected to grow by roughly 1.5 million people and support more than 1.2 million new jobs. All of these new people and new jobs are expected to boost demand for travel by about 40 percent.

In addition to the above link, copies of the Final SEIS are also available for review at many local libraries, including the following:

  • Everett Public Library 2702 Hoyt Ave, Everett, WA
  • Lynnwood Public Library 19200 44th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA
  • Seattle Public Library 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA
  • Bellevue Public Library 1111 110th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA
  • Tacoma Public Library 1102 Tacoma Avenue S. Tacoma, WA, and
  • Lakewood Library 6300 Wildaire Road S.W. Lakewood, WA.