Sound Transit shifts funds to help provide SR-99 HOV improvements in Snohomish County

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The City of Lynnwood is the beneficiary of the first change to the Sound Move regional transit plan made by the board of Sound Transit - the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. By a unanimous vote, the board yesterday approved reallocating $2.5 million of the funds budgeted for the Lynnwood Transit Center park-and-ride connector project to now be spent on improving High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on SR 99 in the Lynnwood area. 

Lynnwood's success in securing other funds for the transit center/park-and-ride project freed up Sound Transit's contribution to the project, creating a unique opportunity for the Sound Transit Board to shift a portion of the money budgeted for the Lynnwood connector project to help build the SR-99 HOV lanes.

Lynnwood Mayor Tina Roberts attended the board meeting to emphasize that the SR-99 project has regional importance. "The issue is a very crowded SR-99," Roberts told the board. "This is a very important project, not just for Lynnwood but for Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Everett and all of Snohomish County."

"Lynnwood's creative efforts serves as a model of the kind of partnership, leadership and cooperation essential to successfully address our region's growing transportation needs," said Paul Miller, vice-chair of the Sound Transit Board and Tacoma City council member.

Sound Transit's funding will help complete the Lynnwood portion of a 6.7-mile HOV improvement project between Edmonds and Everett, which will allow for fast and reliable bus service through the increasingly congested SR-99 corridor. 

The reallocation to the SR-99 HOV project represents about half of the budgeted contribution by Sound Transit to the Lynnwood Transit Center park-and-ride connector project. The remainder of the budgeted funds will continue to be allocated to the connector project. 

Sound Transit is in the process of implementing Sound Move, the ten-year regional transit plan approved by voters in 1996. It includes a 24-mile Link light rail line to serve SeaTac, Tukwila and Seattle; a 1.6-mile Tacoma Link line in downtown Tacoma; 81 miles of Sounder commuter rail service between Everett and Lakewood; and 20 new limited-stop Regional Express bus routes and numerous improvements to transit centers, park-and-ride lots and HOV lanes throughout the region. 

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