ST adopts draft plan for transit expansions, announces series of public meetings
The Sound Transit Board today released for public review a draft plan for meeting the region's increased demand for transit services in the decades ahead. The draft plan identifies proposed transit service technologies in major corridors throughout the region and will be the focus of a series of public meetings beginning next month.
"We want to know how the region thinks we should handle the 1.2 million people who will make their home here over the next 25 years," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "Our future depends on expanding the Sound Transit system. We're asking for ideas and comments on proposed projects that will keep all these people moving."
Public meetings on the draft Regional Transit Long-Range Plan will take place throughout the region. The times and dates are listed below.
The Long-Range Plan will serve as a guide for future phases of voter-approved transit projects. The draft plan the Board adopted today updates the 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 region's communities 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.
"The Legislature has done its part by adopting an $8 billion transportation package," said Ladenburg. "Now, it's time for the region to get busy and figure out the next step for public transit."
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 Draft Long-Range Plan does not reflect ongoing work by Sound Transit to evaluate future options for building high capacity transit on I-90 and in East King County. In May the Sound Transit Board will review hybrid alternatives using different combinations of technologies. The upcoming public meetings will provide information on these options and a chance for the public to offer input. Decisions on East King County priorities will be included in the final Long-Range Plan that the Sound Transit Board adopts.
Public meetings are scheduled to date will take place at the following times and locations. NOTE: Additional public meetings will be announced as they are scheduled and will be posted on the Calendar.
Monday, May 23, 2005 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Puyallup Public Library
524 South Meridian
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Evergreen Branch Library
9512 Evergreen Way
Thursday, May 26, 2005- 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Olympic View Elementary
504 N.E. 95th St.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tukwila Community Center
12424 42nd Ave. S.
Thursday, June 2, 2005 - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Newport Way Library
14250 S.E. Newport Way
Wednesday May 25, 2005 - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
401 S. Jackson St.
More information on the Long-Range Plan process >>
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.