ST kicks off public meetings on future of region's mass transit system
As the regional mass transit system approved by voters in 1996 comes together, Sound Transit is in the process of determining how that system will grow over the next 25 years. On Monday January 10, Sound Transit will kick off a series of ten public meetings to gather comments on a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Study (SEIS) on options for expanding our system between now and 2030.
"This is an incredibly important time for our region as Sound Transit updates its Long Range Plan created in 1996," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "And, over the next three weeks, the public is encouraged to get involved in the process and let us know what they want the system to look like in the future."
"The Long Range Plan will set the stage for Sound Transit to work with elected leaders and citizens throughout the region to determine what new projects will begin to extend the mass transit system created by 1996's Sound Move vote," added Ladenburg.
Since 1996, Sound Transit has:
Completed Tacoma Link light rail and served more than one-million riders;
Begun construction along the entire 14 mile initial segment of Central Link light rail in King County;Reached an agreement with the Port of Seattle to extend Central Link to Sea-Tac Airport;
Initiated its popular Sounder Commuter Rail service along 82 miles of the BNSF Railway's tracks between Everett and Tacoma;
Created ST Express regional bus service connecting communities with 19 routes throughout the region;
Invested more than $850 million to create more than 10,000 new Park-and-Ride slots, direct access freeway ramps, transit centers and arterial street improvements to allow buses to avoid congested areas;
Created the core of a mass transit system that serves 36,000 riders every weekday.
"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 the Long Range Plan that Sound Transit is now working to update. The draft SEIS will help update the 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 round of voter-approved projects.
The draft SEIS 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.
Sound Transit will gather public comment on the draft SEIS until January 31. In addition to the meetings, members of the public can also submit comments by sending them to 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104 or email@example.com.
Follow these links for more information:
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.