Survey: 70-percent voter support for major regional transit package

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Strong public support as Sound Transit Board kicks off process for shaping a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure

Yesterday as the Sound Transit Board began its process to shape a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure it received a report on voters' views about regional transit expansion. A video of EMC Research Vice President Ian Stewart's presentation is now available online.

The survey reflects 70 percent support among voters in the Sound Transit District for a potential regional transit ballot measure of comparable magnitude to the Sound Transit 2 package that voters adopted in 2008.

The survey of 1,500 randomly selected voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent, is summarized in the attached. It asked about a hypothetical measure for $15 billion in regional transit investments, including approximately 30 additional miles of light rail. In the coming months the Sound Transit Board will explore principles, projects and investment levels for a ballot measure, or system plan, for voter consideration in November 2016 or thereafter. The process began yesterday with discussion of principles that will guide shaping the plan.

Public meetings around the region as well as online involvement opportunities will get underway this summer, with further opportunities planned for the first quarter 2016 with the Board's anticipated adoption of a Draft System Plan for public review. Sound Transit is working to secure the additional local revenue authority the Legislature that is needed for the measure to be considered by voters.

In December the Sound Transit Board updated the regional transit Long-Range Plan, which identifies projects that can be considered for future ballot measures.

With concerns about rising congestion and improving transit service already high, demand will keep climbing as the region's population grows a projected 30 percent by 2040. High-capacity transit is critical to the functioning of the region's overall transportation system, benefitting riders and drivers alike, and is the best and sometimes only way to significantly expand the capacity of congested corridors.