Funding regional transit

How do we pay for current and future transit?

Sound Transit’s funding for transit construction and operations comes from a combination of local taxes, federal grants and loans, borrowing through the issuance of bonds, interest earnings, fare income, and other miscellaneous revenues.

In November of 2023, Sound Transit received its 28th annual Financial Statement and federal funding Single Audit, conducted by the independent external auditing firm Moss Adams. No material weaknesses have been found since these audits began in 1995.

Funding sources and uses: 2017-2046

Why does Sound Transit calculate its revenues and expenditures from 2017-2046? That’s the program life of the voter-approved ST3 regional system expansion plan.

Pie chart depicting Sound Transit funding sources. In descending order, the funding sources are: local taxes $93.7 billion; debt $31.9 billion; grants $15.3 billion; fares and other $6.1 billion; interest earnings $1.1 billion.

Funding source

YOE$ in billions

Local taxes$93.7
Fares and other$6.1
Interest earnings$1.1
Pie chart depicting Sound Transit funding uses. Funding uses in descending order: Link light rail $62.4b; operations and maintenance $40.6 billion; debt service $21.3 billion; state of good repair $9.9 billion; Sounder rail $4.7 billion; Stride bus rapid transit $2.9 billion; systemwide $1.9 billion; reserves and other $1.4 billion; ST Express bus $1.1 billion.

Funding uses

YOE$ in billions

Link light rail$62.4
Operations and maintenance$40.6
Debt Service$21.4
State of good repair$9.9
Sounder rail$4.7
Stride BRT$2.9
Tacoma Link$1.8
Reserves and other$1.4
ST Express Bus$1.1