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Sound Transit kicks off public comment period for long-range transit expansion plan

Sound Transit is soliciting public input through Nov. 25 on the potential environmental impacts of long-range expansion transit options once currently funded projects are completed in 2023.

The agency has begun preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement for its long-range transit plan, which was last updated in 2005, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

The plan takes into consideration that about 30 percent more people are expected to live within Washington's Puget Sound region by the year 2035, they said. The agency is on schedule to complete a 50-mile light-rail system by 2023.

Among the questions members of the public are being asked to consider include which corridors should be identified or reconfirmed as priorities for future light-rail extensions; which corridors should be designated for potential high-capacity transit/bus rapid transit; whether the region should invest in more commuter rail; and where improved parking and access for pedestrians and bicyclists should be located.

The public may comment in a number of ways: in person at public meetings; online through the agency's website; or via email or the U.S. Postal Service.

The meetings will be held in various locations on Nov. 12, 18, 19 and 21.

The current long-range plan for high-capacity transit is part of Transportation 2040, an action plan for transportation in the central Puget Sound region for the next 30 years. By the year 2040, the Puget Sound Regional Council estimates the region is expected to grow by 1.5 million people and support more than 1.2 million new jobs. The population and job increases are expected to boost demand for travel by 40 percent, Sound Transit officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/28/2013