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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit to seek feedback on new transit expansion program


Next month, Sound Transit will begin seeking public comments on new options to expand transit service in the Seattle region. The agency’s expansion plans have been modified from last year’s Sound Transit 2 package, a measure calling for building 50 miles of light-rail lines during the next 20 years that was shot down by area voters in November 2007.

The new options call for adding service on between 18 and 23 miles of light-rail lines; increasing Sounder service up to 90 percent; developing a funding partnership to provide Eastside passenger-rail service on existing freight-rail tracks; and expanding the Tacoma Link light-rail line. The updated proposal would lower the cost of the Sound Transit 2 plan by up to 49 percent and reduce the number of years required to complete the projects from 20 to 12.

In June and July, the board will consider the public comments and decide whether to move forward with a 2008 ballot measure. The base program would require a 0.4 percent sales tax increase; additional projects could be completed if voters approved a 0.5 percent increase.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/28/2008