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12/1/2014



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit unveils environmental document, long-range planning process


Late last week, Sound Transit published the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that will help the agency's board make decisions about the region's long-range transit plan.

The document provides a technical and environmental analysis about where mass transit should expand after current projects are completed in 2023. The final SEIS evaluates the mass transit extensions that are eligible to be included in future system plans and ballot funding measures, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

The board is scheduled to update the long-range plan this month. In January, the agency is poised to begin shaping the next phase of regional transit investments, known as Sound Transit 3. The investments will be presented for voter funding consideration in November 2016 or later, agency officials said.

Also last week, the board voted to work with the state Legislature to secure local funding authority for a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. A range of funding options will be considered, including a local sales tax, motor vehicle excise tax and property tax authority.

By 2040, the Puget Sound Regional Council estimates the region is expected to grow by roughly 1.5 million people and support more than 1.2 million new jobs, which are expected to boost demand for travel by about 40 percent, Sound Transit officials said.



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