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Sound Transit's board last week approved a $2.9 billion 2019 budget that includes $2.4 billion for capital projects and $345.4 million for transit operations.The capital project funds target continued progress toward opening light-rail service to Northgate in 2021, launching Hilltop Tacoma Link in 2022 and starting East Link light-rail service in 2023. Light rail is on track to reach Lynnwood, Federal Way and downtown Redmond in 2024, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.The 2019 budget includes $2 billion for the Lynwood Link light-rail, extension $86.2 million for Regional Express bus service and $37.4 million for the Sounder commuter-rail system. The operating budget includes $156.7 million for administrative project support, $147.7 million for ST Express, $137.8 million for Lynwood Link and $54.9 million for Sounder.In 2019, commuters will notice major progress in the agency’s efforts to build the 116-mile light-rail system, along with continuing work to open two new bus rapid transit lines and improve the Sounder system, said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff."We will begin building light rail to Lynnwood at the same time we complete construction to Northgate," he said. "East Link will reach the halfway mark toward completion, and we will continue working to secure a federal grant for the Federal Way extension as we make progress on this critical project for commuters in the South Sound."Meanwhile, the board also appointed Redmond Mayor John Marchione as Sound Transit's chair. In addition, Steilacoom Mayor Ron Lucas and Everett Council member Paul Roberts were named vice chairs. Their terms extend through 2020.
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