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6/3/2016



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit accelerates light-rail expansion timeline, adds new projects


The Sound Transit board yesterday approved a plan to speed up light-rail extensions by two to five years and add new projects in Seattle, Renton and Kirkland.

The plan changes the upcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) ballot initiative, which would increase taxes to pay for transit expansions. Under the new changes, the agency will build a total 62 miles of new light rail, marking an increase from an earlier proposal to expand the light-rail system by 58 miles.

Photo: Sound Transit
The updated proposal includes construction of a light-rail line between Issaquah and Bellevue, Wash., agency officials said in a press release.

The updates also include increased capital investments to the Sounder commuter-rail network in South King County and Piece County. The funding would allow extending the commuter line to Tillicum and DuPont, Wash.

ST3's total $54 billion in investments would be funded in part through new voter-approved sales, motor vehicle excise and property taxes. The board's recent updates to the plan would not change the estimated monthly costs for a typical adult in the Sound Transit district, agency officials said.

The board opted to approve the changes after receiving "strong continuing support" for transit expansions during a public comment period that wrapped up last month, Sound Transit officials said.



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