TRANSIT: Washington state lawmakers’ enable massive light rail investment

July 8, 2015

$15 billion would go into extending service and access along Puget Sound

Following Washington state lawmakers approval of a 12-cent hike in the state gas tax for road projects statewide, Sound Transit was given the authority to raise $15 billion to extend light rail up and down the Puget Sound region.

“As you build a light rail network, the ridership grows exponentially,” said Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien, who also serves on the Sound Transit Board.

The plan is to ask voters in the coming year for a whopping $15 billion to expand light rail up into Snohomish County and down into Pierce County. The project would phase in light rail extensions by 2031 connecting:

·      Lynnwood to Everett

·      Federal Way to Tacoma

·      Bellevue to Redmond

·      Ballard to West Seattle

“This network of connectivity means people can start to really rethink how they get around, not just for their commute but for all the daily activities they do,” said O’Brien.

For residents in the Sound Transit district comprising King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, this will translate into a 0.4% sales tax increase, a $112 property tax increase for the average homeowner and a car tab valued at $80 per $10,000 of car value.

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