After years of planning, technical work, outreach and heavy political lifting – a draft plan has been presented to deliver a mass transit system for the central Puget Sound region on par with systems serving the Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
The plan would connect 17 cities with light rail extending from Everett to Tacoma and to Redmond and Issaquah. Thirteen cities would be connected by commuter rail – 12 cities with Bus Rapid Transit.
It is a 25 year plan with a $50 billion price tag.
Executive Constantine, who also serves as Chair of the Sound Transit Board, called the plan “a starting point for many weeks of robust public conversation.”
Sound Transit expects to finalize the plan in June in preparation for a November vote.
Executive Constantine referenced the region’s decade long debate over light rail.
“Debate is over. Light rail is here,” he said. “It is the only way to add the capacity we need.”
Sound Transit Executive Director Peter Rogoff compared the miles of the proposed light rail system as on par with BART in the Bay Area and Washington, D.C.’s Metro.
Rogoff said the system would cover twice the territory of Atlanta’s MARTA system. When complete in 2041, the system would be expected to carry 500,000 riders per day.