Constantine, McDermott call for adding Burien service to Sound Transit

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King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine and King County Council and Sound Transit Board member Joe McDermott today moved to add future high-capacity transit service to West Seattle and Burien to the Long-Range Plan now being prepared for Sound Transit.

“The corridor between downtown Seattle, West Seattle, and Burien is one of the greatest opportunities for extending mass transit service,” said Constantine. “This amendment is the first step towards funding the extension through a future public vote.”

“Survey results back up what I am hearing from my constituents and my community—strong support exists for light rail expansion to West Seattle,” said McDermott, who represents West Seattle. “A downtown to West Seattle to Burien route will be well-used and leverage limited transit dollars in economic hubs.”

Sound Transit Board members today discussed the Long-Range Plan (LRP) at a workshop in preparation to update the plan in December. Proposed amendments will be discussed at the Board’s November and December meetings.

Following the collapse of the Seattle Monorail Project in 2005, the Sound Transit Board included funding to study a future connection between downtown Seattle, West Seattle, and Burien in the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure that voters adopted in 2008. The study, completed earlier this year, shows very strong ridership potential in the corridor.

The LRP, last updated in 2005, serves as the vision for where high-capacity transit investments, including light rail and bus rapid transit, should go as the region’s population grows an estimated 30 percent by 2040. The plan identifies the projects that are eligible to be included in future ballot measures for construction after the completion of current voter-approved projects, including more than 30 miles of light rail extensions that Sound Transit is on target to open by 2023.

Next month, Sound Transit is scheduled to position the Board to update the LRP by publishing a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, shaped by analysis of transit expansion options and more than 12,000 public comments that Sound Transit received in June and July. Visit Sound Transit online for more information on the LRP.

In updating the LRP, the Board is set to confirm its plans to begin work in January to shape a ballot measure for consideration in November 2016 or thereafter. Next month the Board is scheduled to discuss the additional authority for local revenue sources that need to be approved by the state Legislature.

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4 Responses to “Constantine, McDermott call for adding Burien service to Sound Transit”
  1. Burien Dad says:

    So who’s gonna pay for it? Another tax increase right? We got no more to give.

  2. SSOS Sensible Spending on Our Schools says:

    Just keep piling it on, bureaucrats. We are all made of money and we sit around and wait for the next Bond or Levy to ding us again for all your fantastic wish lists. Seriously, where do you think all this money is going to come from?

  3. Shari says:

    This is fantastic news! Can’t happen soon enough. The regional transportation planning tends to focus so strongly on the I-5 corridor north-south and totally overlook the desperate need along the corridor from Burien up to Admiral. The WSB is a nightmare with massive ripple effects beyond WS. It’s a bottleneck for that area (which is getting more and more high density development) but it also creates a nightmare for anybody trying to commute up 509 and 99 to/from downtown– that WSB-to-99 merge plugs everything up for miles. Anything that will give us another option to move north/south and get cars off the limited roads we have is great and will help us continue to attract businesses and families to the area. And if you think nobody rides light rail? well, you’re wrong. you can’t get into the Tukwila Sta lot after 6:30 am. People I know in Federal Way and Auburn drive up at the crack of dawn to park there and ride light rail the rest of the way. Way to go to Joe McDermott and Dow Constantine on this one. And a shout out to Dave Upthegrove– my co-worker (who suffers thru the sardine-can milk run Metro bus to and from Kent and downtown) says Mr. Upthegrove has been digging into the underlying reasons why the enormous need and incredible demand in the south end is translating to continued threats to cut more service instead of provide more service here. Any of us who ride Metro every day know the buses are full and people have to stand. Yet Metro says ridership is down. Mr. Upthegrove is calling them on that and advocating for the south end commuter interests. And those of you who don’t want to pay for public transportation b/c you don’t use it can just think of it as paying for tens of thousands fewer cars in YOUR way on the roads when you drive around. At some point, people, we have to admit we’re growing, the lakes and Sound and mountains aren’t getting out of the way for more roads, and we have to pay to deal with it. So just think of it as paying to get tax-crazed spendthrifts like me out of your lane and it’ll go down easier.

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