Friday, March 15, 2013

Sound Transit to host open house on Tacoma Link expansion

In Seattle, Wash., Sound Transit will conduct an open house on March 19 as part of an alternatives analysis to seek public input on the narrowing down of corridor alternatives for a potential project to expand the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link light-rail system that now operates between the Tacoma Dome and Theater District stations.

The open house follows several public meetings the agency has held during the last eight months to gather citizen comment on a range of corridor options under study during the alternatives analysis process. At the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to comment on three corridor alternatives that have emerged as those most responsive to expansion goals.

Following the open house, staff will present to the Sound Transit Board of Directors recommendations for selecting the preferred corridor alternative(s) that will advance for further study in the environmental review process. The board is scheduled to take action in April.

The Tacoma Link Expansion was approved by voters in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 (ST2) ballot measure. The purpose of the expansion is to improve mobility and access to the regional transit system by connecting the existing Tacoma Link light-rail system with the city's major employment, residential and activity centers.

ST2 includes funding for a partnership to expand Tacoma Link. Sound Transit is seeking federal monies and exploring options for securing additional funding partners for the expansion. The alternatives analysis underway supports efforts to narrow and define project alternatives, evaluate costs, benefits and impacts of the alternatives and work to identify partners and develop a funding plan.

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