"Today marks an exciting milestone in expanding mass transit for Central Puget Sound citizens," said Board Chair and County Executive Pat McCarthy. "The South 200th Link extension is a significant project not only for South King County, but also for communities beyond as planning to extend Link further south continues. By 2016, South King County residents will join 25,000 light-rail riders who travel to downtown Seattle every day, with service further north to the University of Washington. The work done to advance this project four years ahead of schedule will give more people the chance to enjoy Link's outstanding service sooner than originally planned."
The South 200th extension will run south from Sea-Tac Airport on an elevated guideway along 28th Avenue South to South 200th Street. Service during peak commute periods will operate every six minutes between SeaTac and the University of Washington. An estimated 2,600 local jobs will be created from project construction.
Link light rail to the station at South 200th Street will reduce transit travel time to downtown Seattle by an estimated 19 minutes and to the University of Washington by 27 minutes. The extension is also projected to eliminate 26 million vehicle miles traveled through the Interstate 5 corridor, save nearly 1.3 million gallons of gasoline and reduce greenhouse gases by 6,180 tons per year.
The project is estimated to cost $383.2 million in year of expenditure dollars. The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $26 million for the South 200th light-rail extension, including $10 million through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and $16 million in other federal funds.