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December 18, 2020updated 04 Jan 2021 11:14am

Sound Transit Board’s 2021 budget approval supports light rail expansion

Seattle-based Sound Transit’s Board has approved a 2021 budget.

Seattle-based Sound Transit’s Board has approved a 2021 budget.

The approval will help deliver light rail expansion works in the region and support the current services.

The agency said that the light rail system in the region will expand from 35km to 100km, and from 22 to 50 stations in the coming four years.

The expansion project includes works to open service to Seattle’s Northgate area next year, Tacoma’s Hilltop neighbourhood in 2022, Bellevue and Redmond in 2023, and Lynnwood and Federal Way in 2024.

The agency stated that these infrastructure investments will support the region’s future mobility and create several job opportunities.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said: “Sound Transit is now on track to nearly triple the length of our network in the next four years as we add 40 new miles of light rail crisscrossing our region. These projects will not only provide our region with much needed transportation mobility, they will also put thousands of people to work.”

While near-term expansions are entirely funded, there are other voter-approved projects that are yet to enter construction stage.

Such projects include light rail expansions, the establishment of Stride bus rapid transit and a Sounder commuter rail expansion.

The board said that it is working on its realignment process, updating the agency’s capital programme schedules to shape the Covid-19 revenue impacts on the projects.

Sound Transit Board chair and University Place Council member Kent Keel said: “Despite the headwinds we and other governments face amid the pandemic, Sound Transit is steadfastly committed to delivering the services and infrastructure expansions our region’s residents need to survive and thrive.

“We will make 2021 a year of significant construction progress that helps fuel our region’s economic recovery.”

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