$15 Million For Tacoma Link Expansion

Good news for Tacoma's Link expansion: the project has been awarded a $15 million grant from the federal TIGER grant. Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murray both announced the funds that will support the $165 million project, which more than doubles Tacoma's Link line from 1.6 miles to 4.

The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program invests in local rail, road, and port projects with national significance, which seek to improve local infrastructure critical to transportation networks.

The News Tribune does the math, saying that of the $40 million Tacoma is expected to contribute to the project, this brings the total contributed by outside sources to $33 million. That's in addition to $50 million from Sound Transit, and a $75 million federal Small Starts grant (that one is part of a proposed package that still needs to get through Congress).

According to the Kilmer release, the Tacoma Link project is on track to begin construction in 2017 or 2018, if all anticipated funding come through.

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Poster Child for throwing good money after bad.  There is real need for regional transit throughout Pierce County and the money spent on this expansion could provide express bus service, running on short headways, throughout the entire ST taxing district for the next century.  Instead the money will be pissed away on a toy train that loops around and terminates a fifteen minute walk from where it begins. 

October 29, 2015 at 8:40 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I used to think this way too. 

I sold many of the concrete products (not in that business anymore) for the Portland streetcar’s first two rounds of construction.  I knew many of the developers, engineers, and builders of the Pearl District.  I spoke with them all the time during the construction of streetcar, brewery blocks, and the money that was/wasn’t involved in different types of projects there.

I thought all of this was a pie-in-the-sky waste until I moved to Tacoma and saw what Portland had actually done for itself by using these tools.  Portland is smart.  They made sure that the development they needed out of these things, like streetcar, was positioned right.  That is, the train went from the business district, through a hooker/drug infested hell-hole (soon to be the Pearl District), to NW trendy-third.  It made the spots that they needed to develop into coveted real estate by it’s position along the streetcar route and it’s massive sale of old train track covered land to a single developer.  It was as gutsy a move as putting streetcar between Pacific Avenue in Tacoma and laying tracks over the 11th street bridge to the Tacoma dome station for the purpose of selling that port property to a developer.

The problem in Tacoma is that this round of streetcar project basically sandwiches the Stadium District between downtown Tacoma and Hilltop.  The terminus at Hilltop is the neighborhood that needs the development most but the Stadium District is the one most likely to get the most new developments.

What I am essentially saying is that this is about leadership and making the decision with the most foresight.  It is not JUST about transit from point A to point B like many transit extremists would suggest.

I have very different ideas of what should have been done - but this route, out of the last three remaining for the City Council to pick from, was the best.  Just my two cents.

October 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Yep, Always trust an out-of-town construction supply salesman. It’s all about making Downtown real estate deals, not about providing transportation for the tax paying public of this fair City. The day the silly Link is finished, I’m going to race it by walking from the T-Dome to the MLK station. Want to bet who wins?

October 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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And is the Link not providing transportation for the tax paying public? I ride the link four days a week and the breadth of classes represented in its ridership indicates a huge success to me. Not to mention Hilltop will see increased real estate and development value as a result of this project that will benefit taxes and provide relief to the community. You might be able to beat the link from T Dome to MLK, but I doubt it and you would be breathing heavy after going up that big ass hill. You’re the silly one here.

November 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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joe frd

And it provides transportation/rolling shelter for the junkies and bums yay!!

November 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Yes, regional transit is needed.  This TIGER money has nothing to do with ST’s taxing district through.  Again mixing apples and oranges as per usual.

November 3, 2015 at 12:05 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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you walk it from end to end and time yourself. You won’t make it in an hour and 15 minutes.

November 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I think it’s a little over a mile from Tacoma Dome Station to 19th and MLK. I walked it in 25 minutes but I’m pretty fast. 30 would be be average. The Link might take up to an hour to make the same trip——I’m guessing 50 minutes, plus the cost of a ticket.

November 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Thank you for the personal attack.  I look forward to an actual response next time.

October 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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You got one, just not the response you were wanting:  ” It’s all about making Downtown real estate deals, not about providing transportation for the tax paying public of this fair City.”

Go soak your head.

October 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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This is getting better all the time.I could take the number 57 bus get my cardiac and COPD medication and go visit that cool Tinkertopia store.

October 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I supported the first phase of the Link and all the parking at the T-Dome. That part fits in with the regional express bus system. I’m glad it’s free and it’s great for tourism and downtown workers. But light rail costs over 80 million a mile. With around 205,000 residents spread over 60 square miles, light rail isn’t the right transit solution. We’re not a city like Seattle, we’re a town like Salem or Eugene. How long until light rail goes south across I-5 at the current rate of growth? 25 years?

As the Link project has sucked up all the transit funds, bus service has been cut all over the City. So the Eastside gets less buses and pays taxes for real estate re-development on Hilltop? Where is the social justice in that?

I’ve lived in big transit oriented cities before, and believe me, walking up to Hilltop doesn’t make me lose my breath.

November 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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syed danish

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July 12, 2018 at 1:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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