Sound Transit Open House To Consider New Alternatives

For those of you following the Link expansion alternative debate as it has heated up in recent weeks, you might want to mark your calendar for this. Following a … contentious suggestion for a new ‘hybrid’ alternative by Councilmember Boe, Sound Transit is putting that option on the table, along with another hybrid option that came out of a stakeholder roundtable, and the three Link expansion corridor alternatives originally identified for the final round of consideration. The five options will be considered at the open house scheduled for next Thursday, April 11.

Sound Transit to host open house on Tacoma Link expansion
March 29, 2013
Public invited to review and comment on additional corridor alternatives.

Sound Transit will conduct an open house on Thursday, April 11 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome Station, 424 East 25th Street. The event is part of an alternatives analysis to seek public input on additional corridor alternatives for a potential project to expand the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link system that now operates between the Tacoma Dome and Theater District stations.

The open house follows a request by the City of Tacoma for Sound Transit to evaluate a “hybrid” corridor as the agency prepares to identify one or more corridor alternatives that could potentially advance to the environmental phase of the project. In addition to the city’s corridor alternative, Sound Transit is evaluating another “hybrid” corridor suggested by members of a citizens’ stakeholder roundtable group that convened as part of the alternatives analysis for the project. At the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to comment on five corridor alternatives currently under consideration.

Once the analysis of the five corridor alternatives is complete, 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 phase of the project. While the board is prepared to take action as early as April, the additional work required to evaluate the hybrid alternatives and compare them against other corridor alternatives may require shifting board action to May.

A potential partnership to expand Tacoma Link was approved by voters in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The purpose of the expansion is to improve mobility and access to the regional transit system by connecting the existing Tacoma Link system with the city’s major employment, residential and activity centers.

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.

More information on the project can be found at

So, we’re back up from three to five. It will be interesting to see where the conversation goes from here.

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fred davie

It’s time to ask Pierce County voters if they wish to consider dropping out of the three county Sound Tranist service area. We’ve put a lot of Pierce County money into the Seattle centric development but promises have been broken. A new generation of taxpayers is now burdened with this relationship and it’s time to ask them if they wish to continue. I’m OK with a big tax cut and let the inter county transit system chips fall where they may.

April 2, 2013 at 6:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Douglas Tooley

@Fred Davie – while I agree with your general principle and the right for an area to withdraw from a taxing district I’m not sure it holds up.

Is Tacoma actually subsidizing the rest of the system?  Recall that we had our, albeit short, system up and running quickly and that this timing is a substantial benefit.  It would be nice to have a credible opinion on this, like say, from Brian Sonntag.

Although we might be able to exit the system, that doesn’t mean that we’d escape any liability for monies already spent – those would need to be paid off, regardless.

Lastly, the most important item about your post is what to do with what we have, design-wise.  The question you are asking is whether Tacoma’s system should be a stand alone, not integrating in with the Region or part of a larger regional network, at any point.  That’s one I’d give some thought.

April 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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