SEATTLE, WASH. — Seattle light rail is booming after recently adding two new stations. Seattle Transit Link boardings increased by 79.4 percent, according to Vox Media’s Curbed Seattle.
In early June, the Sound Transit board approved changes to the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) plan. The agency will speed up Seattle light rail extensions and add three new stops and four more miles for $4 billion more. The plan, voted on by ballot, would then total $54 billion, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The board will finalize the revised plan on June 23, and then voters will decide in November whether to increase taxes to pay for the changes. The additional $4 billion to speed up and increase Seattle light rail plans would be funded from new motor-vehicle excise and property taxes.
The original ST3 plan would have added 58 miles of light rail and new bus and commuter rail service, but some areas would not have been reached until 2041. Some want light rail access to happen sooner rather than later, and certain communities asked to be added be included in the region’s long-term public transportation map.
If the measure passes, Seattle light rail service will speed up reach to key areas by two-to-five years and new neighborhoods will be part of Link service routes.
The faster timelines and additional new projects will not affect the original plan’s estimated annual increase of an additional $200 per year on top of current commuting rates, according to an agency spokeman.