Friday, August 1, 2008

Seattle 2023

I’ve been following the excitement of Seattle’s light rail and bus expansion for some time. Next year Metro Seattle will get it’s first 27km of light rail. This complements its 119km of commuter rail, 4.7km of streetcars, and large bus network.

In last November’s election, Metro Seattle voted against a $17 billion dollar road and transit plan. Polling after the vote revealed that the transit improvement part of plan might have passed if it wasn’t combined with road improvements. This sent Sound Transit (and Seattle’s Road Improvement District) back to the drawing board. There was much debate as to whether Sound Transit would submit a new transit plan for voters this November. On July 24th, Sound Transit’s board approved an updated transit plan that will be voted on this November. The plan includes an additional 55km of light rail, 4 new commuter rail trains trips, 10% to 30% more Express regional buses, and a new streetcar. This plan will be completed by 2023.

The plan will cost local taxpayers $9.1 billion in capital costs and $1.2 billion in operational costs from 2008 to 2023. It will be paid for by a 0.5% increase in sales tax. I know I’d pay 0.5% more PST if it went into better transit.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, that's really impressive. You'd think with all the model cities around (Seattle, Calgary, Ottawa) our government would have clued in. But no...