The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Feds Chip in 100 million for University Link; Metro picks up $11mm


$100M for UW light-rail link in Bush's proposed budget

Seattle Times transportation reporter

The federal government intends to provide $100 million this year toward Sound Transit's future light-rail tunnel from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington, according to the Bush administration's proposed 2009 budget.

The money is part of a $750 million request Sound Transit made to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help pay for the 3-mile, $1.8 billion line to open by the end of 2016.

Today's announcement makes it likely that groundbreaking will happen late this year, as local transit officials hoped. The Seattle rail project's status was elevated from "final design" to "pending" in a federal funding timetable.

Previously, federal transportation Secretary Mary Peters praised the University Link project, which received the FTA's highest rating because of the route's high population density.

Trains would stop at Husky Stadium, Capitol Hill and Westlake Center, and continue south to Sodo, Rainier Valley and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on a 16-mile line that's already under construction.

"The U-Link project will triple our ridership and take advantage of the investment we've made in the initial segment," said Ric Ilgenfritz, Sound Transit's policy and planning director. Ridership from the stadium to the airport is estimated at 114,000 weekday trips in 2030. Project opponent John Niles said more people would benefit if the same amount of money were spent to add bus-rapid transit and bikeways, reaching the whole region instead of one rail route. "A massive misallocation of resources by our federal government," said of the planned $100 million payment.

Federal aid would also go to a pair of new King County Metro bus routes: an $11 million grant for the Bellevue-Overlake-Redmond corridor, and $300,000 for Highway 99 service south of the airport. Those lines are part of Metro's "Transit Now" plan that voters approved, along with a sales-tax increase, in 2006

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