Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tacoma Link Expansion Update

Today Sound Transit presented at the Tacoma City Council’s Study Session regarding the Tacoma Link expansion. We discussed the expansion and potential routes previously on the BIA blog.

From the six alternative corridors, Sound Transit identified three routes that rank the highest according to the six identified project goals. Project goals include the following:

  1. Improve mobility and transportation access for Tacoma residents and visitors
  2. Increase transit ridership within the City of Tacoma
  3. Serve underserved neighborhoods and communities in the City of Tacoma
  4. Use transit to spur economic development and other types of investments
  5. Ensure that the project is environmentally sensitive and sustainable
  6. Establish a project that is competitive for federal funding

The three routes were B1 North End Central, C1 Eastside, and E1 North Downtown Central. See map below.

Additionally, high ridership and economic development are top priorities for the Council. Councilman Robert Thoms noted that at a minimum, transit should move people and goods, suggesting that those particular routes that offer the highest ridership should be considered.

According to the Sound Transit review, both the B1 North End Central and E1 North Downtown Central corridors had a ridership response of 3.0- 3.5 million each year. This number assumes that Sound Transit will require a fee to ride the Link. The Link is currently free to ride.

Over the coming weeks, the Council seeks to make a route recommendation to the Sound Transit Board. If a route is identified, the environmental review will begin in May. For more information on how you may participate in the discussion, visit Sound Transit’s website.

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