Last week the Sound Transit Board approved their 2016 budget, which dedicated funds to Tacoma, Lakewood, Federal Way, Seattle, Everett and other transit systems. The Sound Transit Board approved an overall budget of $1.2 billion; $802.9 million of that was dedicated to expansions with an emphasis on light rail expansions.
Some of the plans include $44 million to complete the final design and begin constructing the Tacoma Trestle, $7 million for the Tacoma Link extension, $11 million to complete final design and start construction of an expanded Sounder layover facility in Lakewood that will accommodate added south line service by 2017, $9 million to purchase new coaches for expanded Sounder service to Lakewood, and many other projects around Western Washington.
More funding will be made available to Tacoma from the Federal Transit Administration's budget, as voted on last week by the House and Senate. Sound Transit reports $74.99 million in Small Starts funding will be dedicated to extending the Tacoma Link light rail line into the Hilltop neighborhood. The funding will go specifically towards the expansion voters approved in 2008. The expansion will create an additional 2.4 miles along Stadium Way to the Hilltop District.
Moving forward with the strong support for continued expansions the Sound Transit Board will be placing a comprehensive package for voters to consider next November. The measure will be known as the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure and will be available as a draft in early 2016.