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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor's 2013-2014 Proposed Budget to dedicate $5 million for rail expansion in Seattle

9/14/2012  10:00:00 AM

Mayor's 2013-2014 Proposed Budget to dedicate $5 million for rail expansion in Seattle
Funding targeted to improve neighborhood-to-neighborhood connections prioritized in updated Transit Master Plan

SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn today announced that his upcoming 2013-2014 Proposed Budget will dedicate $6 million to advance four new high capacity transit lines in Seattle. The mayor announced earlier this week that his budget will also include millions of dollars of new funding for basic road maintenance.

"You could see the excitement on everyone's faces at last month's groundbreaking for Sound Transit's Northgate Link light rail line," said McGinn. "Families, commuters, and business owners came out to celebrate the coming of rail to the University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. It's no surprise. Seattle loves rail. The question for our region is no longer if we are going to build rail, but when is it getting to your neighborhood."

"We are fortunate to see our employment growing and people from all over the world wanting to live in Seattle, but this growth will only cause more congestion unless we can aggressively increase the capacity of our streets through more reliable transit choices, such as rail and other types of electric powered transit vehicles," said Seattle City Council Transportation Chair, Tom Rasmussen. "This is why I support funding to continue advancing the promises of the Transit Master Plan."

The mayor's proposed budget dedicates the new funding for the expansion of more efficient transit choices on high-priority corridors identified in the Seattle Transit Master Plan adopted by the City Council earlier this year. New funding will support planning to determine the best alignment and mode for each corridor. Some of this funding will build on work funded in part by the Federal Transit Agency to study a downtown connector that could link up the South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcars, as well as a partnership with Sound Transit to study potential connections between downtown and Fremont and Ballard.

Specific work that would be funded by the Mayor's proposed budget includes:

  • $2 million to fund a corridor analysis of a future downtown to University District high-capacity transit line via Eastlake. If approved by the City Council, this work would begin next year.
  • Funding a $1 million corridor analysis of a Madison Street BRT line.
  • Funding a $500,000 study of a pedestrian, bike and transit crossing of the Ship Canal. A north/south crossing of the Ship Canal, addressing one of the most constrained choke points in Seattle.
  • Funding a $2.5 million TMP Investment Reserve to fund the local match for the next phase of design work on this top corridor, starting in 2014.

The mayor detailed the budget announcement, and the case for expanding rail in Seattle, in a guest blog post on The Stranger's SLOG.

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Office of the Mayor

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