A statement from Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers
On Thursday, August 5, the Sound Transit Board will decide whether Sound Transit 3 (ST3) will be built as the regional mass transit system voters approved or become yet another victim to local interests. Since the founding of Sound Transit in 1993, we have all supported the idea that the Central Puget Sound region needs a multi-modal mass transit system to move people between our population and job centers. The light rail spine—linking Everett and Tacoma to Seattle—was the best and quickest way to relieve congestion on our I-5 corridor. The Link to Bellevue provided similar benefits for our I-90/I405/520 freeways. However, the vision of completing the regional spine is again threatened by those who want to provide expensive add-ons that were never approved by the regions’ voters.
Snohomish and Pierce County’s Sound Transit Board Members have jointly proposed an amendment to ensure all projects approved by the voters in the Sound Transit 3 measure will be built as approved and in the order the plan has detailed. We must complete the spine to Everett and Tacoma, since that has been the top priority of the entire system since day one. The Snohomish and Pierce County amendment #5 will ensure that Link Light Rail to Tacoma and Everett are built and are not once again pushed off the table by over-spending in other parts of the system. By sticking to the voter approved ST3 projects, this amendment wouldn’t prevent another area of the region from securing state or federal funding for elements that were not in the ST3 package (e.g. tunnels, additional stations, parking garages, etc.). The amendment will protect funding needed to build out the spine from Tacoma to Everett, while allowing counties, cities or others to raise money for any extra additions. We intend to be very vocal advocates for state and federal funding to speed up the delivery of our sections of the Sound Transit Link Light Rail system.
We ask residents who want a truly regional, equitable and environmentally sustainable mass transit system to support Snohomish and Pierce Counties’ amendment #5 and contact their Sound Transit Board Members to urge them to vote for it. We want to work with the members of the Sound Transit Board to ensure our region’s voices are working together to complete this historic project.
Our ability to maintain economic growth and preserve our quality of life depends on our region making good on the 28-year promise to complete the spine, finally linking the major jobs and population centers of Central Puget Sound. It’s what our residents want, and our region needs