SEATTLE-On Thursday, Aug. 27, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson testified at the Sound Transit Board of Directors meeting in support of project priorities of Lakewood and the Pierce County communities south of Tacoma in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) package that voters could decide in 2016.
In essence, Mayor Anderson’s underlying message to the Board was simple: the initial work of the Seattle/King County Corridor has been completed. It is now time to expand transportation projects elsewhere, including Lakewood and Pierce County.
“ST3 is an opportunity to extend and enhance multimodal transportation opportunities to this population,” Anderson said.
Specifically, the Mayor referred to these projects:
- Extending the Sounder Commuter rail system from Lakewood Station to the City of DuPont, as well as create a new bus/Sounder station in Tillicum to serve both residents and members of JBLM and their families.
- Extend Sounder train hours of operation to better serve Lakewood and South Sound commuters, which would significantly increase ridership and boost economic development.
- Add Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), essentially “extending the spine of light rail” from the Tacoma Dome Station south along South Tacoma Way to Pacific Highway South, terminating at the Tillicum Sounder Station.
What is ST3?
Per Sound Transit: Sound Transit has begun the process to shape a ballot measure that voters could consider as early as November 2016. ST3 will build upon the existing mass transit system of light rail, commuter rail and bus services, as well as identify options for expanding and improving the system in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
ST3 is critical to improving mobility in our region. Congestion reduces our quality of life and without action it will get worse. By 2040, the region will have nearly a million more residents - an increase of 30 percent - and support more than a million new jobs, greatly increasing travel demand. Congestion also hurts our economy, and with the Central Puget Sound region responsible for 70 percent of Washington's economic activity, improving our region's transportation system is critical to the state's economic well-being.
The Sound Transit Board is responding to overwhelming support from residents to keep the region's people and economy moving in the years ahead. In addition to helping transit users, expanding mass transit also benefits both commuters and freight by freeing up road capacity. It is the best way, and often the only way, to significantly increase the capacity of the region's most congested corridors.
In 2015, Sound Transit will engage with communities across the region to develop the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, and will continue working with the Washington State Legislature to obtain the additional local revenue authority required for the measure to go to voters.