Sound Transit and its allies in Congress are preparing for a long struggle to restore $1.2 billion that President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposes to yank from the Lynnwood-Northgate light rail extension, our online news partner The Seattle Times reported Thursday.
That corridor, scheduled to open in 2023, is under final engineering and was previously recommended to receive the funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), covering half the cost for design, land, construction and trains.
But in an FTA annual statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Lynnwood line is omitted, even though it earned a “medium-high” federal rating and would add 67,000 daily riders — and thousands more from an Everett line expected to open in the 2030s.
You can read more in The Times story here.
Meanwhile, the chief executive officers of Sound Transit and The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) issued the following statement Thursday in opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts:
“The administration’s assertion that our regions can deliver transit solutions for our citizens without federal partnership is uninformed, misguided, and unfair. The voters of our communities stepped up and voted to tax themselves to provide a path out of punishing congestion. For that bold action, they should be rewarded at the federal level, not punished.
The ballot measures adopted by our voters assumed a reasonable level of federal matching funds to deliver our most challenging transit solutions through the continued funding of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program. But the administration’s budget proposes to terminate that federal partnership for challenging projects at a time when ever-worsening road congestion threatens to choke off our and other region’s economic growth. This wrong-headed budget proposal ignores the will of our local voters and the real-world challenges we are facing in our rapidly growing cities.”