WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recommends that the federal government spend $ 330.8 million to improve public transit in western Washington.
Funding would come from President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget. It would fund two new bus rapid transit projects, one for South King County and one in Pierce County. It would also help support the construction of light rail already underway in South King County and Snohomish County.
“Communities across the country are looking to expand transit to create economic opportunity, improve safety, advance fairness, reduce congestion and pollution, and lower the cost of living for their residents, ”Buttigieg said in a written statement. “These capital projects will improve lives in 25 communities and mark the start of what we hope will be a one-time investment in a generation to modernize and expand transit across the country.”
Washington’s infrastructure projects are just a few of Secretary Buttigieg’s recommendations, which total 25 rail, bus, and streetcar projects in 12 states.
Here’s how that $ 330.8 million would be spent in Washington:
- $ 55.6 million would go towards the construction of a new RapidRide I line in South King County. The line would run 17 miles between Renton, Kent and Auburn using 23 diesel-electric hybrid buses.
- $ 75.2 million for a Pierce County rapid transit bus line spanning 14.3 miles from South Tacoma to Spanaway along Pacific Avenue / State Route 7.
- $ 100 million for the extension of the federal link in Seattle. This project is already under construction and will widen the link 7.8 miles from Angle Lake station in the south to SeaTac, Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way.
- $ 100 million for the Lynnwood Link expansion. Also already under construction, the Lynnwood Extension adds 8.5 miles to the north end of the link, bringing the rail through Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood.
“FTA is proud to partner with communities in Washington to provide residents with more environmentally friendly public transportation options,” said Nuria Fernandez, Assistant Administrator of FTA. “These investments will improve mobility and quality of life in growing areas, provide an alternative to traffic congestion and stimulate more economically vibrant communities.”
The FTA is also working on other projects in Vancouver, WA and Everett. You will find more information on the proposed capital investment program for fiscal year 2022 on the FTA website.