Seattle (Phase 1 System)

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Phase I System Plan

Central Puget Sound (Seattle), Washington

(November 1996)


The three-county Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board adopted a ten-year regional transit plan for the Seattle metropolitan area in May 1996. The plan consists of a 25-mile LRT line from the city of Sea Tac north through downtown Seattle to the University District, with a possible extension to Northgate. The plan also consists of a 2-mile LRT line from downtown Tacoma to the vicinity of the Tacoma Dome, 80-miles of commuter rail service from Lakewood north through Tacoma and Seattle to Everett (see Seattle-Tacoma Commuter Rail profile), and twenty regional express bus routes. The plan is projected to cost $3.9 billion (1995 dollars) and take 10 years to implement.


Section 3035(bbb) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (predecessor to Metropolitan King County) in the amount of $300 million for the Puget Sound Core Rapid Transit Project.

In March 1995 a proposal for a larger transit plan was defeated at the polls with a 47 percent "yes" and a 53 percent "no" vote. Following the 1995 referendum, the RTA board developed the scaled-back Ten-Year Regional Transit System Plan, adopting it in May 1996. A November 1996 vote on local funding to implement the $3.9 billion revised plan passed with a 58 percent "yes" vote.

Major Investment Study (MIS) activity for the Ten-Year Regional Transit System Plan has been substantially completed and is expected to be finalized early in 1997. Preliminary Engineering on the componenets of the plan and Environmental Impact Statement development will follow upon MIS completion.