U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Applauds Groundbreaking of Light Rail Extension Serving South King County Riders

4/26/2013
Contact: Angela Gates
202-366-3669

SEATTLE – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today applauded the groundbreaking to extend Link light rail service from Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport to South 200th Street in the City of SeaTac. The 1.6-mile extension will make it easier for thousands of residents in south King County to access major employment and education centers throughout the region, including Sea-Tac Airport, downtown Seattle and the University of Washington.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is providing $28.6 million for the project, including $18.6 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and other DOT funds and $10 million through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

“The Link light rail extension is the latest in a series of investments by the Obama Administration to help the Seattle region build a world-class public transportation system,” said Secretary LaHood. “Bringing good transportation projects like this one to Seattle, and to cities across the nation, creates jobs and strengthens our economy.”

The project will extend Link light rail service about 1.6 miles south from the existing Sea-Tac/Airport Station to a new Angle Lake Station at South 200th Street. Sound Transit officials expect the project to create roughly 150 jobs during the first six months of construction. Service is scheduled to begin in late 2016 with an estimated 5,400 daily riders.

“Extending light rail through south King County is great news for a community that’s not only home to one of the fastest growing airports in the country, but also to a growing transit-dependent population looking for affordable, reliable access to jobs, school, and medical care,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “This project reflects the Seattle region’s tremendous commitment to investing in a public transportation system that works for everyone.”

The light rail extension is the latest in a series of transit investments that FTA is making in the future of the Seattle region’s transportation network. In addition to today’s project, FTA has committed $967 million for three light rail projects under construction or in design—from the University of Washington to Northgate transit center in north Seattle; from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington via Capitol Hill; and from downtown Seattle to the City of Bellevue in East King County (the East Link extension). FTA is providing an additional $118 million for six RapidRide bus rapid transit (BRT) lines in King County, four of which are now in service.

The Federal Transit Administration’s Regional Administrator Rick Krochalis joined Senator Patty Murray, Governor Jay Inslee and other local officials at the event.

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