Yesterday the US Congress approved $88.6 million for ULink and Central link. This is slightly less than the $94 million mentioned before for 2008, though the difference is all coming out of ULink, which means that we probably will still get all the money in total, it might just take longer.
In the press release I received it had this quote:
The project connects the three largest urban centers in the region: downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District. It will offer much faster travel times for transit passengers than buses. Light rail will carry passengers from downtown to the University in 9 minutes instead of 25 and to Capitol Hill in 6 minutes instead of 14. Trips between Capitol Hill and the University District will take 3 minutes instead of 22. Riders will also enjoy reliable service no matter how bad the weather or traffic congestion.
Update: Added the press release.
There a few things to read into this, since the Feds have already given Sound Transit $20mn before the finally grant decision on University Link. First, it looks like University Link is going forward regardless of the death of Prop. 1. This shows that Ted Van Dyk and his “Battle of Stalingrad” quote were wrong, that ST will be able to complete that segment regardless of whatelse happens. 3.15 miles more subway for Seattle!
Also, it shows just how badly we need real, rapid transit here. This got the highest possible rating, and just two stations adds 70,000 riders to the line. This is basically the cheapest transportation project attempted in recent memory in this area. At fully one-tenth the cost of widening I-405, this will add more than more than 25% as much people-moving capacity..