Sound Transit

Lindblom reports that, due to low revenues, the Sound Transit Board decided to wait a while before spending $4.6m on engineering the S. 200th St extension. They’ll take it up again in the Fall when there’s more information about revenue and other projects.

The station, originally part of Sound Move, is a bit further along than the rest of South Link and could open as early as 2015 given Federal money.

17 Replies to “Times: Board Punts on S. 200th St”

  1. I guess I don’t understand the issue here. The segment will be built anyway, unless ST is considering dropping the entire southern extension. There’s economic uncertainty at the moment, but in my opinion it’s stupid not to take advantage of the lower costs that result. I understand that the board does not want to repeat past mistakes, but it seems that they’re being over-cautious here and the current savings on construction costs could potentially be missed.

    1. It’s a cash flow issue – they are concerned that they don’t have the cash/cash flow on hand now to build the segment now.

      That said, two things to note:

      1) Joni isn’t necessarily on board with the delay. It sounds like she still thinks that it might be possible to move forward sooner rather than later.

      2) Mayor McGinn is one of the member who voted to delay this – so much for being an advocate or rail transit!

      Also, this probably indicates that the Aloha Extension is also in trouble per ST funding the design phase.

    1. Based what I read in the article, looks like the Seattle Contingent voted against the extension, because this project would be competing against the SOUTH PARK BRIDGE for TIGER 2 funding, and there is pressure to make the SOUTH PARK BRIDGE the only project from this area. Both the S. 200th extension and South Park bridge projects are worth fighting for, unlike the Mercer St Beautification project in TIGER 1 (which South Park lost against).

    2. Sound Transit wants a TIGER II grant for this station. The City of Seattle is much more interested in getting a TIGER II grant for the South Park Bridge, and may very well view the 200th St Station application as competition.

  2. Just to clarify, it wasn’t the entire board that decided this, just the capital committee. And it happened to be a 3-3 vote, not a clear vote against.

    I thought it was interesting that Claudia Balducci of Bellevue voted for, while McGinn voted against.

    1. Ya, I caught the 3-3 so it is clearly a split, and Joni is clearly in the “now” camp. She gave some very good reasons too.

      It is very interesting that McGinn voted “no” and Claudia voted “yes”. I guess we know where the “real” rail transit supporters are — in Bellevue! (ah, no, that last part is a joke, but I still find it interesting that McGinn voted against).

      1. Sure seems like that whole South Park bridge thing is more important to McGinn than the station. I don’t think that’s anti-transit vote – it’s a social justice vote.

  3. It would certainly be nice to have two projects under construction and nearing completion when we vote again in 2016.

  4. I understand the fiscal difficulty right now, but it sure would be great to have another station finished during the *six years* of waiting for University Link.

  5. Fankly, I don’t really want ST to spend any further money on the south link. I think it’d be better to make RapidRide A actually BRT to provide local service to the area between Federal Way and SeaTac.

    Then they could spend that money on building a heavy rail link between Tacoma and Seattle along the current Sounder corridor, but on dedicated ROW so there can be frequent service. If there was dedicated ROW for heavy rail (as opposed to light rail) that could be used as a segment for future HSR from Seattle to Portland (and no dedicated ROW = no HSR)

  6. Can ST calculate the cost of building 200th St Station now, and then cancelling Redondo Beach Station, if the economy doesn’t recover? As the tunnel boosters remind us, constructions costs are cheap now. Let’s get those shovels turned!

    Besides, helping the economy in SeaTac will help generate tax revenue in the south subarea, so that the finances pick up for the pivotal Des Moines Station.

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