Sound Transit says the estimate in ST3 was $5.8 billion in 2014 dollars, which the agency considers equivalent to $6.8 billion in 2018 dollars. The newest estimate is $7.5 billion in 2018 dollars.
That could rise even more, between about $500 million and $2 billion, if Sound Transit decides to enhance the routes beyond the basic alignment approved by voters.
“Tunnels are really more expensive, said Cathal Ridge, Sound Transit’s Executive Corridor Director for West Seattle and Ballard.
The costs of the representative alignment are creeping up.
The accompanying video segment is excellent as well. The content won’t be surprising to anyone who reads this blog, but it’s really well put together and does a good job of explaining the high-level tradeoffs.
Watching it I was struck by how far we’ve come as a region: zero minutes of airtime are given to light rail opponents. Everyone interviewed supports the project. 10 years ago this same piece would have had at least one person talking about how buses are better and light rail is a waste of money.
See also: Seattle Magazine touting the best neighborhoods near light rail. Remember when the Freeman-backed Bellevue City Council fought like hell to keep Link away? You don’t hear much about that anymore.