Good News And Bad News For Funding Transit In Everett

April 25, 2021


Sound Transit says funding challenges could change the timeline for Everett’s projects.

Last week brought mixed news for the future of Mass Transit projects in Everett, Washington. On Wednesday Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff provided an update to the Everett City Council on the status of Sound Transit Light Rail under ST 3 which was approved by voters in 2016.

Rogoff used a power point presentation to walk the council through projects that are currently funded and are on track for completion along with financial challenges now facing Sound Transit. You can view the whole presentation to the council at the link below.

ST Update 210421 Everett City Council

Among the projects funded is the Light Rail extension to Lynnwood which is on schedule for 2024. The two big projects for Everett however face an uncertain future.

Light Rail, including stations serving the southwest industrial area of Everett and Paine Field then on into downtown Everett in 2036, along with a major maintenance facility serving 150+ Light Rail vehicles currently scheduled for 2032, are both now undergoing review in what Sound Transit is calling “realignment”.

Public comment is being accepted until April 30th via a survey that you can take here. Then in May the Sound Transit Board will discuss their priorities, in June the realignment plan will be developed and then in July the Sound Transit Board is expected to adopt the realignment plan(s).

With regard to the part of the line that moves away from I-5 and over toward Paine Field Councilmember Vogeli asked Rogoff if that portion could be eliminated in favor of a straight shot into Everett. He advised those stations were part of the plan presented to voters under ST3 and Sound Transit did not think removing them would be appropriate. “We want to respect the will of the voters,” said Rogoff.

With regard to the future of Sound Transit’s projects in Everett, reached out to Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin who provided the following statement via email.

“Sound Transit’s own estimates show that Everett Link will enjoy high ridership, serving Everett residents and workers who truly need and will use high capacity transit. The City of Everett is confident that the Sound Transit Board will understand the importance of completing the 16-mile Everett Link on schedule, and we are thankful that Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith, and Everett Councilmember Paul Roberts are representing our county to ensure that our voice is heard.”

There was some good news for Everett Transit last week as the Puget Sound Regional Council announced the agency would be receiving more than eight million dollars in Federal Transit funds. Per the City, those funds will not be used for capital expenditures; rather they’ll go toward operating costs to assist Everett Transit with the recovery of lost revenue during COVID-19.

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