Light Rail To Everett Pushed Back To 2041

June 5, 2021

Everett, Everett Economy

Everett, Washington appears to be on the back end of the light rail pecking order as Sound Transit works on what it calls “Realignment”. Due to the pandemic, increases in construction costs and budget considerations the agency is revamping timelines to complete projects under both voter approved ST-2 and ST-3.

Thursday the Sound Transit Board looked at three scenarios of future work and in all three Everett came out as being completed without parking at 2041. It would be an additional 5 years for a parking facility. Here’s a link to the scenarios presented to the board.

Presentation – Realignment scenarios 06-03-21

After the meeting reached out to Sound Transit regarding the current situation and received the following from John Gallagher who is the communications lead for the north end projects of Sound Transit. (The term OMF stands for Operations and Maintenance Facility to house 150 light rail cars)

Based on the agency’s affordability gap and the scenarios discussed today (summarized in the attached for your convenience), the timeline for reaching Everett would be 2041. Everett Link and the OMF North were treated uniformly in all of the scenarios presented today. OMF North would come online in 2035; a location has not been selected. However, in advance of further Board discussion I would hesitate to predict whether any developments could conceivably modify the date.

More discussion will take place at the Board’s June and July meetings. You could consider clarifying with your readers that the realignment doesn’t affect the scheduled 2024 opening of Link light rail service to Lynnwood. Following the expansion of Link service to Seattle’s Northgate area on Oct. 2 of this year, reaching Lynnwood in 2024 will further increase the number of bus routes that can escape rising roadway congestion and instead tie in with congestion-free light rail service.

Everett has been working on planning for the future with light rail conducting several efforts to “ReThink” zoning, housing and transit with a 2036 timeline as a guide. On Friday we reached out to Mayor Cassie Franklin for her thoughts on the delay for light rail to Everett.

Although it’s common for major infrastructure projects like this to experience cost overruns and funding shortfalls, it’s nonetheless disappointing to hear that Everett residents may now need to wait twenty years for light rail to reach us. As the largest city north of Seattle and home to some of the state’s largest employers, we need a transportation system that can serve our growing population and provide efficient access to our expanding job centers. We remain committed to working alongside Sound Transit to manage the scope and cost of the extension and pursue additional revenue from state and federal sources. In the meantime, we hope to work with our partners on interim solutions to address our immediate public transportation needs, and ensure our city can continue to grow and thrive as we wait for light rail to arrive.

In April Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff made a presentation to the Everett City Council on the status of Light Rail after City Council members publicly aired concerns over potential delays in service to Everett, Washington.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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