- As of late Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, Seattle-area votes are still being counted, but it’s clear that Proposition 1, better known as ST3, has won.
- On the back of a successful two station expansion earlier this year, voters in the Puget Sound counties of King, Pierce, and Snohomish have approved one of the largest transit packages in U.S. history.
- The $53.8 billion measure is expected to be built out over the next 25 years and will do A LOT:
- Adds 62 new miles of grade-seperated Link Light Rail over 37 new stations, compiling a 116-mile regional system, five times larger than it is today.
- Adds 2 new Sounder Communter Rail stations and greatly expands span of service.
- Creates 3 new Bus Rapid Transit lines and upgrades existing express bus service.
- Read the entire plan here.
- Sound Transit’s light rail system is projected to serve around 600,000 daily riders, up from today’s roughly 70,000.
- When fully built-out, 93% of the region’s jobs will be connected by the mass transit system.
- The bulk of the plan’s cost comes from capital projects, in particular, for the construction of a second downtown Seattle subway tunnel. This will be needed to relieve expected capacity-crunching crowds in the current tunnel.
- ST3 would be paid for with a 0.5% sales tax increase (bringing us to 10.1%), $0.25 increase per $1,000 in property tax (totaling $9.52), a motor vehicle excise tax of 0.8%, and a rental car tax of 1.372%.
- The Seattle Subway advocacy group jestingly pointed out that the average cost per person is virtually the same as an annual subscription to the Seattle Times, a noted ST3 opponent.
- Seattle is not the only American city that’s voting on transit. According to Streetsblog USA, there are 78 local transit measures on the ballot nationwide, including Los Angeles’ $102 billion metro expansion.
Feature photo of Seattle’s Capitol Hill station opening by Joe A. Kunzler Photo, AvgeekJoe Productions.
Author: Nicholas Efthimiadis
Seattle grown. Avid skier and occasional ski racer. Passionate about all things urban (particularly transportation & housing). University of Washington 2016 graduate: BA in Economics and a minor in Urban Design and Planning. Extensive experience in fictitious cartography and sand-city molding.