LIGHT RAIL TO EVERETT is an initiative to help represent the economic interests of the county and unite the region around the case for light rail sooner than 2041. It was created to help educate and empower the business and community leaders and work together to ensure light rail arrives to Everett by 2033.
ISSUE: Sound Transit plans from as early as 1994 specifically prioritized light rail investments to connect Everett-Seattle-Tacoma (north to south) and Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond (west to east). While the current draft Sound Transit plan for ST3 delivers light rail through the Paine Field aerospace employment center and into Everett, its delivery date is in 2041. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. It is nor fair or acceptable to delay Light Rail Transit (LRT) to Everett, the northerly spine of the ST system until 2041.
The draft plan has light rail extensions arriving to Ballard and West Seattle before Everett, when they were NEVER prioritized in prior ST Long-Range plans.
Building a regional LRT system the right way means building it to connect in timely fashion to the major job centers where workers can use high-capacity transit to get to their destination. The aerospace employment cluster around Paine Field serves over 50,000 workers – the largest manufacturing jobs center in the State of Washington.
Additionally, the LRT system is also critical to connect employees who cross county lines to get to their work place each day. Census Bureau figures show Snohomish County sends more than 153,000 workers into King County each day -- the highest "cross-county commute" number in the state. Further, more than 53,000 King County residents go to work in Snohomish County each day.
A regional system needs to go where the growth goes. Snohomish County is the fastest growing of the three Central Puget Sound counties in the ST service area and is expected to add 200,000 people in the next 20 years. More people and more jobs equals a critical need for more service.
LRT service into Everett should be on line by 2033. We're going to have to work together to let them know that 2041 just doesn't cut it.