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Have your say about light rail between Federal Way and Tacoma

Sound Transit is holding open houses this week and next for the public to weigh in on its plans to bring light rail from Federal Way to Tacoma by 2030.
Sound Transit is holding open houses this week and next for the public to weigh in on its plans to bring light rail from Federal Way to Tacoma by 2030. The Seattle Times File, 2016

A light rail spine that will connect Federal Way to Tacoma is still a dozen years from its debut, according to the oft-cited date given by Sound Transit. But the agency wants community input now.

Kicking off a series of community open houses set to take place this week, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff stood in front of the Tacoma Dome station on Monday morning and said 2030 will be here sooner than it seems.

"Where you're standing right now is going to be the No. 1 regional transit hub in the state of Washington," Rogoff told a group of local mayors and a member of the Puyallup Tribal Council.

"It's an exciting vision, and this historic transit investment is an acknowledgment of the city of Tacoma and Pierce County's status as a regional hub and a job center."

He also threw out a bit of a jab at Tacoma's northern neighbor: "Here's a little secret that we don't talk about very often, but the fact is that once we get light rail to the Tacoma Dome you'll be able to get to the Sea-Tac Airport faster from the Tacoma Dome than you will from downtown (Seattle)."

There are three open houses coming up that will give the public a chance to weigh in:

Tacoma: April 17, 6 to 8 p.m. at Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel, 2611 E. E Street.

Federal Way: April 18, 6 to 8 p.m. at Todd Beamer High School, 35999 16th Ave. S.

Fife: April 24, 6 to 8 p.m. at Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave. East

As part of the early scoping process, the public is invited to comment on some of the aspects of planning, such as route, station locations and alignment.

Members of the public unable to attend the open houses can comment online at https://tdlink.participate.online/.

Comments must be submitted by May 3.

Candice Ruud: 253-597-8441, @candiceruud
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