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Sound Transit wants to know how you would spend $1.2 billion expanding Sounder service

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When voters approved the Sound Transit 3 measure in 2016, they green lighted expansions of Sounder, the regional train system.

In the South Sound those possible $1 billion plus in improvements include:

Expanding seven-car trains to 10-car trains.

Adding additional trains.

Expanding service to Tillicum and DuPont.

Sound Transit wants to hear what the public thinks about those ideas.

Beginning Tuesday, the agency will hold nearly a dozen drop-in sessions around the South Sound. In addition, an online survey will gather input from the public.

Those ideas will eventually be presented to the Sound Transit board.

Most of the improvements would be made on Sounder South, as the system between Seattle and Lakewood is called.

“That’s where we’re having the most growth,” Sound Transit spokesman Scott Thompson said.

Ridership has grown nearly 30 percent since 2014, according to the agency. During peak commute time, trains carry an average of 875 passengers.

Sound Transit has $934 million earmarked for the improvements. An additional $304 million to $325 million is available for expansion to DuPont. Most of that would be for stations, Thompson said.

The DuPont expansion would be completed by 2036. Other projects, such as adding more trains, could come sooner.

Each project has its unique complications.

Train length expansion could increase capacity by 40 percent, Thompson said. But that would require longer platforms.

Additional daily trains could impact Seattle pedestrian traffic.

“If we increase trips, what does that mean for access to King Street (station)?,” Thompson said.

Expansion to DuPont might require the addition of another track.

Drop-in sessions

Lakewood Farmer’s Market, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday.

Auburn Station, 3-7 p.m., Tuesday.

Lakewood Station, 4:30-8 p.m., Tuesday.

Tacoma Dome Station, 3:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday.

King Street Station, 10 a.m. to noon, Sept. 15.

Puyallup Station, 3-7:30 p.m., Sept. 17.

Sumner Station, 3-7:30 p.m., Sept. 17.

South Tacoma Station, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 18.

Kent Station, 3-7 p.m., Sept. 19.

Tukwila Sounder Station, 3-7 p.m., Sept. 19.

Puyallup Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sept. 21.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.
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