Q: Where is Sound Transit going to put the new light rail stations along the line that will connect Pierce County to Sea-Tac Airport?
A: There are preliminary plans for the stops in Federal Way, Fife, East Tacoma and near the Tacoma Dome, which are scheduled to link up with Sound Transit’s existing light rail network by 2030.
There’s a variety of options available in each location. Sound Transit is hosting a trio of open houses in the coming days for residents to air their commuting concerns about the light rail expansion project:
▪ Federal Way, Sept. 11, 6-8 p.m., Federal Way Performing Arts and Events Center, 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S.
▪ Fife, Sept. 12, 6-8 p.m., Fife High School, 5616 20th St. E.
▪ Tacoma, Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m., Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel, 2611 E. E St.
Those who cannot attend an open house can email Sound Transit at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 206-903-7118 or participate in an online open house at tdlink.participate.online. (Yes, that weird URL is the right one.)
Tacoma’s link to Link was approved in the Sound Transit 3 measure passed by voters in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in November 2016. (Well, more technically it was passed by King and Snohomish county voters over the objections of Pierce County voters, but it’s ours now, so we may as well embrace it.)
For each of the four planned stops in the 9.7-mile extension, there are from five to 12 possible station locations listed, each with their perks and drawbacks as hashed out by Sound Transit planners. Community input from the open houses will determine which alternatives get studied further.
Sound Transit also is taking input on where to put an operations and maintenance facility for the Link’s southern end.
Money for the expansion comes from an increase in yearly car registration fees — which my wife sure as heck has noticed, and you probably have, too — as well as hikes in property and sales taxes.
The prize at the end of the rope is a promised 35-minute ride from the Tacoma Dome to Sea-Tac without having to deal with our region’s awful traffic. You might just have to wait for all your life until it’s finished, though.