The Sound Transit board won’t decide on potentially delaying projects until July 2021.
That follows discussions at recent committee meetings, during which some board members had voiced alarm that “realignment” decisions with decades-long ramifications might be made too soon, too hastily.
At the board’s monthly meeting this afternoon, they agreed to a timeline (see it here) that would keep all planning of Sound Transit 3 (and remaining ST2) projects moving forward for now. As she had done at an Executive Committee meeting, CFO Tracy Butler reminded the board that current financial projections have ST coffers falling as much as $12 billion short through the life of Sound Transit 3’s plan (which has some projects in the 2040s, with West Seattle light rail currently scheduled to open in 2030).
The board also was reminded that if they chose, for example, to add a 5-year delay to all in-planning projects, that would be “affordable” within current reduced-revenue estimates. But planning director Don Billen also reiterated that a one-size-fits-all approach like that might not be wise, so the agency will embark on a more-nuanced process, including “public engagement” early next year, before finalizing a realigned plan next summer. (You can see the criteria they’ll use in the slide deck from the meeting.)