Light rail is currently scheduled to arrive in West Seattle in 2032, two years later than the original plan when voters passed ST3 in 2016. Would you support paying extra to speed that up? A bill enabling that option is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee‘s desk after final passage in the Legislature today, as reported when the City Council got a legislative briefing this afternoon. Here’s how the transit-advocacy group Seattle Subway summarized the legislation, Senate Bill 5528:
The bill allows a city, subarea, county, or combination thereof to have the option to create an “Enhanced Service Zone” to target the investments their voters care about most. SB 5528 allows the Sound Transit Board to give voters the opportunity to fund faster construction timelines on existing projects and/or fund new transit improvements and services for individual cities and sub-areas within the Sound Transit district. The funding mechanisms included in the bill are a motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) not to exceed 1.5%, and a commercial parking tax. If authorized for public vote by the Sound Transit Board, voters still must register a majority in favor for the funding mechanisms to go into effect.
You can read the Legislature’s report on the final version of the bill here. Speeding up construction is just one of the possible uses of extra funding it spells out.