The COVID-19 recession, along with rising real estate and construction costs, have created challenges for completing future voter-approved transit projects on their original schedules. Light rail projects that are currently under construction remain on track. The Sound Transit Board will be creating a plan this summer to respond to the financial challenges. They are looking for the community’s feedback to help shape their decisions.
According to information on Sound Transit’s website regarding realignment, they want the community’s feedback by April 30th before considering delaying, phasing, or modifying future transit projects.
Sound Transit is facing a challenging financial situation caused by the recession, which has reduced consumer spending and the sales tax revenue they rely on to build and operate transit, and rising real estate and construction prices, that are greatly increasing project costs beyond initial estimates.
According to the site, their first priority is to seek new funding from federal and state governments, as well as other sources, without increasing sales, property, or motor vehicle excise tax rates. Sound Transit is joining other agencies and allies to urge that federal recovery efforts and actions at the state and federal levels provide funding for transit in order to deliver planned projects closer to schedule.
While exploring new funding, the Board will also identify potential changes that could help Sound Transit’s budget stay on track. The process is referred to as realignment, which refers to adjusting project schedules and plans to meet the new financial situation.
Delayed projects may potentially be delivered in phases, or may be modified in terms of their scopes and plans. To share your thoughts, visit the website.