Tacoma City Council to continue Link light rail expansion discussion

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at City Hall to continue its discussion of Sound Transit’s plan to expand Link light rail service throughout the city.

The meeting follows a request by city council for Sound Transit to evaluate a so-called “hybrid” corridor as the agency prepares to identify one or more corridor alternatives for the expansion project. The “hybrid” corridor combines connection points for the three corridors evaluated and measured against the goals and criteria for the project, according to City of Tacoma and Sound Transit staff. In addition to the city’s “hybrid” corridor alternative, Sound Transit is evaluating another “hybrid” corridor suggested by members of a citizens’ stakeholder roundtable group that convened as part of the alternatives analysis for the project.

Once the analysis of the five corridor alternatives is complete, staff will present to the Sound Transit Board of Directors recommendations for selecting the preferred corridor alternative(s) that will advance for further study in the environmental review phase of the project. While the board was prepared to take action this month, the additional work required to evaluate the hybrid alternatives and compare them against other corridor alternatives may require shifting board action to May. UPDATE: City of Tacoma officials announced Friday that Tacoma City Council will consider a resolution in support of Tacoma’s preferred Sound Transit expansion route during a council meeting on Tues., April 30. 

During city council’s study session on Tues., April 16 at Tacoma City Hall, Sound Transit staff will provide an update on the evaluation results for both “hybrid” corridor options.

A potential partnership to expand Tacoma Link light rail was approved by voters in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The purpose of the expansion is to improve mobility and access to the regional transit system by connecting the existing Tacoma Link system with the city’s major employment, residential and activity centers, according to City of Tacoma and Sound Transit staff. Sound Transit is seeking federal monies and exploring options for securing additional funding partners for the expansion. The alternatives analysis underway aims to support efforts to narrow and define project alternatives, evaluate costs, benefits and impacts of the alternatives, and work to identify partners and develop a funding plan.

Councilmembers will not take public comment during the study session, which will be held on Tues., April 16 at 12 p.m. in Room 16 of Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market St. Audio from the meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting online at tvtacoma.com.

Sound Transit's Link light rail passes through downtown Tacoma. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Link light rail expansion plans, click on the following links: