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Transportation coalition decries Senate’s possible ST3 delays

Business, labor urge Legislature to collaborate, not undermine voters


The following is from the Transportation Choices Coalition:

OLYMPIA (March 7, 2017) — On Monday, the Washington State Senate met to discuss measures that will delay the implementation of our region’s mass transit system, ignoring the will of the voters to expand and improve regional transportation options.

Last November, voters in the Puget Sound region demonstrated that they are ready for bold action to expand mass transit, connect people to major employment centers, and reduce reliance on our gridlocked roads. In 2015, the Washington State Legislature gave Sound Transit authority to ask voters to approve the next phase of high-capacity transit, known as Sound Transit 3.

Sound Transit 3 was approved by voters around the region with 54% support. This landmark approval moved forward the critical plans to expand light rail, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit connecting Tacoma, Everett, Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue, and Federal Way. Monday’s action by the Senate is a step backwards in addressing our region’s mobility needs.

“Connecting our region with high-capacity transit is critical to keeping people and goods moving, which is essential if we are to remain a competitive place to do business. Businesses strongly supported Sound Transit 3, so we encourage the Washington State Legislature to collaborate with the region in order to deliver these voter-approved projects ahead of schedule and within budget,” said Maud Daudon, President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

“Sound Transit 3 passed because the people want to invest in our region’s transportation infrastructure. Efforts by the State Senate to undermine that vote will delay progress on these urgently needed investments,” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

“Our broad coalition of campaign supporters attended hundreds of events and talked to thousands of voters in 2016. It was clear that voters wanted more transit, faster,” said Shefali Ranganathan, Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition. Transportation Choices led the 2016 coalition of business, labor, environment, and community organizations to support the passage of Sound Transit 3.

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