Sound Transit Board of Directors Approves Updated ST3 Plan for November Ballot

June 23, 2016

SEATTLE (June 23, 2016) – Futurewise is pleased that the Sound Transit Board unanimously voted to approve an updated ST3 plan this afternoon and to move forward with the ballot measure this November. The Puget Sound Region expected to grow by over a million residents in the next 30 years – so the challenge of providing transportation options for the efficient movement of people and goods is more important than ever.

“Given the expected rate of population growth, we are excited that we will have a November ballot measure that will expand light rail across our region,” says Christopher Wierzbicki, Interim Executive Director of Futurewise. “We are extremely pleased that Sound Transit understands the importance of not just light rail, but the positive impacts it can have by providing a framework for equitable transit oriented development and affordable housing. We see the ST3 plan as a game changer in providing transportation and affordable housing at the same time, a leadership direction that other regions will want to follow.”

“The equitable transit-oriented development strategy in this plan is innovative and forward looking. This strategy will increase access to Sound Transit facilities, reduce displacement, and allow for mixed income integrated communities,” says board member and Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson.

"Sound Transit 3 is a historic opportunity to ease our housing affordability crisis. The action taken by the Board today ensures equitable, affordable homes near rapid transit," said Board Member and King County Council Chair Joe McDermott. "This effort will help to ensure we are getting the highest and best use of land around transit -- and public dollars."

"I'm happy that the Sound Transit Board made clear commitments to implement policies and practices that serve as best practices across the nation to support cost-effective affordable housing development on... transit-related land," said Marty Kooistra, Executive Director of the Housing Development Consortium.

"As our region grows and our demographics change, we must build infrastructure that serves everyone—and community-led, equitable transit-oriented development give transit-dependent communities along the light rail important opportunities to thrive in place," said Ellicott Dandy of One America.

Futurewise strongly believes that the ST3 plan put before voters is fair and shows the value our region puts on transit and housing. By prioritizing affordable housing, the region can assist highly cost-burdened households by providing access to efficient and reliable high-capacity transit. We commend the Board on their leadership in developing such a strong plan. In providing the region with transportation choices, we will be able to serve the over one million new residents this region expects in the next 30 years. Futurewise worked hard in Olympia to pass a transportation package that included ST3, and we are excited to see the work come to fruition.

We would like to thank the Board for their leadership to incorporate transit-oriented development and affordable housing into the plan and working with Futurewise and our partners to get this right. 

Christopher Wierzbicki
Futurewise Interim Executive Director