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King County Executive Says $27 Billion Light Rail Extension Is Answer to Growth

Atomic Taco
Wikimedia Commons
Light Rail Train in Tukwila

King County Executive Dow Constantine used his State of the County address to make a pitch for a massive expansion of public transportation. A $27-billion-dollar Sound Transit 3 tax proposal is on this fall’s ballot. Under the proposal, light rail would extend to Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and, eventually, run from Everett to Tacoma. The completion date would be 25 years from now. Critics who oppose the transit proposal cite the cost, $400 a year for the average homeowner, and the length of time for completion. But Constantine says not approving it would be a mistake similar to what happened in the region in the 1970s.

"A generation ago, during the Boeing bust, voters rejected the rapid transit portion of Forward Thrust. We've been paying the price of that ever since. But today, the state of the county is strong. Strong enough to give our children the choice, the choice to get out of their cars and to get onto a transportation system that serves the needs of the next century," Constantine said.

In his speech, Constantine pointed out that the region is expected to grow by one million people in the next 25 years.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.