Tacoma Link Expansion

This Tuesday, February 12, and Wednesday, February 13, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss expansion of the Tacoma Link route in either the east or west direction. According to Kimberly Reason, media spokes woman for Sound Transit, she explained: “It’s looking at a 1.6 million line and expanding it where it currently is either in the west or east direction (6 corridors are being studied) and the goal is, by April or May, to identify the preferred corridor to present to the Pierce Transit Board.” Kimberly wanted to ensure that we understood what corridors meant, she said, “For example, an east side corridor would be the lower Portland Avenue stop.

How can we serve more people from point A to point B for their job centers and recreationally?

Right now the Link runs from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District and we have potential corridors (east and west) and so what this study has done is to identify the criteria that help us evaluate how can we achieve the best ridership and service and meet the most need by expanding the line to find out which corridor will maximize our goals for expanding the line?

It’s helpful for readers to know where we are in the process of studying alternative travel corridors and this project will include finding a funding partner and federal funding to actually complete it.”

Kimberly explained further about the project: “Several months we’ve been working on corridor alternatives and narrowed it down to those 24 to 6 in October and December we went through another round of open houses to gather public input on those 6 alternatives. Next week we will be presenting those 6 same alternatives we have since identified the advantages of evaluation criteria. At these open houses, we want to hear what the public’s feedback is, where they’d like to see the Tacoma Link expand to.”

When asked who she recommended attend the open houses, Kimberly replied, “The open houses are informative and interactive, so anybody who’s riding or thought about riding the Link should attend. We are establishing preferred corridor and once the additional funding and funding partners are identified and secured we will be building out a line to another area. That’s a very excited development.

We just hit our1 million riders in 2012, we blew past our goals more and more people are riding it. It’s definitely part of the infrastructure in Tacoma.

We get to see up close and personal the corridor alternatives, each corridor including the alternative advantage and disadvantage in that corridor and see the evaluation criteria which we are using to ultimately determine to present to the board this spring.

We need and want to hear from the public and ask the public for its opinion. The public opinion helps our plan and it’s very vital people turn out their thoughts as they get built into the plan.”

Kimberly commented on what she thought about the open houses: “I’ve gone to all the open houses I think it’s very exciting. The Tacoma Link has been a hit since it’s opened. Last year, the city was able to open Commerce Street to ensure more people could ride by creating an additional spot. People are very engaged and a number of people turn up at open houses and have been tracking this whole alternative process from day one.”

Kimberly revealed what many people may not know about the Tacoma Link, “In 2012, we hit a milestone of 1 million riders, which exceeded our goal for the Tacoma Link. This tells us that the Tacoma Link is very popular and a very well utilized part of people’s lives. Come to an open house or complete our online survey at: http://www.soundtransit.org/x7051.xml as we need to hear from you and what Tacoma residents would like to have. The survey will be available today through February 28, 2013.”

For more information, please contact Erin Hunter via email at: erin.hunter@soundtransit.org. “It’s a very exciting time for Tacoma as many people can join us as we would love to have them join us and those people that can’t make it can complete the online survey I mentioned previously.”

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com