Another step in bringing light rail to Lynnwood

Sound Transit is continuing the process of expanding light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood.

On Thursday the Board of Directors approved a 2012 budget that, among other things, calls for continued environmental studies for the North Corridor line along I-5.

“This is a big step for thousands of commuters who travel between Snohomish and King counties every day,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “After extensive study of alternatives, it is clear that light rail is the right technology and that I-5 is the right corridor.”

The agency recently completed an 18-month study to compare bus rapid transit and different light rail alignments. They concluded that extending light rail along the I-5 corridor would have the fastest travel times, the highest ridership and the least cost of comparable routes and service levels.

Sound Transit estimates the line will carry 52,000 riders a day by 2030 and take about 14 minutes to travel between Lynnwood and Northgate, with four stations and trains running every four minutes during rush hours.

The next phase begins early next year, when analysis and public outreach will help determine the best potential locations for stations and track.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018 and open for service in late 2023.

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