President Biden’s proposed 2023 budget would provide $516.6 million for Sound Transit

President Biden’s proposed 2023 budget would significantly expand funding levels for transit investments across the country, including $516.6 million for Sound Transit. 

According to a news release from Sound Transit, the accelerated funding would create more than $40 million in borrowing costs for regional taxpayers that can be applied to other voter-approved extensions to places like Tacoma, Everett, West Seattle, Ballard, South Kirkland and Issaquah. 

Sound Transit Board Chair Kent Keel released the following statement: 

"President Biden’s proposed 2023 funding represents a significant acceleration of support for Sound Transit’s work to build the most ambitious transit expansion program in the nation. We thank President Biden, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez for this proposed boost for our region."

RELATED: Sound Transit leader warns of steep drop in revenue

According to Sound Transit, their proposed fiscal year 2023 budget is $716.6 million in total. In that plan, $318 million would go toward the Federal Way Link Extension, which means the project could be completed in a single year – three years sooner than anticipated. In addition, Sound Transit is proposing $250 million for the Lynwood Link Extension, which means the project could potentially be paid off three years sooner than originally planned. 

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff released the following statement:

"Receiving federal grant commitments early helps us in multiple ways. Not only does it save our taxpayers' money, it also frees up capacity in future years, so the federal government can help us with our next generation of projects: extending light rail to Tacoma, West Seattle, Everett and Ballard." 

Washington’s Sound Transit system faces $11.5B shortfall

There are no easy options to close Sound Transit's massive budget gap: delaying lines or stations, raising taxes within Seattle or amassing more debt are all on the table.

Sound Transit says a major part of the budget will be used to extend the link light rail line from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport through Kent to Federal Way.

In the next three years, Sound Transit will more than double the region’s light rail system from 26 miles to 62 miles.

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