Sound Transit will receive another $100 million grant this year from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help pay for the Federal Way Link light rail extension.
U.S. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell announced the federal investments on Wednesday, July 1. Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link extension also received $100 million, awarded through the FTA Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program.
“These critical federal investments will help lay tracks for Puget Sound’s continued recovery and growth on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Murray said in a news release. “I’m going to keep working with my colleagues in Congress and with Sound Transit to strengthen federal support for these emission- and congestion-reducing transportation priorities—and more—that will help improve mobility for workers, families, and others across our state.”
Sound Transit also received a $100 million grant last year for the $3.1 billion Federal Way project, which will include two stations with parking garages in Kent and one in Federal Way. The payments are part of the $790 million grant the agency received for the extension. The grant is paid out over a number of years.
“This funding will help to meet increasing demand for public transit, connecting commuters to downtown Seattle and beyond, and reducing congestion on our roads,” Cantwell said. “The Federal Way project will enable folks to travel from Federal Way to Sea-Tac Airport in just 15 minutes and Kent or Des Moines to downtown Seattle in just 42 minutes. For Lynnwood, the funding will help provide Snohomish County commuters a reliable transit option that delivers the connectivity they need – with just a 28 minute commute time between Lynnwood and downtown Seattle.”
The Federal Way Link extension will extend light rail service 7.8 miles from Angle Lake station in SeaTac south to Federal Way, and is on track to be completed in 2024. The Lynnwood Link extension will extend light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood City Center, with service scheduled to begin in 2024.
“The ongoing federal investment in Sound Transit’s expansion north and south not only helps commuters in our region but also helps fuel our regional economy,” said Kent Keel, Sound Transit Board chair and University Place Council member. “We are grateful to the Federal Transit Administration and to Sen. Murray, Sen. Cantwell, and the entire congressional delegation for their continued support to improve transit in our region.”
The CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
The total cost of the Federal Way Link project is $3.1 billion with federal grants covering about 25 percent of the cost. About $1.5 billion will come from Sound Transit dedicated sales, rental car, motor vehicle excise and property tax revenues. Another $629 million is through a loan to be repaid by Sound Transit tax revenues and about $145 million is covered by Sound Transit bond proceeds repaid by tax revenues.