22 April 2010
Gov't Partnership formed for Tacoma Link Extension
By Chris Karnes
Committee of the Whole meeting of the City Council. (Audio of the meeting is available here: It's the first couple minutes of discussion.)
Under the new arrangement Pierce Transit will craft a new long range plan to reflect Tacoma Link / streetcar investments (i.e., not very much). The City of Tacoma will have the authority to review the analysis, make recommendations, and have the responsibility of coming up with additional capital / operating dollars. And Sound Transit will now pay for alternatives analysis, which will be completed by December 31, 2010.
What does the partnership mean exactly? Well first off, it means that relative to the Build the Streetcar Initiative, the project timeline has been accelerated by about 12 months. Further it means that the project will have buy-in from local leaders throughout Pierce County, which will be critical for applying for federal funds. Also, Tacoma Link is going to be integrated into the City of Tacoma's Comprehensive Transportation Plan, which will add to the Bike-Ped improvements of the Mobility Master Plan.
As for next steps, the workings of the bureaucracies are now set in motion (which has been half the battle). The three entities will now start to "establish tasks and goals" for the project. It also means that a "stakeholders group" will be formed to help gather input and communicate with affected residents of Tacoma. In May it sounds like there will be some form of joint session between the City Council, the Pierce Transit Board, and the South Sound Transit board members to discuss the scope of work. Advance notice will be required, so we'll hear details about it a couple weeks in advance.
Learn more from the fuzzy, grainy two-pager here (PDF).