Re: “Why building rail transit in U.S., Seattle costs so much and takes so long” [Aug. 2, Traffic Lab]:
I read with interest reporter Mike Lindblom’s article on why rail transit in Seattle “costs so much, takes so long.” The third part of this is “does so little” and is missing from the article.
When approved by the voters in 1996, Sound Transit promised that Sound Move would move 107,000 daily riders by 2010. Seattle-area voters approved ST 2 in 2008 and ST 3 in 2016, each with additional ridership promises to reach 628,000 riders by 2040. Lindblom reports that ridership got up to 80,000 “pre-COVID-19,” “soon after” the ST 2 extension to the University of Washington opened in 2016, 20-plus years after the Sound Move vote. The $100-plus billion Sound Transit system is now projected to be complete in 2045 or so.
The 80,000 daily light rail ridership in 2019 is less than 0.5% of daily person trips within the Sound Transit boundaries. Light Rail: Costs too much, takes too long, does too little.
Victor H. Bishop, Bellevue