Today, Senator Patty Murray joined officials from Sound Transit and the Port of Seattle to announce an agreement to link Light Rail to SeaTac airport by 2009. This final agreement clears the way one of the most important transportation projects in the Puget Sound region.
At Seatac Airport's Gina Marie Lindsey Arrival Hall, the officials announced the agreement, financing, right-of-way and timeframe for the project.
"For me, this announcement is about making the most of our region’s economic engines. SeaTac is a critical engine for our region’s economy, and Sound Transit is a critical link for our region’s people," Murray said. "By connecting these two institutions, we’re making each of them stronger and more effective. We’re making SeaTac a more convenient airport, and we’re making Light Rail a more convenient alternative to getting in your car."
Last year alone, Senator Murray secured $75 million for the project, presenting $43 million of that total to Sound Transit in June at a ceremony with Federal Transit Administration Administrator Jenna Dorn. The FY2005 Transportation Appropriations Bill sends an additional $80 million to the project.
Senator Murray's complete remarks follow:
Today we’re announcing another milestone in building a transit system that works for our people, for our environment, and for our economy. This airport extension makes a great transit system even better for residents, for businesses and for visitors, and I want to applaud all of the partners who’ve come together to make it possible.
Today we’re announcing an agreement and unveiling a vision.
In a few years -- with the hard work of everyone here -- -- we’ll have: new roads, a new rail line, and a new light rail station here at SeaTac. We’ll begin to see the benefits of this agreement at the 2010 Olympics. When visitors from around the world come to Vancouver, B.C. for the Olympic games, we certainly want them to come to Washington state and give our economy a boost. With new Light Rail service at SeaTac, we are rolling out a welcome mat to Olympic visitors so they can visit our region and boost our economy. But more importantly, this extension will help our region long after the closing ceremonies have ended.
This service will save time and money for travelers, workers, families and businesses, and it will help realize the full potential of our transit system. With today's announcement, we now have a complete picture of what the future will look like for people traveling to and through SeaTac.
For me, this announcement is about making the most of our region’s economic engines. SeaTac is a critical engine for our region’s economy, and Sound Transit is a critical link for our region’s people.
By connecting these two institutions, we’re making each of them stronger and more effective. We’re making SeaTac a more convenient airport, and we’re making Light Rail a more convenient alternative to getting in your car.
In the U.S. Senate, I’ve used my position to help fund the transit system that voters asked for, and I’ve got to tell you that I’m really proud of the progress we’re making. Last year, we broke ground on the first LINK Light Rail project. This summer, I joined FTA Administrator Jenna Dorn to present a check with the first installment of the full funding grant agreement to Sound Transit. And now we’re announcing service to SeaTac is on track.
I want to thank all our partners especially Sound Transit, the Port of Seattle and the City of SeaTac for making this announcement possible.
I want to thank everyone who’s here today – including Mic Dinsmore, John Ladenburg, Paige Miller, Mayor Hansen, Ron Sims and Joni Earl. We’ve been partners through this effort and it’s meant great things for our people and our economy.
And I just want to say – Mic and John – when that first train rolls into the new SeaTac Light Rail station – I want to be onboard.