News Releases

Expansion will more than double existing service area, spur economic development, and give new transit options to low-income areas
 
Murray: “This is the kind of investment that can transform neighborhoods”
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announced the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Tacoma $15 million for the Tacoma LINK Expansion through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program Sen. Murray created in 2009. The project will expand downtown Tacoma's existing streetcar line to more than double its current length, and add several stations with improved bicycle and pedestrian access.

“This is the kind of investment that can transform neighborhoods and help local economies grow and create jobs,” Senator Murray said. “As Tacoma continues to grow, it’s critical that all citizens-- including students, workers, and families-- have access to safe, reliable transit. I’m proud to keep fighting for the federal TIGER grant program because it continually reinvests in our communities, brings our transit systems into the 21st century, and helps our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down.”

Earlier this year in an official letter of support, Sen. Murray urged Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to consider the grant, citing the project’s ability to connect communities and spur economic activity. In addition to the Tacoma LINK Expansion grant, Sen. Murray also announced today that the Washington State Department of Transportation has been awarded $10 million to construct a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo.

Since Sen. Murray created the TIGER program, it has awarded $4.1 billion to 342 innovative, multimodal projects around the country, including $204 million going to 13 projects in Washington state. Past projects include the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around JBLM, and moderation of Terminal 46 at the Port of Seattle.

Background on Tacoma LINK Expansion Project:

  • Project approved by voters in 2008 as part of Sound Transit 2 Plan
  • Supported by Tacoma City Council, Pierce County, Sound Transit, Tacoma Public Schools, Group Health, University of Washington-Tacoma, Evergreen State College, Tacoma Housing Authority, and more
  • With expansion, the existing 1.6 mile streetcar line will gain an additional 2.4 miles, for a total system length of 4 miles
  • The expansion includes six additional stations with service planned for 17 hours/day
  • The expansion would connect downtown Tacoma to the Stadium and Hilltop Districts, where 25 percent of residents are low-income and 30 percent of households have no vehicle
  • The expansion would provide access to Tacoma’s “Medical Mile,” which includes major hospitals and medical centers, and five educational facilities serving nearly 17,000 students
  • Transit trips are expected to increase from 1 million to 3.5 million annually, for a daily ridership increase of nearly 85 percent