News Releases

Senator Murray announced the five Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program awards funded by the American Rescue Plan totaling more than $47 million

Projects in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, and Snohomish County all received funding

ICYMI: Senator Murray Introduces Public Transit Capital Investment Relief Act to Support Critical National Public Infrastructure Needs – MORE HERE 

Senator Murray: “The demand for transit has been a constant refrain across our state that I’ve heard loud and clear and taken back to the other Washington. And the major federal awards announced today show the other Washington is listening”  

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced five new Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Small Start program awards administered by the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) for transit projects across Washington state. The funding for the awards comes from the American Rescue Plan. These projects include the Spokane Transit Central City Line project, the Sound Transit Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension project, the Community Transit Swift Orange Line project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, and the Clark County Public Transit Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN) Mill Plain BRT project. Senator Murray was instrumental in securing the transit funding in the American Rescue Plan and has been a strong advocate for these CIG projects, writing letters of support and communicating to the administration directly on the importance of these projects to Washington state.

“One thing I hear across our state—from Spokane to Seattle and everywhere in between—is that people want more public transit options,” Senator Murray said. “Whether it’s to shorten commutes, decrease traffic, reduce emissions, create jobs, or make our communities more equitable, the demand for transit has been a constant refrain across our state that I’ve heard loud and clear and taken back to the other Washington. And the major federal awards announced today show the other Washington is listening. This funding from the American Rescue Plan means local taxpayers will save money on new buses and light rail, and I’m going to keep working to see these projects through and make sure the other Washington keeps listening to the people of our state.”

The CIG program is a discretionary funding program for the construction and expansion of new and existing fixed-guideway public transit systems such as heavy rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, streetcars, ferries, and certain corridor-based bus systems. Agencies applying to the CIG program work closely with the FTA through rigorous project development and engineering phases, after which the FTA decides whether to give the project a grant agreement and the corresponding federal dollars.

Seattle, WA: Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit Project

SDOT will receive a $10.9 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding for the Madison Street BRT project, a 2.3-mile east-west BRT line along Madison Street from downtown Seattle to the Madison Valley neighborhood in the east, with connections in First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central Area. It will connect people to hospitals, schools, businesses, and other destinations as well as to dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.

“Seattle is building one of the best transit and transportation infrastructure in the country, and support from our federal partners is always critical to our climate and transit goals. After unfortunate delays by the last administration, Senator Murray, Secretary Buttigieg, and the federal delegation have prioritized projects that are good for Seattle, good for jobs, and good for transit. Senator Murray has been relentless to support this critical project and other City and regional priorities like Sound Transit,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “Expanded funding for Madison helps Seattle recover and build back better from COVID-19. It is more important than ever to invest in a transportation system that gets our frontline workers, historically underserved communities, and communities of color where they need to go quickly and reliably. Thank you, Senator Murray, for your consistent help, and your commitment to improving public transit in the City of Seattle.”

Tacoma, WA: Tacoma Link Extension Project

Sound Transit will receive a $20.7 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding for the Hilltop Tacoma Link extension, a 2.4-mile light-rail line that will run along Commerce Street and Stadium Way to the Hilltop District in Tacoma, Washington. The project is currently under construction.

“We are grateful to Senator Murray, our congressional delegation and the Biden Administration for supporting our Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension with this additional funding,” said Sound Transit Board Chair Kent Keel. “In less than a year, residents will have greater access to housing, businesses, medical facilities and educational opportunities in the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods. This would not be possible without our strong federal partnership.”

Spokane, WA: Central City Bus Rapid Transit Project

Spokane Transit Authority will receive a $5.8 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding to establish a 5.8 mile bus rapid transit route to provide fast, reliable transit service between Browne's Addition and Spokane Community College, with connections to downtown Spokane, the University District, and Gonzaga University. The Spokane Central City Line would provide frequent service, with longer hours and weekend service. It would feature permanent stations with better amenities, streetscape and road improvements, and battery-electric, zero-emission vehicles. Establishing the Spokane Central City Line would improve transit travel times, reliability, and accessibility for commuters and residents in Spokane and the surrounding area, and is estimated to generate more than $175 million in economic impact through surrounding land improvements. The project is currently under construction.

“We welcome this exciting news from the Biden Administration and are grateful for strong partnership we have with our congressional delegation,  the Federal Transit Administration, Washington State and the local community. We look forward to launching the City Line bus rapid transit service next year,” said Susan Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, Spokane Transit Authority.

Everett, WA: Swift Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project

Community Transit will receive a $6.5 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding to construct their third BRT line, the Swift Orange Line. The new line would provide residents of Snohomish County with efficient rapid transit options from the Lynnwood Transit Center, the northern terminus of Sound Transit's Link light rail line. The Lynnwood Link extension, which Senator Murray also helped secure federal funding for, is scheduled to open in 2024 and will provide service every four minutes through downtown Seattle and south of the city. Daily ridership is expected to reach over 47,000 by 2026 with 1,900 parking spots available, so bus to rail service provided by Community Transit will be critical in easing traffic congestion and helping commuters get to where they need to be. The line would run 11.3 miles with 15 station pairs and would provide service every 10 minutes on a fleet of 16 buses. The agency predicts that the line will be used by 5,300 daily riders.

“Such incredible news for this community and transit users. Swift Orange Line will expand the bus rapid transit network to connect with light rail, providing faster and more frequent service to get people from where they are to where they want to be,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “We are so grateful to Senator Murray for her ongoing commitment to public transportation, helping to improve access for people to jobs, medical care, education and other essential services.”

Vancouver, WA: Mill Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project

C-TRAN will receive a $3.7 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding to construct their second BRT line, the Mill Plain BRT line. The new 10-mile line would run along Mill Plain Boulevard, the agency's second highest ridership transit corridor, and connect downtown Vancouver to east Vancouver. The BRT service would connect riders to several of the region's key economic, medical and educational centers, including Clark College, Columbia Tech Center, Vancouver Clinic and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. The route that currently serves the Mill Plain Boulevard corridor carried over 776,200 passengers in 2018. The implementation of a BRT line would allow C-TRAN to improve travel time and reliability along the Mill Plain corridor, where population and employment growth are increasing.

Earlier this year, Senator Murray introduced the Public Transit Capital Investment Relief Act of 2021. The legislation would provide relief for public transportation agencies through the CIG Program by increasing the federal cost share of the total project cost for qualifying projects that are under construction or near completion. In Washington state, there are currently two major transit projects that would qualify for an increase in federal cost sharing under the legislation: the Lynnwood Link Extension and the Federal Way Link Extension, both in Seattle. Senator Murray’s legislation would increase funding for the Lynwood Link Extension by a projected $978 million and for the Federal Way Link Extension by $948 million. A full list of current CIG projects can be found HERE

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray has consistently fought to increase and protect federal transportation and infrastructure grant programs, including the CIG program. Senator Murray has also been a strong advocate in Congress for securing and strengthening federal investments in Washington state transportation priorities, including previously helping Sound Transit secure a $1.4 billion commitment from the federal government to help fund the Federal Way light rail extension, making the project possible. Senator Murray was also instrumental in securing more than $1.2 billion in federal funding commitments for the Lynnwood Link extension project in 2018. Earlier this year, Senator Murray commended President Biden for recommending CIG allocations for two Washington state transit projects in his budget proposal.

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