News Releases

Murray Announces More than $27 Million in Grants to Help Ease Commute in Puget Sound Region

Aug 27 2004

Sound Transit Will Buy BNSF Right of Way; King County Gets Hybrid Buses

(Washington, D.C.) -- Senator Patty Murray today announced that the Department of Transportation has released more than $27 million in grants to benefit commuters in King and Snohomish counties. The funds, which Murray secured in Transportation Appropriations bills, will boost Sound Transit’s efforts to speed and smooth rail service between Everett and Seattle and help King County in its ongoing effort to purchase a new fleet of hybrid buses.

“We face serious transportation challenges in the Puget Sound region, and that's why I've made improving our transportation infrastructure one of my top priorities. I’m happy to partner with these local agencies in our joint efforts to ease the strain on commuters and improve the quality of life for all who live and work in the region,” said Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

The $24 million award to Sound Transit will allow the agency to purchase the right of way on the BNSF line between Everett and Seattle for the Sounder Commuter rail service. The money was secured by Murray in two separate parts -- $9,913,100 in the FY 2002 Appropriations bill and $14,096,549 in the FY 2003 Appropriations bill.

The King County Department of Transportation will use its $3.6 million grant to buy 19 new hybrid buses for King County Metro Transit. In May, Murray joined King County leaders as they took delivery of the first two dozen new 60-foot, clean-air hybrid buses. The new Hybrid buses are projected to conserve 750,000 gallons of fuel each year compared to the existing buses used by King County.

As the ranking member, and past chairman, of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray has worked hard to bring federal dollars back to Washington state to improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Last year alone, Murray secured more than $245 million in transportation funding for the state.