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Foxx: Connected Networks Are Key to Seattle's Success; Speaks at Light Rail Opening

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx described Sound Transit’s efforts to use public transportation to enhance access to jobs, education and other forms of opportunity at opening ceremonies March 19 for the Seattle’s agency’s University Link light rail line.

“Seattle’s commitment to an effective and connected transportation network will be the key to its success as the region’s economy and population continues to grow,” Foxx added.

In DOT’s Fast Lane blog, FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan, who also attended the opening, said “when we’re making an investment in transportation infrastructure, we don’t just look at how it will move people around, but how it will move them upward … such as how the project will improve access to things like jobs, healthcare and education … [P]ublic transportation has a unique ability to pave the way for economic and social mobility in a way that is personal and tangible.”

During the event, Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine called the opening “an historic achievement—delivering new high-capacity light rail that will transform transportation in our region for the next century.”

The 3.2-mile line extension, with two new stations, brings light rail to the growing Seattle neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (UW).

Almost half the cost of the $1.95 billion project, $829 million, came from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program and other DOT funds, with the balance coming from local sources. The agency noted that the line opened six months ahead of schedule and about $200 million under budget.

Sound Transit is now preparing for the opening this fall of a 1.6-mile light rail extension from SeaTac/Airport Station to the new Angle Lake Station. Construction is also underway on light rail tunnels that will extend the University Link extension by 4.3 miles to the Northgate neighborhood north of UW with three new stations when it opens in 2021.

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke at ceremonies to mark the opening of Sound Transit’s University Link light rail line.

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