Press Releases

Larsen Applauds Transit Funding, Calls On Congress To Do Its Part

Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today applauded the transit funding included in the President’s budget for critical projects in Northwest Washington, and he pledged to continue fighting for strong transportation investments as Congress takes up the budget for FY2017.

In his budget request to Congress for FY2017, President Obama included $125 million for Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link light rail extension, part of a total $1.1 billion grant intended for the project (through the New Starts program). The President also included $43 million for Community Transit’s second Swift rapid-transit bus route between Paine Field and Canyon Park in Bothell (through the Small Starts program).

Larsen supported both grant applications.

“It is a big deal that President Obama included job-creating transit funding for Northwest Washington in his budget. The millions of dollars for bus rapid transit and light rail are a marker of the strength of the projects and the need of our region. The Swift line will better connect workers and employment centers in Snohomish County. The Lynnwood link is a critical part of Sound Transit’s efforts to build light rail that will serve as a transit spine from Everett to Tacoma.

“The onus is now on Congress to fully fund the Federal Transit Administration for the coming year and to get a budget done on time. The President has laid out a strong plan for transit, and I will fight to turn line items on a page into real transit solutions for Northwest Washington.

“We cannot have a big league economy with little league infrastructure. Building up the transit network that Northwest Washington needs will cut down growing traffic congestion and enable people and products to move more efficiently,” Larsen said.

Larsen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led efforts late last year to include Pacific Northwest transportation priorities in the new five-year transportation bill. In September, Larsen rode a Community Transit bus with morning commuters from Lynnwood to Seattle to discuss transit issues.

Background on Community Transit’s Swift Lines

Community Transit in Snohomish County created the state’s first Bus Rapid Transit line in 2009.

It has been a huge success. Swift carries about 5,700 riders every weekday. The Swift line was funded with federal assistance, including: $1.5 million from the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program; $11.3 million in capital to purchase 15 Swift buses from the Federal Transit Administration bus and bus facilities accounts; and $480,000 to operate Swift for late-night/weekend service, through FTA’s Job Access and Reverse Commute program.