Sound Transit and city to study new rail service to Ballard

Sound Transit and the city of Seattle have agreed to study a new rail service that would serve Ballard. Sound Transit’s board approved the study, which will look at creating a “high-capacity” rail extension between downtown Seattle and Ballard, according to the Seattle PI. The study has been scheduled to begin next year and be done by mid-2014, and Seattle will contribute up to $800,000 to study the “rapid streetcar” service, the PI reports.

Mayor Mike McGinn has been a staunch supporter of expanded rail service to our neighborhood, and the Seattle City Council approved the funding for the study in July. McGinn tweeted this yesterday: “Thank you, Sound Transit Board for unanimous vote today to put $2 mil to help plan for Downtown-Ballard rail.” Coucilmember Tom Rasmussen told the Capitol Seattle Hill Blog this summer, ”This means we’ll look at the options for high capacity transit between downtown and Ballard. It doesn’t mean we’ve okayed light rail or a tunnel — it means we will fund a study of what the best option for transit could be.” The study will include evaluating the potential services, routes and station locations of the railway.

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