Senators Cantwell, Murray Announce Major Federal Investments in Puget Sound Light Rail Projects

Senators announce two $100 million federal awards for the Lynnwood Link and Federal Way Link light rail extension projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will invest significant new federal funds towards the completion of the Lynnwood Link and Federal Way Link light rail extension projects. The awards, totaling $100 million for the Lynnwood Link Light Rail Extension and $100 million for the Federal Way Link Extension, are awarded through the FTA Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program and will be distributed to Sound Transit.

“This funding will help to meet increasing demand for public transit, connecting commuters to downtown Seattle and beyond, and reducing congestion on our roads. The Federal Way project will enable folks to travel from Federal Way to Sea-Tac airport in just 15 minutes and Kent or Des Moines to downtown Seattle in just 42 minutes. For Lynnwood, the funding will help provide Snohomish County commuters a reliable transit option that delivers the connectivity they need – with just a 28 minute commute time between Lynnwood and downtown Seattle,” Senator Cantwell said.

“These critical federal investments will help lay tracks for Puget Sound’s continued recovery and growth on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Murray. “I’m going to keep working with my colleagues in Congress and with Sound Transit to strengthen federal support for these emission- and congestion-reducing transportation priorities—and more—that will help improve mobility for workers, families, and others across our state.”

The Federal Way Link extension will extend light rail service from Angle Lake station in SeaTac south to Federal Way, and is on track to be completed by 2024. The Lynnwood Link extension will extend light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood City Center, with service scheduled to begin in 2024.

“The ongoing federal investment in Sound Transit’s expansion north and south not only helps commuters in our region but also helps fuel our regional economy,” said Kent Keel, Sound Transit Board Chair and University Place Council Member. “We are grateful to the Federal Transit Administration and to Sen. Murray, Sen. Cantwell, and the entire congressional delegation for their continued support to improve transit in our region.”

Senators Cantwell and Murray have both been strong advocates in Congress for securing and strengthening federal investments in Washington state transportation priorities, including previously helping Sound Transit to secure a $1.4 billion full funding grant agreement (FFGA) for the Federal Way light rail extension, making the project possible. Senators Cantwell and Murray were also instrumental in securing more than $1.2 billion in federal funding commitments for the Lynnwood Link extension project in 2018.

Senator Cantwell has long fought for more public transit and infrastructure funding for Puget Sound and Washington state, and she has repeatedly pressed senior Department of Transportation officials for funding for the both the Federal Way and Lynnwood Link projects. At Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing, Cantwell urged Chao to prioritize more funding for Sound Transit. Cantwell has also fought back against the administration’s efforts to cancel funding for nearly 60 shovel-ready public transit projects, including the Lynnwood Link project, and has advocated for strong funding for the Capital Investment Grant program. A longtime champion for critical transportation and infrastructure projects in Washington state and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray helped secure a historic $2.644 billion for the CIG program in the FY19 federal spending bill to support ongoing and new transit projects in Washington state and throughout the nation, including the Federal Way Link and Lynnwood Link Light Rail Extension projects.