Are you a medium-level transit nerd? Maybe you take new bus lines for fun but don't quite know the complex mechanisms behind each transit agency's funding. So when you're trying to figure out how to make our transit system better, sometimes you get in over your head. You know we should probably expand Sound Transit. But when? Where? How?
Ben Schiendelman over at The Urbanist has a clear, step-by-step explanation of how the process of expanding Sound Transit works, starting with their Long Range Plan:
Long Range Plan
At a very high level – everything starts with advocacy. To move forward on any project, someone must first convince Sound Transit staff, and eventually the Sound Transit Board, to add that project to the agency’s Long Range Plan – an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) first finalized in 1993...
This document is a holistic look at the whole Sound Transit system and how it might expand: those projects that have already opened, those funded or under construction, and those that might be funded someday. The Long Range Plan is financially unconstrained – it isn’t worried about how much funding authority Sound Transit has now, or even how much funding they might win in a future vote. It’s intended to be a menu of projects the agency might build in the foreseeable future, with some, but variable, understanding of their scope and cost, and how those projects would fit into what’s already on the way.
The current update started in 2013, and should be complete by the end of this year. There’s a lot of public input gathered throughout, as with any EIS, and at the end, Sound Transit will release a new plan to the public, showing us all the directions we’ve asked them to go.