The Bellevue, Redmond and Issaquah City Councils recently passed resolutions in support of regional Proposition 1, the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure.
Sound Transit’s November ballot measure will bring tremendous value to our cities by connecting important employment and growth centers on the Eastside with a frequent and reliable light rail and bus rapid transit network.
With Proposition 1, light rail will be extended from downtown Bellevue and Microsoft into Redmond’s vibrant downtown with its mixed-use development. Redmond continues to grow rapidly with its population expected to increase by 54 percent by 2040.
Investing in light rail will create long-term capacity to move hundreds of thousands of new people that are expected to call this region home in the next 25 years. A single general purpose freeway lane can only carry 2,000 cars, while a single light rail train has the capacity to carry 16,000 people an hour in each direction.
Proposition 1 also delivers light rail to Issaquah, Eastgate and South Kirkland. This new line will connect some of the region’s largest employers including Google, Costco and T-Mobile as well as creating new connections to Bellevue College.
We need this transit capacity on this growing corridor. In the second quarter of 2016, 8 percent more riders than during the same period in 2015 took the Sound Transit Express Route 554 that runs between Seattle and Issaquah on the I-90 corridor.
That ridership growth likely won’t slow down on this corridor anytime soon. Puget Sound Regional Council projects the population in Issaquah will grow by 36 percent, Bellevue by 33 percent and Kirkland by 27 percent between 2010 and 2040.
Proposition 1 will create bus rapid transit from Burien to Renton on I-405 and SR 518, Renton to Bothell on I-405 and Bothell to Shoreline/Seattle light rail station on SR 522. For commuters who feel the pain of these congested corridors every single day, these transit investments will offer a reliable choice to get out of traffic.
And while all of this is being built out, Sound Transit will add more express bus service in east King County and add more parking in north Sammamish so that residents can get to transit.
Proposition 1 will serve the Eastside well, but you don’t have to take our word for it.
Business organizations that Eastsiders respect and trust such as the Bellevue Downtown Association, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and OneRedmond also support this measure.
They know that investing in a high quality transit system is critical to the continued economic vitality of the Eastside.
This is our opportunity to invest in a mass transit system that will serve the Eastside for generations to come.
Join us in voting yes on regional Proposition 1.
Fred Butler is the mayor of Issaquah, John Marchione is the mayor of Redmond and John Stokes is the mayor of Bellevue.
Editor’s Note: To read a viewpoint from an ST3 opponent, visit www.bellevuereporter.com/opinion/396590861.html