Fraser bill could add northern Thurston County to Sound Transit

February 10th, 2015|

OLYMPIA – A bill that would give local governments and voters the ability to decide if northern Thurston County will become a sub region within the Sound Transit system was heard today in the Senate Transportation Committee.

“The goal of this bill is to give people in northern Thurston County more transit options,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County. “Traffic studies show that each weekday 15,000 trips are made into the county and 30,000 trips are made out. Add in that half of all the trips through the JBLM corridor get on or off the exits, which leads to the congestion we’re all too familiar with. Local governments and voters should have the ability to consider additional transportation options that can help reduce traffic congestion and improve bus routes north from our region.”

Senate Bill 5780 would allow not only Thurston County residents but also local governments and the voters in counties that border the existing Regional Transit Authority counties, west of the Cascade mountains, to decide if they would like to be annexed in to the Regional Transit Authority, Sound Transit.

“We are a long way off from having light rail or a commuter train come and go from our region,” said Fraser. “This proposal is about giving local governments and the people the chance to determine if they want more efficient bus routes from our county in the short run. I know there is a considerable amount of frustration about the traffic congestion to and from our region. This would make one more option available to consider.”