City: Murray Doesn't Plan to Cut Sound Transit Rail Study

City staffers say Mayor Ed Murray does not, contrary to a published report, plan to cut funding for a rail study to pay for buses.

By Erica C. Barnett July 8, 2014

Contrary to the Seattle Times' report (and our follow-up) that a Sound Transit study of rail connectingBallard to downtown was being sacrificed to fund bus-rapid transit service (the Times' transportation reporter, Mike Lindblom, wrote on Twitter, "Murray plan: preserve three night-owl routes by spending less on Ballard-spur transit studies"), SDOT staffers say there are no plans to cut back on studying light rail or any other transit connections between Ballard and downtown Seattle.

That study, in fact, was completed last year. And the left-over money (whoa!), $200,000, is being spent on Night Owl service that would have otherwise been cut as part of the 16 percent hit to Metro service after last April's losing Prop. 1 bus funding vote.

That $200,000 still leaves about $500,000 unfunded of the $700,000 total cost of Night Owl service for the rest of 2014 and 2015. The mayor's transportation advisor, Andrew Glass-Hastings, says the extra money will come from "a variety of sources," including possibly Sound Transit, Metro, and the Feds, but are still "unidentified."

Additionally, SDOT staff say the Times' report (and, again, our re-cap of it) was based on an "incorrect version of [an SDOT] presentation." That presentation, however, is still online.  Here's the updated version

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