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West Side To Vote On $6.7 Billion Mass Transit Plan

Thu., Oct. 31, 1996

Last year a $6.7 billion rail-and-bus transit plan for King, Pierce and Snohomish counties never got out of the station.

Now, with the fare cut to $3.9 billion, backers hope that turnout as high as 75 percent will give their side more oomph than the 47 percent yes vote in May 1995.

Slightly more than half the money during construction would come from a sales tax increase of four-tenths of a penny on the dollar and a boost of three-tenths of 1 percent in the motor vehicle excise tax.

More than $1 billion would be financed through municipal bonds, $155 million would come from passenger fares, and federal grants totaling $727 million would be sought.

Nearly two-thirds of the cost would go for rail links - $669 million for commuter service over existing tracks in the approximately 65-mile corridor between Everett and Lakewood, south of Tacoma, and $1.8 billion for construction of electric light rail lines between SeaTac and the University District of Seattle, and between the Tacoma Dome and downtown Tacoma.

Another $377 million would go for construction of exclusive bus and carpool freeway ramps, $361 million for single-ticket regional express bus service, $280 million for new technology and administrative expenses, $255 million for transit centers and park-and-ride lots, and $171 million for debt payment during construction.

The measure has drawn support from 80 organizations, including almost all the local government entities, major corporations and business and civic groups in the affected areas.

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