Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $2,000,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for the Tukwila International Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit Station Project.

“Sound Transit’s Stride bus rapid transit system will improve the speed, frequency and reliability of service and enable riders to move easily to and from Link light rail at locations including Tukwila International Boulevard Station,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and City of University Place Councilmember Kent Keel. “This important transit hub serves diverse communities, and the federal funding Congressman Smith is seeking will help us provide our riders with fast and seamless connections.” 

Project funding will be used for the construction of a new freeway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station that connects to the existing Tukwila International Boulevard light rail station via a new pedestrian bridge. This will provide an easy transfer for BRT riders looking to use light rail travel to Downtown Seattle, Lynnwood, and Federal Way.

The new BRT station is part of Sound Transit’s I-405 BRT project, called “Stride,” that will serve King and Snohomish counties. Sound Transit is currently implementing the most ambitious transit expansion in the nation: building clean energy mobility options for the future, delivering transit services for essential workers, and providing thousands of family-wage jobs.

Fast, frequent I-405 BRT service will increase access to jobs and other services and can reduce the burden of vehicle ownership. The TIB BRT Station can help improve health conditions for residents in surrounding communities by reducing air pollutant emissions, including diesel, through the reduced vehicle trips.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $3,000,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for King County Metro’s South Campus Interim Base Electrification Project.

“Our work toward fully transforming King County Metro to a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2035 will take a big step forward with the construction of the electrical charging infrastructure at our South Campus base that Congressman Smith is helping to make possible,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Once built, Metro will be able to maintain and operate 125 battery electric buses. This investment will help combat the global climate crisis and reduce local pollution. The new buses will serve riders in south King County, where residents are disproportionately affected by pollution.”

King County Metro at its South Campus in Tukwila is implementing the first phase of infrastructure improvements that will enable Metro to achieve its goal of a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2040. This work is occurring at the South Campus Interim Base facility where Metro is adding electrification infrastructure to operate and maintain up to 125 battery electric buses. The electrification work at these facilities includes the installation of necessary electrical infrastructure and charging equipment including transformers, switchgear, chargers, cabling, charging, and connectors. The facility is scheduled to be in operation by 2025.

The project will improve public health by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Metro Transit operations, helping King County and Washington State meet GHG reduction targets defined in King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan and RCW 70.235.020 through deploying zero-emission fleet technologies.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $750,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s MLK Jr. Way S Safety and Accessibility Improvements Project.

“We can save lives with safer streets as part of the Invest in America Act,” said City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Seattle has implemented a series of improvements along Rainier Ave S – Seattle’s most crash prone, high-injury street, but our work to improve this corridor is far from done. This project will help reduce the disproportionately high rates of speeding and head-on and off-the-road collisions that now plague this segment of Rainier and MLK Way, providing a safer connection to the Judkins Park and Mt Baker light rail stations, the I-90 trail, Franklin High School, and the Metro Transit Center.”

The project will build protected bike lanes, mark and signalize missing crosswalks, fill a sidewalk gap, and make other safety and accessibility improvements and repairs along 1.1 miles of Martin Luther King Jr. Way S at the north end of Seattle’s Rainier Valley. This project will connect the existing Mt. Baker Station on Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail line with the soon to open Judkins Park Station on the East Link line via a bicycle facility that will be attractive to existing and potential riders of all ages and abilities.

During public outreach for Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan in 2019, a north-south bicycle route in the Rainier Valley emerged as a top citywide priority. This will help ensure that residents and workers in Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods have better transportation choices and safe connections to the regional light rail system.

The project will also make a series of improvements at and near the critical Rainier Ave S and MLK Jr. Way S intersection, where three people walking have been killed in traffic collisions in just the past two years. This neighborhood has seen recent investment in affordable housing with several hundred units already open or in various stages of the development pipeline, but the busy intersection at its center makes walking and biking a challenging and dangerous experience.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $2,500,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for the City of Kent’s Meeker Complete Street/Safe Routes to School Project.

“Meet Me On Meeker is a public-private partnership that is reconstructing an auto-centric thoroughfare into a multi-modal complete street one segment at a time,” said City of Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. “The Meet Me on Meeker effort has been a catalyst for both significant urban redevelopment and increased quality of life for people who call Kent home.  As one of the most diverse cities in the nation and the most diverse city in Washington, Kent is committed to developing an equitable, multimodal transportation system. Due to budgetary pressures for essential services, capital investments are hard to come by and the federal participation championed by Representative Smith is vital to keeping the Meeker Complete Street/Safe Routes to School Project and the community moving forward.”

The project would convert Meeker Street (64th Avenue S to just east of Kent Elementary School) from a congested 5-lane roadway to a 3-lane roadway with on-street parking on both sides of the street and a separated 2-way cycle track on the south side of the street. The complete street project also includes decorative street lighting, landscaping, and other sidewalk and median improvements to create a more comfortable experience for vulnerable users and to increase safety for all modes. The design is projected to reduce the likelihood of speeding and fatal and severe crashes. The roadway will also be repaved, extending the life of this minor arterial, and providing much-needed maintenance in this mixed-use area near the City Center.

The Meeker St project extends the Meet Me on Meeker promenade converting Meeker into a multimodal, complete street leading to Downtown Kent and the Central Business District. This critical segment fronts a retail shopping center and Kent Elementary School, providing an important connection to support safe routes to school efforts. The improvements support an existing frequent transit route and a planned King County Metro Rapid Ride route. This critical bus rapid transit route will connect communities in Kent, SeaTac, Tukwila, and Seattle with employment opportunities throughout the region.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $2,000,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for Rainier Avenue South Corridor Improvements in Renton, Washington.

“We are extremely grateful for Congressman Smith’s leadership for including funds in the continued work on improving the Rainier Avenue corridor through our community,” said Renton Mayor Pavone. “This project will make Rainier Avenue more convenient for all users – for people walking, driving to transit stops, shopping, or delivering goods and services. The project will also make the Rainier Corridor easier to navigate for those who need to reach key employment centers.”

This funding will support Phase 4 of the Rainier Ave S Corridor Improvements project, starting from S Grady Way to Renton city limits, and adjacent to the Renton Municipal Airport. The project will upgrade walkway conditions and streetscape, and address pedestrian infrastructure continuity gaps. The funding will also support the reconstruction of substandard traffic signals, upgrading signal timing and coordination, and an extension of southbound Business Access & Transit (BAT) lanes

Since 2012, there have been over 250 collisions on Rainier Avenue. This project will improve the safety of the corridor by increasing separation between pedestrians and vehicle lanes with a landscaped buffer and wider sidewalks and by installing a new pedestrian-activated signal and curb ramp improvements for ADA accessibility. Reconstruction of substandard traffic signals, upgrading signal timing and coordination, and an extension of southbound Business Access & Transit (BAT) lanes will improve transit speed and reliability as well as general traffic mobility.

Accommodating transit is crucial as Rainier Avenue South connects with the current Tukwila Sounder Station and the soon-to-be constructed South Renton Transit Center (Rainier Avenue/Grady Way). That Transit Center will be a major connection hub for existing fixed-route services as well as new Bus Rapid Transit – the Sound Transit “Stride” and the King County Metro Rapid Ride I Line.

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