I concur with Morgan Alexander and Erik Bjornson that the Tacoma Link extension should focus on providing the highest possible ridership and mobility and should stay away from a politically motivated decision (Your Voice, 3-13).
Sound Transit figures indicate that a B1 alignment to the Stadium District and Sixth Avenue would increase ridership by up to 3.5 million riders per year. An E1 alignment to the Stadium District and Martin Luther King Jr. Way would increase ridership by a similar amount.
The B1 alignment on Sixth Avenue is a good choice for offering the greatest possible mobility gain for the most people. It offers a 30 percent increase in transit reliability versus existing bus service and would make for faster trips for commuters to downtown Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome Station.
The E1 alignment on Martin Luther King Jr. Way has a bit more development potential, but it is less direct than existing bus routes, which will affect ridership and trip times.
I urge the City Council to have respect for the lengths that past councils, feasibility and stakeholder committees, transit staff and residents have made to provide input into this process. If the council were to tamper with the project’s parameters to suit one corridor over another, it would depreciate the value of their work and our public input, and would ultimately have less justification for being our locally preferred alternative.