Early Scoping Notification for the Alternatives Analysis of the Tacoma Link Expansion in Tacoma, WA
Notification of early scoping meeting.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) issue this early scoping notice to advise other agencies and the public that they intend to explore potential alternatives for expanding the existing Tacoma Link light rail transit system in Tacoma, Pierce County Washington, in order to improve connections to the regional transit system and major activity centers. This notice invites the public to help frame the upcoming alternatives analysis by commenting on: the project's purpose and need, the transportation problems to be addressed by the study, potential solutions to the problems, the relevant transportation and community impacts and benefits to be considered, the appropriate extent of the study area, and ways for the public to participate in the alternatives analysis process. The alternatives analysis is likely to conclude with the identification of a preferred mode and corridor. If preparation of an environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is warranted following completion of the planning alternatives analysis, FTA will publish a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS. This early scoping process is intended to support the alternatives analysis and a future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping process, as appropriate. In addition, it supports FTA planning requirements associated with the New Starts (``Section 5309'') funding program for certain kinds of major capital investments. While recent legislation may lead to changes in the New Starts process, Sound Transit will comply with relevant FTA requirements relating to planning and project development to help it analyze and screen alternatives in preparation for NEPA. Public meetings are described immediately below. Following that is a more detailed discussion of the project and this early scoping process.