The news came today during a Sound Transit Board meeting: Extending light rail to Lynnwood will cost $500 million more and take a year longer than expected.
The extra costs could suck money from future light rail projects. They could also hurt the agency's reputation among a finicky public.
The planned line to Lynnwood is part of the Sound Transit 2 expansion voters approved in 2008. But the agency's fiscal responsibility was key to last year's argument for the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 package. Despite early dysfunction, the argument went, the agency had gotten its shit together and was now regularly delivering projects ahead of schedule and under budget. But soon after ST3 passed, anger over the car tab fees that will help fund new light rail lines reignited skepticism of the agency. As the agency beats back attacks in both Washingtons, it's a particularly bad time for news of a blown budget and timeline.