Congressman Dave Reichert paid a visit to Renton on Tuesday morning, along with officials from King County Metro, the City of Renton and the City of Bellevue, among other F Line supporters.
"I just think it's great work that you're doing. As you all go through this project, you obviously communicated well with each other, but keep us in mind," Reichert said during a late morning gathering near the Renton Transit Center at , adding that he's happy to continue to support the project and do "whatever we can do to help."
Reichert's stop in Renton followed a morning full of RapidRide touring and talks in Bellevue, which included a ride on one of the new bright red coaches.
The RapidRide concept, billed as "the future of travel," promises to get bus commuters from point A to point B quickly and on time. That is, of course, an important factor when public transportation is used by employees on their way to and from work.
Current F Line plans and budget call for a RapidRide line from the Burien Transit Center via Tukwila and Southcenter to Renton's Transit Station in the downtown core; however, city officials have high hopes for an extension to .
The RapidRide line is expected to deliver its riders "10 percent faster" than the current service provided along the same route, according to King County Metro.
Business owners in have requested the extension as well, said Mayor Denis Law. The new line would provide more predictable bus service to employees who need to get to work on time, and the RapidRide F line would help them do that, he said.
"It's not on the map yet," said Kevin Desmond, division manager of Metro Transit, of an extension to The Landing. "We don't know if it'll happen by 2013, but it seems like it would make sense."
The capital cost of the addition would run about $3 million, Desmond said.
The estimated cost for lines A-F, including the cost of the buses, is estimated at $215 million said Karen Rosenzweig, program manager. The F Line budget is $35.1 million, which includes $9.9 million in corridor and roadway improvements, $8.4 million in passenger facilities and $16.8 million for 16 buses.
Funding for the project will eventually come from a mix of the King County Metro budget and various grants, Rosenzweig said. Funding for the F Line from the Very Small Starts grant is included in the president’s budget in the amount of $15.9 million; however, it has not been appropriated.
Renton Council member Greg Taylor and Bellevue Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee were also at the Luther's Table gathering, where Reichert praised King County Metro Transit and City officials and other project partners for working together to accomplish the new line.