USA: The Sound Transit Board approved a $1·2bn 2015 budget for public transport projects in the Seattle area on December 18, including several light rail developments.

The budget includes $121m to complete station construction, fit-out and testing for the University Link extension, due to open in early 2016. A further $208m is allotted for the Northgate Link, $143m for East Link pre-construction work and $16·3m for final design work for the Lynwood Link.

The budget is based on assumptions of 32 million passenger-journeys. ‘Sound Transit is poised to see record ridership growth in 2015, while staying on track for the early, under-budget completion of light rail to the University of Washington and rollout of the next rail expansion plan,’ said Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine.

Sound Transit is also preparing to introduce a ballot measure for November 2016 where voters can approve further funding programmes.