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February 3, 2004

Bush earmarks more money for light rail

SEATTLE -- Sound Transit officials said Monday that President Bush has proposed in his fiscal year 2005 budget giving $80 million to the agency for Central Link light rail.

The money is the full amount that Sound Transit requested for 2005.

Sound Transit is building the $2.4-billion, 14-mile light rail line from downtown Seattle to Tukwila. The line is to be operating in 2009.

Sound Transit last year secured a $500 million full-funding grant agreement from the Federal Transit Administration for the project plus a $75-million appropriation for fiscal year 2004.

The issuance of the president's 2005 budget kicks off the federal appropriations process. The proposed $80 million is the 2005 installment of the full-funding grant agreement. To date, Sound Transit officials say the agency has received $166 million of the grant.

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