In January, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced it was pushing back the planned start of service on the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project to 2023 based on a federal consultant’s findings that the city would need “an additional $6.2 million in funds to cover unexpected events or circumstances that could arise during construction” and a longer construction timeline.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Seattle Times now has details on exactly what SDOT will need to do to win federal approval of much-needed $60 million in funding for the line:
PMA Consultants concluded that SDOT “does not yet have the management capacity and capability to implement an FTA-funded major capital program.”
“The assessment said SDOT had agreed to take ‘positive steps to correct the deficiencies,'” the Times reports.
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The new revelations aren’t necessarily more bad news for the challenged future RapidRide G route. SDOT officials said in January they were updating plans to meet the recommendations.
The now $127.5 million, 2.3 mile, 10-station route will provide faster transportation between downtown’s 1st Ave and MLK Jr. Way, passing through First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. It will connect to “dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal,” planners say.
The effort is also part of an inquiry into local transportation projects that use federal dollars. In late November the U.S. Department of Transportation announced an audit into SDOT’s federal grants.