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The legislature recognizes that existing transportation facilities in the central Puget Sound area are inadequate to address mobility needs of the area. The geography of the region, travel demand growth, and public resistance to new roadways combine to further necessitate the rapid development of alternative modes of travel.
The legislature finds that local governments have been effective in cooperatively planning a multicounty, high capacity transportation system. However, a continued multijurisdictional approach to funding, construction, and operation of a multicounty high capacity transportation system may impair the successful implementation of such a system.
The legislature finds that a single agency will be more effective than several local jurisdictions working collectively at planning, developing, operating, and funding a high capacity transportation system. The single agency's services must be carefully integrated and coordinated with public transportation services currently provided. As the single agency's services are established, any public transportation services currently provided that are duplicative should be eliminated. Further, the single agency must coordinate its activities with other agencies providing local and state roadway services, implementing comprehensive planning, and implementing transportation demand management programs and assist in developing infrastructure to support high capacity systems including but not limited to feeder systems, park and ride facilities, intermodal centers, and related roadway and operational facilities. Coordination can be best achieved through common governance, such as integrated governing boards.
It is therefore the policy of the state of Washington to empower counties in the state's most populous region to create a local agency for planning and implementing a high capacity transportation system within that region. The authorization for such an agency, except as specifically provided in this chapter, is not intended to limit the powers of existing transit agencies.
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