Sound Transit Board members have approved a new timeline for the ST3 plan to bring light rail extensions two to five years sooner than originally promised at eight locations, as well as adding new stations to Kirkland, North Seattle and Renton. To do that, Sound Transit Board members say they want $4 billion dollars more, bringing the total package cost from $50 billion to $54 billion.

Another way of looking at it is that Sound Transit is promising to deliver ST3 projects to taxpayers 23 years from now for $4 billion more, which seems like an awful lot for a 7.4% spending increase.

It is like the famous decoy effect in marketing; get consumers to think they are getting a great deal on an overpriced product they would otherwise never buy. So in terms of time, if a company promises to deliver a service 125 years from now and then changes their plan and announces they will deliver the service 25 years sooner, it sounds favorable – until you realize it is still a century away.

Read more