U.S. Department of Transportation has executed a new $87.7 million low-interest loan to Sound Transit that will reduce regional taxpayers’ costs for light rail expansions in Bellevue.

The loan, with an interest rate of 2.73 percent, is the agency’s second under a $1.99 billion master credit agreement approved by USDOT last December. This credit agreement is the first of its kind in the nation in supporting four separate Sound Transit projects.

“The people of Puget Sound stand to benefit the most from this needed loan,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “As our region’s population grows and congestion worsens, we need, more than ever, a mass transit network that connects our communities to jobs and economic opportunity.”

Loans supporting Sound Transit’s  Federal Way and Lynnwood light rail extensions are expected to be executed next year.

Sound Transit applied for the federal funds TIFIA loans to insulate the agency from unexpected downturns in the economy and provide taxpayers savings from agency borrowing costs. The program loans allow the agency to borrow money at rates that are typically significantly lower than otherwise available.