[nfbwatlk] FW: Sound Transit CEO Report

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 11 04:23:35 UTC 2009



From: Sound Transit [mailto:soundtransit at govdelivery.com] 
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 3:02 PM
To: lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Subject: Sound Transit CEO Report


 Wave <http://htmlmail.soundtransit.org/ceoreport/CEO-header.jpg> 

CEO Report 


>From Joni Earl 

Oct. 9, 2009 

In this edition 

Moving forward on Sound Transit 2 

East Link workshops next week 

Seahawks this Sunday 

Photo of the Week 


Today is a Special Day for me.  Nine years ago today, I started my journey
with Sound Transit as the new Chief Operating Officer. It's hard to believe
how fast the past nine years have flown by and the incredible challenges and
accomplishments we have experienced together during this time at the Agency.

As I developed today's CEO report and thought about the new revenue forecast
I discuss below, I am confident that through our strong Board leadership,
continuing community support and amazing and talented staff, we will
together address these challenges in a positive, transparent and successful

Thanks for being part of our journey via the CEO report. 

Moving forward on Sound Transit 2 

The continuing national economic recession is hitting hard everywhere and
that includes Sound Transit. The extent of the downturn, and the strategies
available to keep our projects and services on track, was a major discussion
item Thursday during the Sound Transit Board meeting. 

The most up-to-date independent financial forecasts show that our revenue
for the next 15 years is down $3.1 billion or about 20 percent below what
had been projected in the summer of 2008, when the Sound Transit 2 plan was
approved by the Board. 

Sound Transit receives most of its tax revenue from the local sales tax,
with a smaller percentage from the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET). With the
struggling economy, people aren't buying as much and our revenues are down. 

It's important to remember that the revenue impact is over a 15-year
timeframe and although the shortfall is an enormous challenge, the agency
has tools to deal with it. 

And there is some brighter news in the latest forecast, which was completed
in August by Conway and Associates. The forecast shows that the economy has
hit bottom, is slowly rebounding and next year we should see positive
growth. In addition, because of the bad economy the cost of building
projects and buying right of way is down, and we're receiving lower bids by
companies to build-at least in the near term. 

So, what do we do? 

Over the course of this year, a team of internal Sound Transit experts has
been studying that very issue. During an all-day retreat earlier this year,
the Board instructed staff to make steady progress and maintain the agency's
15-year schedule for carrying out our voter-approved ST2 projects. As you
know, those projects include building light rail extensions east to the
Overlake Transit Center, north to Lynnwood and south to the Federal Way

On Thursday, the team presented a "white paper" report to the Board that
outlines our principles for dealing with the shortfall. Those principles

*	Saving operating dollars wherever and whenever possible. Potential
examples include accelerating the building of a Sounder maintenance base and
standardizing the size and scope of future stations. 

*	Acquiring knowledge early on about capital projects to increase
certainty and reduce risks. This could include taking advantage of alternate
methods like design-build and preparing environmental and engineering work
earlier for some light rail extensions to reduce risks and compete for

*	Maintain strict cost and scope control on projects. 

*	Optimize the building phases of projects to save dollars. That might
include accelerating the start of some projects. 

*	The Board added another principle, which is that the agency continue
being transparent about the risks and challenges ahead. 

We all understand that managing our projects over the coming years will
require continuous oversight, tough tradeoffs and making sure we carefully
control the size and scope of each project. 

You can read the white paper report here: 


East Link workshops next week 

Work is moving ahead this fall on the East Link light rail project. At the
Sound Transit Board meeting on Thursday, staff provided the latest updates
on the Board's preferred route alternative and station locations, including
a new tunnel route under downtown Bellevue. The Sound Transit Board
concurred with staff's recommendation that this route was encouraging and
should be studied to a conceptual engineering level to gather more

As you might recall, the Board recently identified a preferred East Link
alternative with eastside stations serving Mercer Island, south Bellevue,
downtown Bellevue, Bel-Red, Overlake and downtown Redmond, connecting to
Seattle via I-90 over Lake Washington. ST2 funds construction between
Seattle and Overlake and environmental review and preliminary engineering on
the future extension to downtown Redmond. 

Also on Thursday, Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger updated the Board on a
committee of Eastside leaders that are meeting to identify and review
potential funding strategies to help pay for a possible light rail tunnel in
downtown Bellevue. 

A series of neighborhood workshops are scheduled next week to go over the
Board's preferred alternative and hear feedback from the community. All
workshops are from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The meetings are: 

Monday, Oct. 12, 2009  
5 to 7:30 p.m.  
VFW Building (Jerry Foley Memorial Hall) 
4330 148th Ave. NE, Redmond 

South Bellevue 
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 
5 to 7:30 p.m.  
Bellevue High School (Cafeteria) 
10416 Wolverine Way, Bellevue 

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 
5 to 7:30 p.m. 
Stevenson Elementary School (Gymnasium) 
14220 NE 8th St, Bellevue 

Learn more about the East Link Project on the Web >>> 

Seahawks Sunday 

No need to drive to the Seahawks game on Sunday. As usual, we're running
Sounder trains to King Street Station, a very short walk to Qwest Field. 


If you can't make a Sounder train, ST Express buses and Link light rail
trains also provide regular service with stops near the stadium. 

Photo of the Week 

Our photo this week shows workers on the M Street to Lakewood Sounder track
and signal project. 

to/> . 

 Union Station image

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