[nfbwatlk] FW: Sound Transit CEO Report

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 17 07:28:29 UTC 2009



From: Sound Transit [mailto:soundtransit at govdelivery.com] 
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 4:32 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 

Jan. 16, 2009 

In this edition 

$813 million federal grant awarded to University Link 

Sound Transit's 2009 Milestones unveiled 

East Link open houses start next week 

Service change for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Photo of the Week 

Sound Transit Board action from Thursday 


$813 million federal grant awarded to University Link light rail 

University Link is well on its way. The Federal Transit Administration on
Thursday officially awarded Sound Transit a $813 million federal grant that
will pay about 41 percent of the $1.9 billion cost of building the 3.15-mile
underground light rail extension between downtown Seattle and the University
of Washington. 

With an enthusiastic Sound Transit staff looking on, Sherry Little, Acting
FTA administrator joined Board Chair Greg Nickels and many other
Boardmembers in Union Station Thursday to formally award the grant. 

The grant sets the stage for construction groundbreaking on the U-Link line.
University Link is a critical piece in extending light rail north,
eventually all the way to Northgate, Lynnwood and further. 

It's been a long process getting this far. Senator Patty Murray and our
Congressional delegation, our partners at the FTA including Rick Krochalis,
the FTA Region 10 Administrator and the University of Washington and Sound
Transit staffs worked long and hard to bring us this grant and the light
rail extension that's on the way. This really is a project of partnerships. 

University Link is scheduled to open in 2016 and add more than 70,000 daily
riders to the system. When trains are running, the trip from the UW to
downtown will take nine minutes and from Capitol Hill to the UW only three
minutes. In addition, the project is adding badly needed jobs to the region.
A U.S. Department of Commerce model estimates that University Link will
generate 2,900 direct construction jobs. 

I've included a picture of the signing grant signing ceremony. The picture
shows FTA Administrator Sherry Little and Sound Transit Board Chair Greg
Nickels signing the federal grant. In the background are Boardmembers Paul
Roberts and Claudia Thomas. 


Sound Transit's 2009 Milestones unveiled 

During the Sound Transit Board meeting Thursday, I presented the agency's
milestones for 2009 and also took a look back at our milestones from the
year just completed. 

As I described to the Board, our 2008 milestones were very challenging and
we reached 28 of 39, with most of the remainder scheduled for completion
early this year. You can view our 2008 milestones at

I also told the Board that Sound Transit's 36 milestones for 2009 are quite
challenging and showcase a historic year for this region. 

In July, light rail trains will begin carrying passengers for the first
time. We've worked many years to make the vision of light rail a reality and
this year we'll experience the result. Trains begin running between downtown
Seattle and Tukwila in July, with the extension to Sea-Tac Airport on line
at the end of the year. Both of these events are major milestones for 2009. 

Another milestone this year is the launch of the innovative ORCA smart card.
With ORCA Sound Transit, along with five other transit agencies and the
Washington State Ferries, will make it easier for customers to use transit.
The ORCA card lets passengers ride any public transportation service in the
entire region with just one ticket- without fumbling for passes, change or

As I reminded the Board on Thursday, Sound Transit's annual milestones are a
good way for the public to track our progress and hold us accountable. Voter
approval of Sound Transit 2 last November led to the 2009 milestone of
purchasing up to 60 new express buses and starting new ST Express service in
June. This year our milestones show us finalizing an agreement with the City
of Seattle for the First Hill Streetcar and continuing the East Link light
rail environmental impact statement. 

One of our milestones this year is to carry a combined 75,000 passengers
every weekday in our Sound Transit trains and buses. In 2009, the ninth
round-trip Sounder train will begin running on the south line between Tacoma
and Seattle. The Sounder South Tacoma Station will open. We'll break ground
on the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station and the Kirkland Transit Center. 

As we provide our services and projects in 2009, Sound Transit remains
committed to openness and accountability. So, one of our 2009 milestones is
to receive a clean state audit for the 13th year in a row. 

I've included a link for you to see the entire list of 2009 Milestones:

East Link open houses scheduled 

At a workshop on Thursday, the Sound Transit Board spent two hours going
over the alignment options for the East Link light rail project. 

Also, starting next week, we're kicking off a series of public hearings on
the East Link Draft Environmental Impact Statement that is currently out for
public review and comment. 

For a little background, voter approval of Sound Transit 2 provides the
money to extend Link light rail between Seattle and East King County with
stations serving Mercer Island, south Bellevue, downtown Bellevue, Bel-Red
and Redmond's Overlake area. That line, called East Link, will connect with
the Link light rail system opening this year between downtown Seattle and
Sea-Tac Airport. 

The East Link environmental process describes the potential impacts the
light rail route alternatives could have on the built and natural
environment. Public review and comments on the Draft EIS help make sure that
potential environmental impacts are identified and evaluated. 

The East Link draft EIS public comment period began in December and runs to
Feb. 25. During that period, five public hearings with open houses are
scheduled. At the meetings Sound Transit staff will be available to answer
questions about the alternatives and discuss the information in the Draft
EIS. All comments received between Dec. 12, 2008 and Feb. 25, 2009 will be
addressed in the Final EIS, scheduled for 2010. 

Please join us at one of the following public hearings: 

Redmond-Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center 
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009 
Open house 4-7 p.m. 
Public hearing starts at: 5 p.m. 
more <http://www.soundtransit.org/x9905.xml>  

Seattle-Thurgood Marshall Elementary School 
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009 
Open house 4-7 p.m. 
Public hearing starts at: 5 p.m. 
more <http://www.soundtransit.org/x9907.xml>  

Mercer Island-Community Center at Mercer View 
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 
Open house 4-7 p.m. 
Public hearing starts at: 5 p.m. 
more <http://www.soundtransit.org/x9909.xml>  

Bellevue-Bellevue High School 
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009 
Open house: 5:30-8:30 p.m. 
Public hearing starts at: 6 p.m. 
more <http://www.soundtransit.org/x9910.xml>  

Bellevue-Bellevue City Hall 
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 
Open house: 3:30-6:30 p.m. 
Public hearing starts at: 4:30 p.m. 

Service change for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Just a quick note that our Sounder trains will run a holiday schedule Monday
on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. ST Express bus and Tacoma Link light
rail will run their regular weekday schedules. Visit www.soundtransit.org
<http://www.soundtransit.org/>  for details. 

Photo of the Week 

Our photo this week shows the new pedestrian bridge being put into place
over the railroad tracks at the Everett Station. The bridge connects a new
parking area with the station platform. The Everett Station improvements are
scheduled to open this winter. 


The Sound Transit Board on Thursday: 

*	Approved an amendment to the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) at the
Joint Administrative Committee, which would include in the scope of the PLA
a framework to allow recognition of applicable local, area or national
collective bargaining agreements. 

 Union Station image

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