The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Exec Summary of Sound Transit activity report 2007

Executive Summary

Sound Transit Capital Program

12/31/07 Agency Activities and Monitored Issues

Sound Transit receives State Audit report

The Washington State Auditor's Office in October released its performance audit on Sound Transit. While it pointed out areas needing improvement, the audit recognized the strides Sound Transit has made since it began as a start-up agency in 1996.

The audit was limited to Link light rail construction, and the areas identified for improvement include environmental compliance, management of change orders, and how the agency tracks and implements lessons learned. The audit also reported that Sound Transit has made major improvements and has developed processes and procedures responsible for its successful track record in delivering projects.

Greg Nickels is new Board Chair

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who is an original Sound Transit Boardmember, is the agency's new Board Chair starting January 2008.

Mayor Nickels was unanimously voted into the two-year term by his fellow Boardmembers. The Board also voted Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and Lakewood Councilmember Claudia Thomas as Vice Chairs.

Mayor Nickels takes over from Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, who served with great distinction as

Board Chair for the past four years.

Paul Roberts joins Sound Transit Board

Paul Roberts, a councilmember from the City of Everett, joined the Sound Transit Board in October. Mr. Roberts is director of public works for the City of Marysville. Before his election to the Everett City Council in 2006, he was Planning and Community Development Director for the City of Everett, executive director of the Snohomish County Executive's office and a former Boardmember for the Everett Public Schools.

Boardmember Roberts is filling the term of Mark Olson, who resigned from the Sound Transit Board.

Richard Marin leaves Sound Transit Board

Richard Marin, who served more than two years on the Sound Transit Board, left the Board in December. Mr. Marin was an enthusiastic leader on the Board and was noted for his hard work and frequent visits to the agency's project construction sites. He also was a member of the Board's Finance and Central Link Oversight committees.

Agency Activities and Monitored Issues continued . . .

Roads & Transit vote

Voters in Central Puget Sound in November turned down Proposition 1, the Roads & Transit plan. The Sound Transit Board in early 2008 will be busy discussing future system expansion and a decision on when to go out for another vote could be made by late February or early March.

Board adopts 2008 Sound Transit budget

The Sound Transit Board approved the agency's 2008 annual budget, which includes about $820 million in capital and operations to build and run the regional system.

The budget highlights include:

 $565 million for continued construction of Link light rail from Seattle to Sea-Tac Airport; continued work on final design, real estate acquisitions and pursuit of federal funding for University Link; and advanced environmental impact state

ment and conceptual design of East Link. The budget also contains funding for Sounder track and station improvements and several Regional Express projects.

$117.6 million in the operations budget, which includes cost increases in fuel, maintenance and purchased transportation services. It also includes funding for additional Sounder service for up to three new trains between Seattle and Tacoma starting in September 2008 and a fourth Sounder round-trip between Everett and Seattle. ST Express service will also begin in 2008 between the new Lakewood Station and Tacoma and the new South Everett Freeway Station.

Construction begins on SeaTac/Airport light rail station

Construction began on the SeaTac/Airport light rail station. The first pour of concrete on the station took place just before Thanksgiving. The station is being built near the northeast corner of the main airport parking garage and will offer a direct connection for pedestrians to the airport ticket counters and to SeaTac's City Center.

Last segment of elevated trackway in Place

In October, Sound Transit's contractors finished the nearly five miles of elevated track between South Seattle and Tukwila. The work included installing the last of 2,457 concrete segments.

Bothell Branch Campus Access Project groundbreaking

Sound Transit broke ground on a new transit access project at the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College campus. The Bothell Branch Campus Access Project will make it easier and faster for the more than 400 buses a day that serve the area to get into and out of the campus. The project upgrades traffic signals at 195th Street in Bothell, builds a new bus bay and improves transit access on the campus.

Sound Transit bond rating improves

Sound Transit learned in November that its excellent credit rating got even stronger, when the agency's Standard & Poors junior lien bond rating improved from AA+ to AAA. The higher rating will lower Sound Transit's cost of borrowing money, enabling the public's investment in regional transit projects and services to stretch further.

Totem Lake Freeway Station Opens

The Totem Lake Freeway Station opened in November. The project gives transit and HOV users direct access to and from I-405 and improves east/west mobility across I-405. The new station serves the Totem Lake area of Kirkland, including the Kingsgate Park-and-Ride and the Totem Lake Transit Center, which is currently being built on the Evergreen Hospital campus.

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