CEO Corner

 

Our job is building a mass transit system that connects you with the Puget Sound region. As Sound Transit's CEO, I can assure you that everyone here - including our Board of Directors, staff and consultants - is committed to bringing you safe and reliable service.

Joni Earl, Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer


CEO Report for July 24, 2015

 

Yes, you are interested 

Over the last several weeks we asked for your thoughts on shaping a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure that could go to voters in November 2016. The response was amazing.

Sound Transit received nearly 25,000 responses to a non-scientific online survey and another 1,025 written comments from mail, email and comment forms. In addition, we received 54,000 unique page views at our new ST3 website. About 400 people attended six public meetings. 

We learned that an overwhelming majority of those commenting support continued mass transit expansion. Information on the outreach, as well as the need for more high-capacity transit, is available at soundtransit3.org.

The public will have many more opportunities to comment on a ST3 plan as it is developed over the next year.

Federal Way light rail extension

The Sound Transit Board on Thursday identified a preferred alternative for extending light rail to Kent/Des Moines and, when funding is available, all the way to Federal Way.

The route, including stations near Highline College, South 272nd Street and the Federal Way Transit Center, would travel along the west side of Interstate 5 between stations and would maximize future transit-oriented development around the stations.

The Board identified the preferred alternative after receiving public comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in April. Sound Transit will now advance the design and complete environmental review as well as evaluate potential modifications to optimize the route and station options.

Green bonds

Sound Transit is proud of being known as a green agency that emphasizes sustainability in its projects and services. On Thursday, the Sound Transit Board approved the sale of $1 billion of “green bonds” to help fund the agency’s capital program and achieve savings by refunding outstanding bonds.

The sale will be the largest green bond ever issued by a local government. The green bond sale helps promote Sound Transit’s strong sustainability program and may attract new investors to the agency’s bonds.

One of the biggest environmental benefits Sound Transit provides is improving local air quality by taking people out of their cars and onto efficient buses and trains. In doing so, we save area residents over 15 million gallons of gasoline a year and eliminate more than 76,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Bridge over Montlake

Wednesday was  a great day for bikers, pedestrians and future light rail riders. Following a short ceremony, we officially opened the bike/pedestrian bridge over Montlake Boulevard that provides a new and important connection between the University of Washington light rail station at Husky Stadium and the UW campus and Burke-Gilman trail.

With the new bridge, people on foot or bikes can move directly from the light rail station to campus and the Burke-Gilman Trail without having to cross four lanes of heavy traffic.

About 120 people attended the ceremony that included dignitaries from Sound Transit, the University of Washington and the State Department of Transportation. It was hosted by Dow Constantine, Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive. Check out the video on our Facebook page facebook.com/SoundTransit

The University of Washington Station is part of the University Link light rail extension that will open early next year.

 

--Mike Harbour, Sound Transit Acting CEO

 

The Sound Transit Board on Thursday:

  • Directed Sound Transit staff to work with the City of Mercer Island, the Mercer Island public and other interested parties, including WSDOT and King County/Metro, on matters involving the East Link light rail that directly impact the City of Mercer Island.
  • Amended and clarified certain provisions contained in resolutions that authorized and provided for the payment of the Authority’s Sales Tax Bonds, including Resolution No. R2007-22, relating to the Authority’s Series 2007A Parity Bonds; Resolution No. R2009-16, relating to the Authority’s Series 2009 Parity Bonds; and Resolution No. R2012-16, relating to the Authority’s Series 2012 Parity Bonds; and providing for notices and other matters properly relating to such amendments; and providing effective dates for the amendments and for this resolution.
  • Clarified certain provisions contained in Resolution No. R2014-30, adopted by the Board on November 20, 2014 to authorize the issuance of the authority’s sales tax bond, Series 2014T-1 (East Link Project: TIFIA-2014-1007A), to evidence the payment obligations of the authority pursuant to a TIFIA loan agreement between the authority and the United States Department of Transportation; authorizing the execution and delivery of a first supplement to the TIFIA loan agreement to clarify certain provisions of the TIFIA loan agreement; providing for notices and other matters properly relating thereto; and providing an effective date.
  • Amended and clarified certain provisions contained in Resolution no. R2012-14, the master prior bond resolution that authorizes and provides for the payment of the Authority’s Sales Tax and motor vehicle excise tax Bonds; providing for notices and other matters properly relating to such amendments; and providing effective dates for the amendments and for this resolution.
  • Amended and clarified certain provisions contained in Resolution no. R2012-14, the master prior bond resolution that authorizes and provides for the payment of the Authority’s Sales Tax and motor vehicle excise tax Bonds; providing for notices and other matters properly relating to such amendments; and providing effective dates for the amendments and for this resolution.
  • Approved the issuance of Sales Tax Refunding Bonds of one or more series to refund all or a portion of the Authority’s outstanding sales tax bonds, Series 2007A; authorizing the issuance, separately or together with the Refunding Sales Tax Bonds, of Sales Tax Bonds in one or more series to pay, or to reimburse the Authority for the payment of, costs of improvements to the Authority’s high capacity transportation facilities; approving parameters for the terms of the bonds of each series; delegating to the designated Authority representative authority to negotiate and approve the final terms of the bonds and the amount of any debt service reserve requirement; approving, and delegating to the designated Authority representative authority to negotiate and approve the final terms of, one or more bond purchase agreements, disclosure documents and other documents relating to the Authority and to the issuance and sale of the bonds; amending the Authority’s 2015 budget approved in Resolution No. R2014-36; amending Section 1a of Resolution No. R2014-35, to provide for payment of debt service on the bonds; and providing an effective date.
  • Identified the preferred light rail route and station locations for the Federal Way Link Extension Final Environmental Impact Statement and approved Gate 3 within Sound Transit’s Phase Gate process.
  • Approved a contract amendment with HDR Engineering, Inc. to provide professional services for Phase 3 of the Federal Way Link Extension in the amount of $15,220,562, with a 10% contingency of $1,522,056, totaling $16,742,618, for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $29,982,533.
  • Added contract contingency for the contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., to provide final design services for the International District Station to South Bellevue segment of the East Link Extension in the amount of $20,000,000, for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $55,839,782.
  • Approved a lease amendment with Time In Space, LLC for a three-year period with two 1-year options to extend for suite number 214 at Freighthouse Square in Tacoma.