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CEO Corner

Joni Earl

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 February 27, 2015

Transit data available 

Sound Transit and King County Metro are working together in a lot of different ways. This week we got together to announce the expansion of access to our transit data. We believe such access will benefit transit riders in our region, either through apps or mobile-friendly websites. For example, years ago the data we provided to the University of Washington eventually led to the popular OneBusAway app.

And then when King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine launched the regional transit integration initiative last year, ramping up our collaboration on customer-facing tools was one of his top priorities. \

Through the Open Transit Data initiative that was announced this week, Sound Transit will be the centralized hub of publicly available data, allowing third-party developers to receive the real-time data stream for every King County Metro and most Sound Transit routes. The data includes real-time location updates, which can be displayed on a map or used to calculate bus arrival times at locations along the route.

We believe that by providing such information, creative developers will continue finding new ways to combine transit data with other publicly available sources in ways that will benefit riders. That's good for our passengers and for the transit agencies in this region. 

Fare changes Sunday

Another area of transit integration with Metro starts Sunday with the launch of reduced fares. The new reduced fare of $1.50 begins March 1 for low-income riders on Link using the ORCA LIFT card. To offset the revenue loss from the new fare, and remain consistent with the King County fare rates, other Link fares will increase by a quarter on Sunday.

The reduced fare is available to adult riders with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The reduced fares do not apply to ST Express buses, Sounder trains, or Tacoma Link. Check here for more information. 

Weekend closures on I-90 

It will be an inconvenience for drivers, but closures this weekend on the I-90 bridge over Lake Washington are a sure sign that East Link light rail is moving along.

Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit are working on the final stage of a project to add carpool lanes to the outer roadways of I-90 between Bellevue and Seattle. The I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project sets the stage for light rail service across I-90.

The 14-mile East Link project, which is scheduled to begin construction next year and open in 2023, includes 10 new stations connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake in Redmond.

During this weekend's closure crews will detour eastbound I-90 traffic into the express lanes and close the ramp from Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. This is the first of up to 30 weekend directional closures of I-90 over the next 28 months. 

Mike Harbour, Sound Transit Acting CEO

 The Sound Transit Board on Thursday

  • Approved a contract amendment with Green Rubino Inc. to provide advertising and media buying services in the amount of $6,000,000, for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $7,656,000.
  • Approved a contract with Johansen Excavating, Inc. to provide construction services for Station Area Roadways and Surface Parking work within the South 200th Link Extension in the amount of $8,426,400, with a 10 percent contingency of $842,640, for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed $9,269,040.
  • Delegated to the Sound Transit Operations Committee the authority to approve contracts to license, install, operate and maintain a cellular host network in all current and future light-rail tunnels and underground stations, and to approve agreements with King County to install, operate and maintain the network in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.