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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 July 18, 2014

Link is five

I hope you joined the celebration. Two Sound Transit teams, along with mascot Zap Gridlock, were on Link trains this morning taking pictures and thanking customers for riding Link on its fifth birthday.
July 18, 2009 was the start of light rail service in this region and over the past five years the trains have provided more than 36 million rides between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport with double-digit annual ridership growth.

And much more light rail is on the way. Extensions north, south and east will add more than 31 miles of light rail to the region by 2023.

Ridership up 8 percent

We learned of more good ridership news this week. Total Sound Transit ridership grew over 8 percent in May, compared to the same period in 2013.

Link led the way with a nearly 21 percent increase in boardings, the largest monthly increase since January 2011. Average weekday boardings on Link reached 33,600 in May, the most ever.

ST Express bus ridership was up about 4 percent, with nearly 62,000 average weekday boardings. Sounder train ridership was up nearly 2 percent in May.

Boardings on Tacoma Link were down 8.7 percent, continuing a downward slide that began in January due to the relocation of a large downtown employer and fewer special events.

Pilot parking project

A six-month pilot program testing the use of permits to guarantee the availability of a parking space ends in two weeks. The program took place at four Sound Transit facilities.

Permit parking was tested at the Mukilteo, Sumner and Tukwila International Blvd. stations as well as the Issaquah Transit Center. This is part of a larger effort to find ways of making sure parking is available for transit users in lots that are becoming increasingly crowded. Under the program, more than 450 qualified applicants purchased permits guaranteeing them parking at the station. Preliminary findings show there's a high level of interest in permit parking.

The pilot program was discussed Thursday at the Sound Transit Operations Committee meeting. Also during the meeting, the committee approved a contract for equipment that will provide parking monitoring at the Auburn, Puyallup and South Everett stations and the Federal Way Transit Center. When the equipment is running later this year, riders will be able to check the Sound Transit Website and find out in real time if parking is available at those stations. The agency is also working with King County Metro Transit, Pierce Transit and Community Transit to encourage more people to share rides to the stations and to relocate existing vanpools to less crowded facilities.

A full report on the results of these efforts will be presented to the Sound Transit Board for review and consideration of future steps.

I-90 slowdowns

It's going to be brutal crossing Lake Washington the next week. Starting this evening and running through next Friday, July 25, riders on ST Express routes 550 and 554 on Interstate 90 from Bellevue to Seattle could see significant delays. The state Department of Transportation is replacing critical expansion joints that will close all but one westbound lane just west of I-405.

The closure is 24 hours a day for the entire week. Several King County Metro routes also use the I-90 bridge. Riders should expect delays on bus routes that travel through the construction area and along adjacent corridors.

It goes without saying that bus riders, and anyone else out on the road, should plan ahead and take a different route if possible.

Mike Harbour, Sound Transit Deputy CEO

The Sound Transit Operation Committee on Thursday:

·    Approved a contract with Steer Davies Gleave to provide visual design, user experience, and development services for the Sound Transit Mobile website for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed $393,508.
·    Approved a one-year contract, with four one-year options to extend, with AtWork! to provide vegetation and pest management services on Sound Transit properties for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed $1,848,026.
·    Approved a five-year contract with LeTigre Solutions, Inc. to procure Brocade network equipment, network management licenses, and annual maintenance renewals for the equipment and software, in the amount not to exceed $1,752,000.
·    Approved an agreement amendment with King County to provide an On-Board Systems Communications System and Transit Radio System in the amount of $567,269 for a new agreement amount not to exceed $3,267,269.
•    Approved a task order under an existing agreement with Pierce Transit to purchase and install replacement two-way radios, including spares, on Sound Transit owned buses operated by Pierce Transit in the amount of $553,240, with a 5% contingency of $27,662, for a total authorized task order amount not to exceed $580,902.
Approved a contract with Columbia Ford to purchase new passenger vehicles for Sound Transit's non-revenue fleet for a total authorized amount not to exceed $223,937.
·    Approved a contract with Columbia Ford to purchase utility vehicles and cargo vans for Sound Transit's non-revenue fleet for a total authorized amount not to exceed $263,379.
·    Approved a contract amendment with Copiers Northwest for copier equipment and maintenance services to extend the contract for six months and increase the contract amount by $175,000 for a new total authorized contract amount not to exceed $1,300,000.
·    Approved a contract for one year and four one-year options to extend with Transpo Group USA, Inc. to provide real time parking monitoring equipment for the Parking Management Pilot Project for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed $207,309.