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 December 6, 2013
Mudslides prevention update
As we enter another rainy season, it's a good time for an update on the work that's been done, and is on the way, to help prevent mudslides on the Sounder north line between Everett and Seattle.
Mudslides knocked out Sounder north line service in record numbers last winter and since then we've been supporting the work of the Department of Transportation and the BNSF Railway Co., which owns the tracks along this 35-mile corridor, to address some of the highest slide-prone areas.
Using a $16 million federal grant, the BNSF recently completed a 700-foot-long 10-foot-high slope retaining wall north of Mukilteo and a 200-foot-long wall north of Edmonds. Other slide-prone areas will see improvements in the future.
The agencies are also continuing to assist local jurisdictions as they educate property owners along the corridor about slope management and the proper disposal of vegetation and debris. In addition, we're looking at ways to improve the models for assessing the conditions that cause mudslides.
We're looking forward to additional improvements as the state and BNSF continue with mudslide mitigation projects in 2014.
We've got more good ridership totals to report.
So far this year through October, which is the latest numbers we have, ridership was up 8.5 percent on our trains and buses compared with the same time a year earlier. That includes an increase of 8 percent on ST Express buses, 8.4 percent on Sounder and 10.7 percent on Central Link light rail.
We're also looking into the potential reasons for ridership on Tacoma Link being down 2.2 percent from a year earlier.
I wanted to give you some advance notice that the Interstate 90 express lanes will be closed at night for investigative survey and drilling in support of East Link light rail. The lanes will be closed at night for the next two weeks (with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights) while Sound Transit staff and consultants work between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. beginning Sunday night, Dec. 8, and continuing through Friday morning, Dec. 20. The general purpose traffic lanes will remain open.
This a very important project and we appreciate everyone's patience.
Renton ribbon cutting
Monday is the ribbon cutting for the third and final phase of the Rainier Avenue South Improvement project. This phase includes better transit mobility, upgraded traffic safety and improved pedestrian safety through Renton.
Sound Transit contributed nearly $15 million to this $42 million project. We see it as a smart investment that improves transit in a major corridor.
The ribbon cutting is Monday at 10 a.m. at the Renton McLendon Hardware Parking lot, 440 Rainier Avenue South. For more information, visit http://www.rainierproject.com
Board Leadership nominations
The Sound Transit Executive Committee on Thursday made its nominations for the 2014 Board leadership positions.
The nominations are Dow Constantine, King County Executive, for Board Chair and Paul Roberts, Everett Councilmember and Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma Mayor, as Board Vice Chairs
The full Sound Transit Board is scheduled to vote on the nominations later this month.
The Sound Transit Operations Committee on Thursday:
- Forwarded the Agency Administration and Service Delivery portions of the Proposed 2014 Budget and the Proposed 2014 Transit Improvement Plan, (including any amendments approved by the Committee) to the Board of Directors for consideration.
- Approved a three-year agreement with two one-year options with Community Transit to provide maintenance services for Canyon Park Freeway Station, Eastmont Park and Ride, Lynnwood Transit Center, and South Everett Freeway Station for a total authorized agreement amount not to exceed $973,000.