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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 April 11, 2014

The guideway rises

On Wednesday, we were in the City of SeaTac for a media update on the work of the massive crane that's helping build the elevated guideway on the South 200th Link Extension. The sunny day was perfect for pictures of the 400-ton crane that is lifting the guideway's pre-cast concrete segments into place.

It's quite a job. Each of the segments weighs between 35 and 45 tons and it will take about 1,000 segments to build the 1.6-mile elevated guideway running from Link's current Sea-Tac Airport station to the future Angle Lake Station at South 200th Street. Link trains are scheduled to begin carrying passengers on that segment in 2016.

See our photo of the week and our Facebook page for a look at the crane, also known as a gantry, in action.

Visitor day pass

Earlier this week, the Puget Sound's transit agencies launched a new ORCA visitor day pass aimed at tourists to our region. Over the years we've had a number of requests for a pass of this kind and we're anxious to see how it works.

We're trying it out as a six-month pilot program through September. At that time, we'll evaluate the results and determine if the day pass will continue.
The pass allows people to travel throughout the region by bus, train, streetcar or water taxi all day for $9. Trips are unlimited when the fare on an individual trip is $4 or less. The new pass will be marketed to hotels and other businesses that focus on tourists and out-of-town visitors. Local residents can also purchase the day pass.

I'll let you know how it worked out when the test period is over.

Special weekend service

Tacoma Link trains are running extended hours late Saturday to help move crowds leaving the George Strait concert at the Tacoma Dome. The last northbound train will leave Tacoma Dome at midnight following the 7:30 p.m. show.

And then on Sunday, we're kicking off our special Sounder service for the baseball season. We're running Sounder trains to 12 Mariners games at Safeco Field this season.

You can buy round-trip tickets on game day or in advance at any Link or Sounder station ticket machine. In addition, regular Link light rail and ST Express bus service takes you close to Safeco Field.
See here for more details.

Zap Gridlock

You may not know that Sound Transit has a mascot. We do, and he's named Zap Gridlock. We've had Zap since 1999 and he's been a big hit with kids at parades, fairs and festivals.

Now after all those years in the same costume, Zap is about to get a makeover with a new suit and other improvements. As we start moving into the 2014 spring and summer fair, festival and parade season our outreach team will be out meeting with the public and talking about Sound Transit projects and services. Zap Gridlock will also be at a lot of those events, this year sporting a new look.