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 November 20, 2015


Peter Rogoff named next CEO 

Very big news this week: The Sound Transit Board on Thursday unanimously chose Peter Rogoff, former head of the Federal Transit Administration, as the next Sound Transit CEO. He will replace longtime CEO Joni Earl, who is retiring next March following the launch of the U Link light rail extension. Joni was on the new CEO selection committee and will help with the transition.

Rogoff’s resume is very impressive. He is currently Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, the federal government’s third-highest transportation official. As Federal Transit Administrator from 2009 to 2014, he negotiated and signed a record number of full funding grant agreements with transit agencies across the nation to expand rail and bus rapid transit infrastructure. His current work spans all transportation areas, including aviation, highway, rail, transit and maritime.  

Rogoff will start in January. At yesterday’s Board meeting Dow Constantine, Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive, called Rogoff’s hiring a “home run.” Dave Upthegrove, King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Boardmember, called it the most important vote he will cast as a Boardmember.

Rogoff told the Board that he is deeply gratified and humbled to be the new CEO. “This is a high-functioning agency and high-functioning Board and I’m excited to build on the legacy of success.”

Rogoff earned his M.B.A. with honors at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree in American Studies at Amherst College. He is 55 years old, married and the father of two teenage children.

His many honors include being the first recipient of the Transportation Equity Network’s Rosa Parks Award as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award and the Dr. and Mrs. William and Budd Bell Award for “tireless advocacy for seniors and people with disabilities.” 

You can read his bio here. Obviously, we’re very excited that he’s joining us. 

Meanwhile, in other news

The Sound Transit Board was very busy on a number of other important issues on Thursday.

Service Implementation Plan approved for 2016: Board approval of the SIP means that we’ll add 32,000 additional hours of ST Express bus hours next year, start a new Sounder round trip on the south line, and launch service on the U Link and S. 200th Link extensions.

Low-income fares on Sound Transit buses and trains: The Board expanded the low-income ORCA LIFT program for the entire Sound Transit system. In addition, the Board increased Sounder fares 50 cents for adult and youth riders and 25 cents for Regional Reduced Fare Permit riders and increased ST Express fares 25 cents for adult, youth and Regional Reduced Fare Permit riders. New fares take effect March 1, 2016.

Tacoma Link route and stations selected: The Board selected the route, stations and expanded operation and maintenance facility for the Tacoma Link expansion. When built, the 2.4-mile extension will serve riders traveling from the Theater District to the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods. Read more here.


--Mike Harbour, Sound Transit Acting CEO


The Sound Transit Board on Thursday:

  • Adopted the 2016 Service Implementation Plan, and authorized the chief executive officer to implement recommended service changes in 2016.
  • Approved an agreement with King County Metro to provide ST Express bus operations and maintenance services for the period of Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017, with two additional one-year options to extend.
  • Approved an Operations and Maintenance Agreement with the Port of Seattle for the SeaTac/Airport Station.
  • Approved an amendment to the Commuter Rail North Service Agreement including exercising a five-year term extension option with the BNSF Railway Company for the continued operation of Sounder north line service between Everett and Seattle.
  • Approved an amendment to the Commuter Rail Service Agreement with the BNSF Railway Company to incorporate changes related to the south line service agreement including the extension of service to Lakewood on Sound Transit right-of-way and the implementation of positive train control.
  • Approved a contract with Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC, to construct an underground tunnel in downtown Bellevue from Main St. to N.E. 6th Street for the East Link Extension in the amount of $121,446,551, with a 10 percent contingency of $12,144,655, for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed $133,591,206.
  • Selected the route, stations, and operation and maintenance facility expansion site for the Tacoma Link Expansion.
  • Amended the 2015 Adopted Budget to (1) increase the lifetime capital budget for the Lynnwood Link Extension by $423,742,313 from $64,118,687 to $487,861,000, (2) increase the 2015 Annual Budget by $2,329,890 from $16,324,776 to $18,654,671; and (3) authorize the project to advance through Gate 4 within Sound Transit’s Phase Gate Process.
  • Approved the acquisition of certain real property interests, including acquisition by condemnation to the extent authorized by law, and to reimburse eligible relocation and reestablishment expenses incurred by affected owners and tenants as necessary for the Lynnwood Link Extension.
  • Selected an option to set fare rates for the low-income adult fare category and increase fares on Sounder service, (2) selected an option to set fare rates for the low income adult fare category and increase fares on ST Express service, and (3) amended Sound Transit fare rates.
  • Appointed Ms. Faaluaina Pritchard to the Citizen Oversight Panel for a term of four years beginning December 2015 and expiring December 2019.
  • Appointed Peter Rogoff as Sound Transit CEO.