A maintenance crew member installs new LED lights on a Link light rail train

Brighter trains for a better tomorrow

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As we wrap up another celebration of Earth Month, we highlight how making seemingly small changes can add up to bigger long-term impacts for the world we live in.

Whether it’s taking the train or bus a couple days a week or swapping old lightbulbs for new technology, seemingly small changes can add up to big benefits.

Public Transportation cuts our nation’s gasoline use by more than 4 billion annually, resulting in cleaner air and lower carbon emissions.

Here in Washington, the transportation sector accounts for over 42 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking transit, even a couple days a week, helps reduce those gases that are melting the glaciers at Mt. Rainier and changing the beautiful landscapes we’re lucky to call home.

While the work of providing transit options is inherently good for the environment, we’re also taking steps to ensure our day-to-day operations are saving energy, and money, in the long term.

Resource Conservation Program Manager Jessica Rose works out of the Operations department at Sound Transit.

One of her biggest accomplishments last year was spearheading a program to upgrade old and inefficient light bulbs at our stations, maintenance bases and on board Link light rail trains.

Have you noticed the trains are a little brighter inside?

A look at a Link light rail train with LED lights on one side and the old lighting on the other side. The LED side is much more crisp and bright.
A photo illustration showing the lighting difference on a light rail train. LEDs are on the right, the old lights on the left.

An added benefit – we’re saving operating costs over the long run.

Sound Transit’s energy use has dropped by more than half and Rose estimates the upgraded lighting will save the agency about $1.2 million over their life span.

The train maintenance crews love the new lights. They’ll last longer than the old lights and the crews can spend less time changing bulbs and more time on other tasks to keep the trains running.

"One of the things I love most about the work I do is that it has both an economic and an environmental benefit," Rose said. "So we're reducing our operating costs, but we are also supporting our sustainability initiatives."

Little things add up to make a big difference, at work and at home.

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