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Sound Transit celebrates two major milestones: completes ST Express regional bus system; announces start date for third Sounder train

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Making good on its slogan "Moving Forward," Sound Transit announced today the addition of the final two bus routes in ST Express and the official start date for a third Sounder commuter train between Seattle and Tacoma. The ST Express regional bus system is the first of Sound Transit's three lines of business created by the 1996 Sound Move vote to reach completion.

"I'm especially excited about the new ST Express Route 522," said Sound Transit Boardmember and Kenmore City Councilman Jack Crawford. "Running from Woodinville to downtown Seattle - and through Kenmore - this route for the first time gives my community an express bus seven days a week. It will save me twenty minutes on my rides to Sound Transit headquarters at Union Station."

Utilizing a fleet of 194 buses, ST Express connects the urban centers of Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Everett with communities throughout the region. The second new ST Express run, Route 586, will connect downtown Tacoma to Seattle's University District.

Since its inception in September 1999, ST Express has carried more than 15 million riders. ST Express buses are operated under contract by partner agencies Community Transit, Everett Transit, Pierce Transit and King County Metro Transit.

With cooperation from The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the third round-trip Sounder train between Seattle and Tacoma will begin service this Monday, September 30th. Initially, the third morning train will leave the Tacoma Dome Station at 6:30, between the 6:15 and 6:45 trains. The new southbound train will leave Seattle's King Street Station at 4:55 p.m., followed by the current 5:10 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. trains. The addition of the third train adds 38 percent capacity to the system.

"These announcements represent two tremendous milestones for our region - both practical and symbolic," said Sound Transit Vice Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "The completion of ST Express and the third Sounder train expand the options for commuters who choose NOT to sit on our clogged freeways. And, this further demonstrates Sound Transit's ability to make Sound Move's blueprint a regional transportation reality."

Since the first run in September 2000, more than one million commuters have become faithful and enthusiastic Sounder riders.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.