Sound Transit Citizen Oversight Panel Releases Mid-Year Performance Report

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The Citizen Oversight Panel (COP) appointed to monitor Sound Transit's performance released its mid-year 2002 report today. In his letter to the Sound Transit Board, COP Chair Arlington W. (Art) Carter Jr. said the Panel had identified two themes:

Accomplishments. The panel observed that the Central Link program has regained the momentum it had lost almost two years ago. It is retracing the steps toward execution of a full funding grant agreement with the federal government. Tacoma Link is on track with its construction and is beginning to prepare for operational start-up next year. Sounder and Express Bus service continue to provide reliable commuting for thousands of riders each week. Capital facilities at Kent, Auburn and Redmond were completed and opened for business in the first half of this year. Numerous other projects are in construction.

While challenges remain and the agency's public credibility is still weak, the accomplishments are real and noteworthy. Sound Transit is ready to deliver. The agency has much improved leadership and much stronger management systems in place.

A warning to the region. Despite the achievements, Mr. Carter said, COP is gravely concerned about the region's ability to make the sustained long-term investments needed to accomplish regional goals. The intransigence and narrow self-interest of some of the positions taken by jurisdictions that should be working in partnership with Sound Transit continue to surprise the Panel. COP urged citizens and involved public officials to think of not just their self-interest but of the benefit to all. The Panel urged the Sound Transit Board again to assume a vocal role as a public advocate of regional transportation solutions.

The Citizen Oversight Panel, an independent body comprised of 15 volunteer members from throughout the Sound Transit district, has been meeting for five and a half years. This is its eleventh report. The full report including information on the Panel's members, its evaluation process, and its findings is attached. The report joins COP's previous reports on the Web at www.soundtransit.org.
Click here for current and past COP Reports


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