Sound Transit Board elects King County Executive Dow Constantine as chair

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Sound Transit Board of Directors unanimously elected King County Executive Dow Constantine to serve as chair for the next two years starting Jan. 1, 2014. Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Everett City Councilmember Paul Roberts will serve as vice chairs.

“It’s an honor to succeed chair Pat McCarthy as we take on the work ahead,” said Executive Constantine. “We must keep University Link on track to open earlier than planned, and keep the extensions of light rail pushing forward on time and on budget. The update of our Long Range Plan will also inform how we deliver high-capacity transit throughout the Puget Sound region.”

Sound Transit is focusing on delivering all but two out of more than 30 miles of Sound Transit 2 light rail expansions by 2023 despite a 29 percent funding reduction created by the national recession. In 2014 crews will begin tunneling the largest construction contract in its history: continuing further north in a tunnel beneath Seattle’s University of Washington and Roosevelt areas to Northgate. In 2015 Sound Transit will begin construction of the East Link light rail extension to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond, while closing in on extending current Link light rail service one stop further south from the airport, to South 200th Street.

The agency is working to establish final routes for extending light rail to the Lynnwood and Kent/Des Moines areas, and further south to Federal Way subject to identifying funding.

Meanwhile, the Board will explore long-term expansion priorities, including the details and timing of a potential Sound Transit 3 ballot measure that responds to expected population growth of nearly 30 percent by 2035.

“This is an exciting time for the region as Sound Transit makes good progress in its work to extend Link light rail and other transit services north to Northgate and Lynnwood,” said new vice-chair Paul Roberts. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to increase transit options for the citizens of Everett and other cities in Snohomish County, as well as those who live in King and Pierce counties.”

Each day, 100,000 riders in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties depend on Sound Transit trains and buses to reach their destinations. Third quarter 2013 ridership increased 10 percent from the same period last year.


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