One of the interesting nuggets in the Citizen Oversight Panel report was the following:
ST Express Bus Base. This project will involve constructing new ST-owned maintenance and operations capacity to accommodate up to 300 buses to support existing and future ST Express services. In the past all of ST’s buses have been stored and serviced at partner agency-owned facilities. This ST2 project was supposed to begin development of a siting study in 2010 but was delayed as part of the agency’s program realignment. It was authorized in January 2011.
According to spokesman Geoff Patrick, this is not a firm plan to construct the facility, but rather a Parsons Brinckerhoff study to work out the particulars. The Sound Transit board is interested in exploring to find “options for achieving cost savings in operating ST Express”, as Metro charges ST for service provision at an unusually high rate.
Patrick also comments that Sounder will “be part of the discussion.”
If ST ends up going through with it in mid-decade, the impact on riders will be mixed. If you ride Sound Transit buses, there ought to be more service than there would otherwise be. For Metro, overhead costs would be spread over fewer runs, so it’s likely to deteriorate the budget situation somewhat.