Sound Transit’s wonky Quarterly Reports have been released with valuable but very detailed information regarding the progress of various Sound Transit’s programs. Of course, ST’s big ticket item is this year’s opening of Link light rail to the airport.
One cool bit is that Link’s initial segment, opening July 18th, and the airport connection, opening this December, will come on $138 million under-budget, Sound Transit estimates.
Of course, this adopted budget is significantly different than early light rail plans that fizzled early in the decade. Sound Transit says that its since-conservative planning was used to plan the ST2 extension that voters approved last November. So maybe we don’t have to lose sleep about transit cost overruns anymore.
Here’s an excellent video on the Orange BRT in Los Angeles. It’s interesting to see rail-emulation features of the line: dedicated right-of-way, off-board payment, low-floors, etc. However, on my trip on the Orange Line I noticed that some sections of the line the bus went through normal traffic on normal city streets. I also learned in a bit of research that, somewhat ironically, a part of the line was built on an old railway right-of-way Los Angeles County owned. The tracks were removed. The line saw about 26,600 per day riders last year and cost about $330 million to build in 2004.