Several notable things happened at the December 10th Sound Transit Board of Directors meeting, Greg Nickels’s 378th(!) and last. You can watch the video or check out the motions online.
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon is the new Sound Transit Board Chair through the end of 2011. Reardon has been County Executive since 2004 and may be best known to STB readers as someone who bargained hard with Nickels to get light rail to Snohomish County included in ST2. Andrew Austin has much, much more on this. Lakewood’s Claudia Thomas and Issaquah’s Fred Butler are the Vice Chairs.
The staff briefly discussed the three new, post-DEIS, downtown Bellevue options: C9T, a tunnel under 110th Ave.; C9A, a surface route on 110th; and C11A, an at-grade alignment on 108th Ave. The cost and ridership estimates are supposed to be done by the end of January, with Board discussion in February and a decision on this segment on March 11th. The Board allocated $15,000 for the staff to include Kevin Wallace’s 114th Avenue elevated alignment in this work.
The Bellevue City Council, while not changing their preferred alignment, asked the Board to study the Wallace proposal, and also asked for an one-month extension of their expiring six-month deadline to come up with a funding plan for a downtown tunnel.
The Seatac ceremony, according to ST CEO Joni Earl, starts around 8:45 am on December 19th. The first train from downtown to go all the way to Seatac with passengers will arrive right around 10am.
Issaquah Councilmember Fred Butler sponsored an amendment to the budget directing the ST Staff to study the introduction of fares to Tacoma Link and report to the Board by June 30, 2010. ORCA n0w provides an infrastructure that would reduce the cost of collecting fares; up to now, staff has estimated that fare collection would cost more than the revenue collected.
The board adopted a scope control policy which states that the primary project objectives are “cost control, ridership and operational efficiency.” In other words, Sound Transit isn’t going to gold-plate stations just because a City asks for it, especially if it isn’t in the EIS.
According to Joni Earl, government agencies have right of first refusal to buy the rest of the BNSF Eastside corridor should they be put up for sale.