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8/1/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Sound Transit receives mixed reviews from citizen panel



Sound Transit’s 15-member citizen oversight panel recently released its mid-2003 report, citing mixed feelings about the agency’s ongoing projects.

Appointed to monitor Sound Transit’s performance, panel members said achieving a high-capacity transportation plan is a longer, more costly project than originally anticipated.

Although Sound Transit completed Central Link light-rail construction in Tacoma, Wash., and the project received a clean bill of health on the project from the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, the panel still is concerned about several issues.

Uncertain federal funding for Central Link, and a recent agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe — which will establish a commuter-rail demonstration service in Everett, Wash., but cost $100 million more and provide more infrequent service than planned — are chief concerns.

The panel also asked the board to update its regional plan, which is more than eight years old.




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