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Sound Transit, King County Metro might extend Link light-rail pact

Link runs between downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport.
Photo – Sound Transit


Sound Transit's board and the King County Council this week will consider extending an agreement through which King County Metro would continue to operate and maintain Sound Transit Link light-rail service during certain hours.

More than 370 King County Metro employees operate and maintain the service — which was launched in 2009 — from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily under the current agreement.

If approved, the pact would be extended through 2023, or potentially through 2029. The new agreement has clearer lines of authority, cost containment provisions, operating rules, data reporting and other language that reflects some lessons learned during a decade of joint rail operations, Sound Transit and King County Metro officials said in a press release.

The agreement sets the stage for continuing a "fruitful partnership" with King County Metro as Link continues to serve more riders, said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Peter Rogoff.

"We appreciate Metro's readiness to partner with Sound Transit by controlling some costs immediately while pursuing further efficiencies going forward," he said. "The professionalism and commitment of Metro's operators and leadership will continue helping to expand Link’s success in giving riders an alternative to ever-worsening traffic jams."
Last year, Sound Transit logged 24 million passengers on Link, which runs 20 miles between the University of Washington, downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport.

"Integrating Metro and Sound Transit operations is a key priority for me, and this agreement continues the strong partnership between both agencies to serve the region with reliable rail service for years to come," said Dow Constantine, a King County executive and Sound Transit board member.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/1/2019