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Sound Transit evaluates, sets sustainability goals


On Wednesday, Sound Transit released its report on meeting sustainability goals for 2010 and setting "ambitious" new goals for 2011.

Setting annual sustainability targets is part of the agency's voluntary compliance with international standards for environmental management systems, agency officials said in a prepared statement. Sound Transit is one of several U.S. transit agencies to be certified under ISO 14001 standards for sustainability.

In 2010, the agency:

• Installed new electric wayside power units for Sounder locomotives, which allowed the trains to maintain heat and power during layovers without burning diesel;
• Reduced nonrevenue fleet fuel consumption by 15 percent;
• Reduced Union Station’s energy usage by 8 percent;
• Increased bicycle parking by 150 spaces;
• Implemented ecosystem restoration projects; and
• Incorporated sustainable design into agency design guidelines and standards.

In 2011, the agency plans to focus on 31 sustainability targets, including:

• Developing and implementing a long-term strategy for the sustainability initiative;
• Developing a strategy for agency properties to reduce energy consumption;
• Reducing Sounder fuel consumption by 1.5 percent; and
• Applying sustainable design criteria to each phase of the Link light-rail expansion.

Sound Transit officials expect the 2011 goals to lead other transit agencies "in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally responsible," said Sound Transit board member Larry Phillips. "The 2011 goals focus on reducing fuel and energy consumption and promoting green design, construction and operations for light rail."

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