January 4, 2010
Check this week's classifieds to learn about Help Wanted positions, including one Executive Director and one Executive Director, Operations!
Also, be sure to watch for Passenger Transport's next issue, which will focus on 2010: The Year Ahead!
Sound Transit Welcomes Light Rail Service to SeaTac Airport
Just five months after the introduction of service on Central Link light rail, Sound Transit in Seattle extended the original 14-mile line by 1.7 miles on Dec. 19. The new Airport Link connects the former terminus at Tukwila International Boulevard Station to the new SeaTac/Airport Station, providing direct access to SeaTac International Airport.
Sound Transit and the Port of Seattle collaborated on the Airport Link project, including the new light rail station; pedestrian bridges connecting the station to the airport parking garage; and a pickup and drop-off area to the east serving the city of SeaTac. The port also relocated and upgraded the Airport Expressway and the Return-to-Terminal roadway loop.
“It’s been a heck of a journey, but we delivered on what we promised: light rail from downtown Seattle to the airport in 2009,” said Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Chair Greg Nickels. “This opens an entirely new option for travelers and commuters, and represents the first steps of a truly regional network.”
Sound Transit kicked off service on the airport extension with an inaugural ribbon cutting at SeaTac/Airport Station before the station and trains opened for regular passenger service at 10 a.m.
“Opening the doors to Sound Transit’s airport line in time for the holidays is a great gift to residents of the Puget Sound region,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). “This is just the latest in environmentally friendly transportation that will help ensure our region’s long-term economic growth.”
“With more than 30 million passengers through SeaTac every year and 15,000 airport employees, we anticipate light rail will be a welcome ‘green’ alternative for travel to and from the airport,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “Using light rail will reduce air emissions and traffic congestion. It’s good for the airport, and it’s good for our region.”
Sound Transit plans to open its next light rail extension in 2016 with service from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. Construction is underway on that segment, the University Line, while the agency plans for 36 more miles of light rail extensions to Lynnwood, Bellevue, Redmond, Mercer Island, and Federal Way by 2023.