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King County executive wants better planning between Sound Transit, Metro

King County Executive Dow Constantine seeks better planning between Metro and Sound Transit. - COURTESY PHOTO, Metro Transit
King County Executive Dow Constantine seeks better planning between Metro and Sound Transit.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Metro Transit

King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine wants local and regional transit agencies to increase joint planning and integration to create greater operating efficiencies and expand future service.

“It is essential for transit agencies with overlapping jurisdictions to fully integrate their services, and provide them to the public as efficiently as possible,” said Constantine in a Thursday media release. “Long term, our transportation future requires both adequate revenue and continuous innovation to expand service. This initiative advances the innovation half of that equation.”

Constantine signed an executive order directing the King County Department of Transportation to work in concert with Sound Transit on joint planning of bus service and full integration of buses and rail. As chair of the Sound Transit Board, he will submit a companion motion for consideration on June 26.

Taken together, the measures call for:

• Integrating bus and rail service to make full use of the significantly greater operating speeds, reliability and capacity of rail and RapidRide.

• Putting savings into improving local service and regional connections – setting the stage for the start-up of University Link service from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in early 2016.

• Maximizing efficiency by accelerating the full coordination of scheduling, operations, maintenance, administration, transparency, and accountability measures.

• Keeping a focus on equity, sustainability, and serving transit-dependent populations.

• Optimizing coordinated planning for major transit hubs to ensure seamless access to all modes of transportation.

• Further integrating rider information tools, such as online trip planners.

• Integrating planning with state highways, ferries, and other modes.

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