Sound Transit seeks more federal funding to offset COVID-19 losses

Sound Transit seeks more federal funding to offset COVID-19 losses

Joins other transit agencies across nation to ask for relief package

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff on Tuesday participated in a virtual rally with other national transit leaders who are calling for the next COVID-19 federal relief package to provide funds for enabling transit to play a critical role in economic recovery.

The nearly half of commuters to and from downtown Seattle who relied on transit last year are a testament to the importance of investments by Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit and other local partners, according to a Sound Transit news release.

“Today, commuters need transit service more than ever to reach their jobs at hospitals, airports, manufacturers and numerous other essential services,” Rogoff said. “As virus threats begin to lift, they will need us to return to job sites and attend sporting events, universities, churches and social gatherings. The only way the transit industry will be able to move people and our economy is if the next federal response to COVID-19 is focused on replenishing the revenues that are disappearing all around us. During the last recession, Sound Transit projects were among the only construction efforts hiring tradespeople off the bench. Replenishing our lost revenues will be essential to our again being an engine to help fuel our region’s economic recovery.”

The rally coincided with the U.S. Senate returning to Washington, D.C. to debate the next coronavirus relief package. Speakers also jointly sent a letter to Senate leaders highlighting the urgency of further relief beyond earlier CARES Act funding that has been critical for communities around the nation. Last week, the members of the Sound Transit Board of Directors also sent each member of the region’s congressional delegation a letter urging action.

“The House committees have acted but it’s the sound of one hand clapping. We need the Senate to act,” Rogoff said. “For those who think this should be a state and local matter, we at Sound Transit get zero dollars from the state.”

Through a process called realignment, the Sound Transit Board of Directors will work over the course of the next year to determine which plans and timelines for voter-approved projects will need to change due to lower revenue projections, absent receiving alternative revenue.

Based on agency contractual commitments already in place, Sound Transit will focus future realignment actions on projects that are not already in construction or under contract. Major projects that are still moving forward right now, include but aren’t limited to light rail extensions to Northgate, Lynnwood, Bellevue, Redmond, Federal Way and the Tacoma Link Hilltop Extension.

Rally participants:

Patrick J. Foye, Chairman and CEO, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

Alice N. Bravo, P.E., Director, Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works

Phillip A. Washington, CEO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Floun’say Caver, Ph.D., Acting General Manager and CEO, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Leslie S. Richards, General Manager, Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Peter Rogoff, CEO, Sound Transit

Alex Wiggins, CEO, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

Kevin Corbett, President and CEO, NJ TRANSIT

Nathaniel Ford, CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority

Paul J. Ballard, CEO and General Manager, Denver Regional Transportation District

Robert M. Powers, General Manager, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Randy Clarke, President & CEO, CapitalMetro of Austin, Tex.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in northwest

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Supreme Court rules officers can be compelled to testify about killings

In a joint lawsuit against King County, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue reading

Harvey Page
Sheriff’s office issues SILVER alert for missing Shoreline senior citizen

The King County Sheriff’s Office has issued a SILVER alert for 75-year-old… Continue reading

Photo courtesy WSDOT.
Transportation Commission wants your help naming next ferry

Construction of a new, hybrid electric Olympic Class ferry is expected to… Continue reading

Photo courtesy WSDOT
Traffic alerts | July 22

All lanes of SR 99 northbound and southbound at the 1st Avenue… Continue reading

Photo courtesy WSDOE.
Single-use plastic bag ban begins Oct. 1 in Washington

Washingtonians will begin to see fewer plastic bags littering the state’s roadsides,… Continue reading

Courtesy photo WSDOT,
TRAFFIC ALERT

I-90 Westbound, 7:37 a.m. : On the I-90 westbound on-ramp from East… Continue reading

Here is damage to the windshield of one of the vehicles struck in the Tuesday, July 20 debris-throwing incident.
Troopers arrest 41-year-old Seattle man for throwing debris into traffic

Troopers responded to reports of rocks/debris being thrown at cars on WB… Continue reading

infographic created by Coltura
Study suggests that the top 10 percent of gasoline-using drivers consume one-third of all the gas

Researchers believe converting “gasoline superusers” is an important factor in meeting climate goals

Auburn Reporter Photo
Residential migration on the uptick as COVID eases

After sheltering-in-place throughout much of 2020, residential migration has come roaring back… Continue reading

Most Read