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King County Executive News

King County Executive News
Oct. 17, 2011

King County and Sound Transit land $14.4 million in federal grants for buses, facilities

Grants will create jobs and make ST Express fleet greener

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today awarded King County $6 million in grants that will enable Metro to improve facilities and enhance its ability to monitor and track the efficiency of its transit assets.

Sound Transit received $8.4 million in separate FTA grants that will help replace aging buses with new vehicles featuring hybrid-diesel technology, and will help make the new Link light rail station at South 200th Street in SeaTac more accessible for bus transfers, bicyclists and pedestrians when it opens in 2016.

"This federal investment will put people back to work while developing much-needed transit facilities and making our fleet a little more 'green,'" said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Member Dow Constantine.

"This action by Secretary LaHood will help us continue to operate one of the cleanest transit fleets in America," added the Executive. "More than half of King County's buses and trolleys are already all-electric or powered by diesel and electric. It's a commitment we intend to keep."

"The South 200th Street Station in SeaTac will provide light rail service to a population that desperately needs more transit service," said Julia Patterson, King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Board Member. "Replacement of aging Sound Transit buses is critical to providing reliable and cost-effective service to the more than 48,000 riders who take advantage of ST Express service each day."

The $6 million FTA grant will fund replacement of the roof at Metro's north transit base, which has reached the end of its useful life. When completed, this green roof will continue to support a neighborhood playground on top, which has been a popular play area for a number of years.

The FTA grants are awarded to projects aimed at maintaining transit facilities and equipment, creating more livable communities and planning for new rail systems. Criteria for awarding grants included a project's readiness to be constructed and its ability to create construction and manufacturing jobs.