2017 in review: Construction and new branding for the King County Water Taxi

By any measure, 2017 was one of the busiest years on record for the King County Water Taxi with new construction, new branding, ridership pacing last year’s record numbers, and recognition with two national awards.

Pile-signingConstruction begins on future Water Taxi facility: King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Governor Jay Inslee, Washington Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton, and other transportation leaders to celebrate the start of the five-year Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock project. Attendees had the opportunity to sign a steel piling that will be used to support the future home of the Water Taxi at a 5,000-square-foot, weather-protected Passenger Only Ferry (POF) facility on the Seattle waterfront. Continue reading 2017 in review: Construction and new branding for the King County Water Taxi

2017 in review: Leading the nation in the transition to battery-powered buses

0117BatteryBusAnncmnt088 dow shaking handsKing County Executive Dow Constantine is accelerating the transition to zero-emissions transportation by making one of the largest bus fleets in the US all-electric by as early as 2034. Under his leadership, and that of DOT Director Harold Taniguchi and Metro General Manager Rob Gannon, Metro is not only upgrading its fleet to battery-powered buses, we’re demonstrating that there is strong market demand for the new generation of cleaner, quieter buses that can help King County confront climate change. Continue reading 2017 in review: Leading the nation in the transition to battery-powered buses

Recruiting new employees from King County’s “Communities of Opportunity”

As part of the ongoing work to dismantle racial injustice that can persist in our policies and systems, KCDOT recently partnered with staff from the County’s Communities of Opportunity initiative and the Department of Community and Human Services to recruit new employees for entry-level and journey-level job openings.

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(Photo: Dan Bernard)

More than 170 jobseekers received valuable information about jobs and tips for applying online, at the event held Nov. 16 at the YWCA Learning Center at Greenbridge in White Center. Staff worked with community-based partners and WorkSource providers to get the word out and increase access to jobs to more candidates from traditionally underserved and under-represented communities. Nearly three-fourths of the attendees were people of color, nearly a third were women, and 40 percent came from targeted Communities of Opportunity of Rainier Valley, White Center, SeaTac, and Tukwila. Continue reading Recruiting new employees from King County’s “Communities of Opportunity”

Recognizing our military veterans and reservists at KCDOT

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by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

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Teresa Tobin, a Metro operator and military veteran

This weekend we pause as a grateful nation to salute the men and women who answered the call to serve in our country’s armed forces. Continue reading Recognizing our military veterans and reservists at KCDOT

Changes ahead for Metro and DOT

by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

Executive Constantine announced this week that he is working with the County Council to make a big change: In early 2019, Metro Transit will become a stand-alone County department, no longer part of the Department of Transportation.

This change makes sense. Public transportation is a top priority for the Executive and our region. Population and job growth mean that Metro must provide more and better travel options for all who live and work here—and Metro has a long-range plan for doing just that.

Rob Gannon and Transportation Director Harold TaniguchiBy becoming a department, Metro will be in a better position to partner with other agencies, to deliver the large increases in service and the investments in facilities and vehicles that will be needed, and to grow and support its top-notch workforce. Building upon the strength of General Manager Rob Gannon’s leadership, and the momentum of the division, now is simply a good time for this reorganization.

Continue reading Changes ahead for Metro and DOT

What the new timeline for Convention Place Station means for riders

wide shot of bus stationRiders will be the beneficiaries of a steady and reliable stream of revenue to Metro Transit – an aggregated $275 million over 32 years — as a result of the stance taken by King County Executive Dow Constantine in negotiating the sale of Convention Place Station for expansion of the Convention Center. The Executive insisted that revenue from the sale support service and reliability improvements for Metro that begin to address the need for sustainable growth in bus service throughout the region.

Construction for Convention Center expansion will require closure of the site. The station was always slated for permanent closure – light rail already bypasses it by going straight from Westlake to Capitol Hill, and up until now Metro was planning for removal of all buses from the downtown transit tunnel as early as September 2018. Continue reading What the new timeline for Convention Place Station means for riders

Keeping people and goods moving at a “Critical Juncture”

by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

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Marcus Deyerin, Training and Exercise Program Manager for emergency management in the DOT Director’s Office (Photo: Jeff Wamsley)

Keeping communities connected is our mission, and that includes during those times when roads are blocked by natural disaster or overturned trucks. It’s impossible to predict when an emergency or disaster will occur, so our job is to be trained and prepared for when that day comes. A big part of that preparation is making sure the jurisdictions in our region are all on the same page.

That’s why we’ve brought Marcus Deyerin into the DOT Director’s Office as our Training and Exercise Program Manager for emergency management. Marcus has earned the initials CEM MEP after his name, which mean he’s a Certified Emergency Manager and a Master Exercise Practitioner. Continue reading Keeping people and goods moving at a “Critical Juncture”

New projects will improve transportation on the Eastside, after construction impacts

By 2024, commuters on the Eastside will enjoy a new era of fast, reliable transportation on light rail, bus rapid transit, and many local street improvements. But first comes what one leader called an inevitable “five or six years of pain” from construction of those projects. More than 90 regional leaders met May 5 in Bellevue to share their concerns and address the challenge of mitigating the impacts on their shared constituencies.

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Councilmember Claudia Balducci: “Working Towards Real Solutions to our Shared Mobility Problems”

Continue reading New projects will improve transportation on the Eastside, after construction impacts

GoGreen and “The Future of Transportation”

by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

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Local action will continue to be our path forward on climate, sustainability, mobility and equity in King County, as we saw at the recent GoGreen Conference in Seattle. Thanks to the leadership of King County Executive Dow Constantine, we are addressing these challenges and partnering with businesses and the community for shared success on green building, wind and solar energy, transit-oriented development, and the nation’s leading commitment on electric buses. Continue reading GoGreen and “The Future of Transportation”

Connecting Eastside bus riders with congestion-free light rail

520 busFor Eastside bus riders commuting into downtown Seattle, potential new connections between Metro Transit and Link light rail offer an appealing option for beating the congestion of traffic on Interstate-5.

Eastside residents have a chance to weigh in on these potential new connections through Link Connections: SR-520, a partnership between Metro and Sound Transit to explore several of these potential options, which include stopping cross-lake buses at the University of Washington light rail station so riders can transfer onto trains headed to downtown, and providing Eastside communities with new transit connections to destinations such as South Lake Union. Routes potentially affected include the 252, 255, 257, 268, 277, 311, 540, 541, 542, 545, 555 and 556. Continue reading Connecting Eastside bus riders with congestion-free light rail