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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:50 AM   #1441
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Keep it cool guys.

Taiwanesedrummer, I understand all the grudge against China, but they need an infrastructure to move their 1.6 billion people/economy and what they are doing is essentially the same thing Bellevue is doing, except on a larger scale.

Yes we can say that China is driving up the cost and it's eating our economy, but do realize that's what many countries thought about us decades ago. You're Taiwanese and I am of Taiwanese descent too, and it would be great for that little island to go independent without Chinese pressure, but I personally don't support their independence if it's going to lead to World War III. But then, we'd probably bomb the hell outta China anyway, driving our construction costs down. End of discussion. Back to Light Rail.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:56 AM   #1442
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Well, I partially object to the statement above, but I don't think I should continue whatever has been going on Seattle-related threads for the past weeks.

So as far as i've heard, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel is finished and testing has begun between the Operations and Maintainence Facility and the Pine Street Stub Tunnel. The southbound Beacon Hill Tunnel has been completed and I don't know about the northbound Tunnel. Paving and restoration on Martin Luther King Junior Way S. has been completed, so remaining construction is on stations and the tracks. The Tukwila elevated guideway is completed and I believe remaining construction involves track placement and wiring, plus construction of the park and ride at the Tukwila International Blvd. Station. As for the Airport section, some guideway construction has begun, but most of the route is dependent on the construction and relocation of the North Airport Expressway.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 02:48 AM   #1443
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Seattle P-I: Prop. 1 fundraising nears $5 million

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transp...anmoney01.html

Thursday, November 1, 2007
Last updated 12:18 a.m. PT

Prop. 1 fundraising nears $5 million
Backers outspend opponents by more than 5 to 1
By LARRY LANGE
P-I REPORTER

The campaigns over the Puget Sound area's $47 billion roads-and-transit measure soon could become a $5 million affair, as backers raise and spend more than five times as much as opponents.

Those for and against Proposition 1 have raised more than $4.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions -- dwarfing fundraising for the three previous statewide transportation measures. Together they've spent more than $4.8 million.

Backers, who say the projects in the measure are vitally needed, have raised and spent nearly 84 percent of the money, $4.1 million, as the measure faces what could be a close vote on Proposition 1 Nov. 6. Opponents, who say the measure will cost too much and won't do enough to ease congestion, have raised about $794,000 as of Tuesday, according to figures filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Polls have been mixed. With that backdrop, "this is going to be extremely close on Election Day," said Aaron Toso, spokesman for the pro-proposition Keep Washington Rolling campaign, which has spent more than $4 million so far, compared with opponents spending $790,600.

"We have to get our message out to voters, and sometimes that takes money."

Toso's organization is raising the most money for the proponents; three smaller groups are the main fundraisers for the opposing campaign, Citizens Against RTID, Neighbors Opposing Prop. 1 and NoToProp1.org.

Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer contributed $100,000 each to Keep Washington Rolling, and the corporation kicked in $300,000, bringing the total from the company and top executives to $500,000.

Boeing contributed $175,000, the Seattle Mariners $89,000, and $50,000 contributions came from the International Union of Operating Engineers, one of its locals and the Laborers' Political League.

Realtors and some business and labor organizations historically have supported transportation-improvement measures.

The Washington Association of Realtors, a proponent, gave $250,000 in early October in addition to $50,000 it contributed in June. The measure's listed projects should help ease congestion, as the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge has, and keep prospective buyers from rejecting homes because of long commutes, some Realtors agreed.

"We spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, with clients in the car," said Sam Pace, a Kent-based real estate salesman and association board member.

Boeing hopes the improvements will help keep aircraft parts flowing steadily to its factories. Traffic "is not nearly as predictable as it might have been 20 years ago," spokesman Peter Conte said.

Unions and labor groups, according to filings with the commission, accounted for more than $826,000 of supporting cash contributions. The Laborers' International Union gave $155,000 through local and political action committees. The operating engineers' union contributed a total of $135,000, while the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council, an umbrella group for 21 construction unions and 20,000-plus area construction workers, donated $33,000.

Union leaders think the measure would provide jobs and improve commutes, and help train needed new construction workers as the baby-boom generation retires, said Dave Johnson, executive secretary of the building and construction council.

Without this, "What do you do 20 years from now when you know you have infrastructure to be replaced?" Johnson said, calling the measure "the most comprehensive package out there."

Construction companies and trade groups also contributed nearly $378,000 to support the campaign, as have several transportation consulting firms, such as David Evans and Associates, Parametrix, HDR Engineering and Shannon & Wilson.

Other corporate backers include Washington Mutual Inc. at $100,000; Puget Sound Energy at $60,000; Weyerhaeuser Co. at $50,000; and PEMCO and Safeco at $50,000 each.

Proponents spent more than $2.8 million, nearly 70 percent of the contributions they raised, on production and placement of TV commercials and other advertising, compared with the $272,000 opponents reported spending. About $207,000 of proponents' money went to consultants, $334,500 to campaign literature and $82,978 to research.

Opponents did not report spending in any of those specific categories.

The opposing campaign's big cash contributions come from Eastside businessman Kemper Freeman, who contributed $200,000 through two of his companies, Kemper Development Co. and Bellevue Square Managers. Telecommunications mogul Bruce McCaw contributed $25,000.

Freeman is a longtime opponent of light rail systems and a bus system proponent who argues the transportation package won't reduce congestion and will hurt business and "all of us." Freeman's contributions went to the NoToProp1.org Committee.

Mark Baerwaldt, founder of several high-tech companies, has paid more than $200,000 of the expenses of the opposition group NoToProp1.org, for which he is treasurer and spokesman.

Funds and spending linked to this year's three-county measure exceed the amounts raised and spent on previous statewide transportation measures. Both sides in the 2002 campaign for the unsuccessful Referendum 51 to raise the gas tax raised and spent $4.7 million.

In 1998 campaigners for and against a highway measure, Referendum 49, raised and spent slightly less than $1.1 million; that measure passed. In 2005 campaigners for and against a gas-tax rollback, Initiative 912, received and paid out about $3.7 million before voters rejected that measure.

This time, campaigners for both sides say, costs are higher, the issues are more complex and the greater Seattle area is the most expensive for buying TV advertising time. "There are a lot of details to try to explain to voters," Toso said.

Baerwaldt and other opponents agreed the anti-proposition campaign is being outspent partly because it organized late.

"There are a number of against-Prop. 1 groups, but they haven't come together the way the 'pros' have," said Mary Ann Mundy of Neighbors Opposing Proposition 1, a group of opponents living near the west end of the Evergreen Point Bridge who don't like the proposals for replacing it.

The Sierra Club's state chapter has organized, however. On Wednesday, it reported having contributed more than $124,000 in staff time, phone calls, printing, legal assistance and one TV commercial to the opposition cause through the group Citizens Against RTID. The group is made up largely of club members.

The club said the ballot measure would spend too much on roads and increase car traffic and pollution, confounding efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and deal with global warming. They're being outgunned financially because major backers are "the establishment" that wants "transportation for their employees at taxpayer expense," said Cascade Club Chapter Chairman Mike O'Brien.

But, "what we've seen is that the public is responsive to the message that transportation matters but so does global warming," O'Brien said, predicting a close vote. "I don't think anyone thinks it's going to be a runaway landslide."



THE LATEST POLL

Proposition 1, the roads and mass transit package that goes before voters Tuesday, is narrowly trailing, according to a non-partisan poll by a University of Washington research center.

The poll, released this week, shows 43 percent of those surveyed were certain or leaning toward a yes vote, with 46 percent in the no category. A total of 11 percent remained undecided. The transit package runs well among Democratic voters and holds a narrow 47-43 lead in King County. But Republicans oppose it 2-to-1. The poll was taken Oct. 21-29 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.



TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Cash and in-kind services:

BACKERS
Washington Association of Realtors, $300,000
Microsoft Corp., $300,000
The Boeing Co., $175,000
Laborers International Union, $155,000
Operating Engineers Union locals, $135,000
Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, $100,000
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, $100,000
Washington Mutual Inc., $100,000
Seattle Mariners, $89,000
Washington State Labor Council, $60,000

Opponents
Mark Baerwaldt, $200,993
KF & DS Partnership, $124,402
Kemper Development Co., $110,000
Bellevue Square Managers, $100,000
Bruce McCaw, $25,000
Oak Harbor Freight Lines, $15,000
Donald F. Padelford, $10,000
Hoglund Transfer Co., $5,000
Peninsula Truck Lines, $5,000
Margaret C. Simpson, $5,000
Charlotte Tochterman, $5,000
Washington Traffic Institute, $5,000
Michael J. Wensman, $5,000

Source: Washington State Public Disclosure Commission


P-I reporter Larry Lange can be reached at 206-448-8313 or [email protected].
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 05:29 AM   #1444
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why is Bellevue Square opposed??

because they want their stupid ******* city of bellevue to stay suburbia!! god what is wrong with this place??
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 05:36 AM   #1445
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Quote:
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why is Bellevue Square opposed??

because they want their stupid ******* city of bellevue to stay suburbia!! god what is wrong with this place??
Because Bellevue Square is owned by Kemper Freeman Jr., the road-loving guy that gave birth to Downtown Bellevue.

And does everyone have to turn every Seattle-related forum into a Proposition 1 forum? Please, try to focus on the Central Link, still under construction!

*Anyone got new photos?
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 06:51 AM   #1446
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And does everyone have to turn every Seattle-related forum into a Proposition 1 forum? Please, try to focus on the Central Link, still under construction!
This is the "Seattle Light Rail" thread, not the "Central Link" thread. Prop 1 includes 50 miles of light rail, So... any discussion about Seattle light rail will eventually include discussion about prop 1.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM   #1447
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why is Bellevue Square opposed??
Actually it is probably because the real estate prices will drop in relative to the area that have access to light rail because when people find convenience of light rail they will flock to those areas.
It happened all the time here in Japan.
The smartest thing to do is sell real estate that does not have access and wait for it to drop rock bottom then re-purchase it and wait till they announce development of transit system into that area.
Again alot of Japanese investors and re-developers uses this scheme to make revitalize the community while making capital gain.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 12:48 AM   #1448
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Actually it is probably because the real estate prices will drop in relative to the area that have access to light rail because when people find convenience of light rail they will flock to those areas.
It happened all the time here in Japan.
The smartest thing to do is sell real estate that does not have access and wait for it to drop rock bottom then re-purchase it and wait till they announce development of transit system into that area.
Again alot of Japanese investors and re-developers uses this scheme to make revitalize the community while making capital gain.
Bellevue Square will have access to light rail. Kemper Freeman stands to benefit monstrously from the package.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 12:55 AM   #1449
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Seattle Times: Light rail to Tacoma: Is it worth the money?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...tacoma01m.html

Light rail to Tacoma: Is it worth the money?
By Andrew Garber

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sidebar====================================================

Travel times in 2030: On your mark, get set ...

Sound Transit says light rail between Seattle and Tacoma is worth the price. But critics say it won't compete with buses and commuter trains, based on ridership and travel time. Here are Sound Transit's travel-time estimates between Westlake Center and Tacoma in 2030:

By train:

66 minutes, including bus transfer

By light rail

70 minutes

By bus

80 minutes

==========================================================

Sound Transit's plan to extend light rail to Tacoma at a cost of almost $3.4 billion is drawing more criticism than any other part of its proposal on next week's ballot.

Both King County Executive Ron Sims, a former Sound Transit chairman, and the Sierra Club, a light-rail advocate, say taking light rail to Tacoma doesn't make much sense.

They argue the projected 70-minute light-rail trip from the Tacoma Dome to downtown Seattle wouldn't be able to compete with the bus and Sounder commuter-rail service that exists now.

"It's the one thing that's the big weakness in this package," said Sims, who chaired the Sound Transit board in 2002 and 2003. "You can't justify it."

Sound Transit officials disagree. They predict strong ridership, and argue that by the time the route is completed, light-rail trains would beat buses to Seattle because of growing traffic congestion.

The proposed $3.36 billion, 19-mile-long, Sea-Tac-to-Tacoma extension is part of the largest tax package ever put before Washington voters. Light rail from Seattle to Sea-Tac is under construction as part of the line approved by voters in 1996.

Proposition 1 on Tuesday's ballot would increase car-tab and sales taxes in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties to improve highways and extend light rail north of Lynnwood, south to Tacoma and east to the Redmond area.

In 2006 dollars, the package is expected to cost nearly $18 billion. Those costs are expected to reach $38 billion over the next 20 years and $47 billion in 50 years.

Sound Transit officials say there's a strong case for extending light rail to Tacoma.

The agency projects that about 45,000 people a day would use the route. It says that out of 12 rail projects reviewed by the federal government in recent years, only one had higher projected ridership than Sound Transit's proposed south and east routes.

Sound Transit also predicts traffic congestion will slow buses down by the time the light-rail system is completed in 20 years.

In 2006, it took an average of 69 minutes to travel by bus from the Tacoma Dome to Westlake in downtown Seattle, Sound Transit said. But by 2030, the agency projects, it will take buses 80 minutes to make the trip — 10 minutes longer on average than light rail.

And Sound Transit argues that light rail would be more reliable because it's not affected by traffic jams.

Besides, the agency says, most people using the route are expected to make shorter trips in Pierce and southern King counties instead of traveling all the way to Seattle. The proposed line would have seven stops from Sea-Tac to Tacoma.

The Sounder commuter trains that now run between Tacoma and Seattle will always be faster, because they travel at higher speeds and make fewer stops.

But Sounder serves a different set of passengers, said Geoff Patrick, a Sound Transit spokesman. He also noted that light rail would run all day while the Sounder trains, which share tracks with freight trains, only run during the commute hours.

Sound Transit also promised that money raised by tax increases would be spent where it's generated. In this case, Pierce County residents said they wanted light rail, Patrick said.

"We heard overwhelmingly that there was preference for a light-rail connection that would offer service throughout the day," he said. "There was no question about public preference for that."

Of the nearly $3.4 billion cost of the route, more than $1.9 billion would come from Pierce County and more than $1.4 billion from King.

Sims said Sound Transit needs a better justification for spending the money. "You can't simply say 'because we want it,' " he said.

At Sims' request, the King County Office of Management and Budget did a rough cost-benefit analysis of each proposed light-rail segment in Proposition 1, as well as bus and commuter rail. The analysis was done before the measure was placed on the ballot.

It estimated that for every $1,000 spent, the Sea-Tac-to-Tacoma extension would carry 69 passengers. By comparison, the analysis found that light rail to Bellevue would carry 106 people per $1,000, and the extension north would move 369 people per $1,000.

Analysts arrived at the estimates by taking projected costs of the projects and dividing them by estimates of how many people would ride each segment.

Sound Transit officials dismissed the analysis. Patrick, in an e-mail, called it "a very bizarre set of calculations that is well outside the boundaries of anything our staff has seen."

Sound Transit said its ridership projections from Sea-Tac to Tacoma are the same as its projections for the light-rail route to the Redmond area.

Sims and the King County Office of Management and Budget stand by their numbers.

"The key is not whether this would be nice to have in 2030," Sims said of the proposal to extend light rail to Tacoma. "If you are looking at investments per thousand, is this where you would build it? Do you get a big bang for the buck? And why would people use it? My thing is, people won't."

In terms of Sound Transit's projected travel times in 2030, Sims and his staff also disagree that growing congestion will make buses slower than light rail.

"You can't project forward and say everything else is going to remain constant except light rail, that's just not the case," Sims said.

He predicts the state will take steps, such as using tolls, to keep the car-pool and bus lanes moving.

"In fact, you're going to see congestion relief," Sims said. "You're going to see lanes that are designed to move your buses."

Plus, Sims questions Sound Transit's projections that most people would ride light rail to places inside Pierce County instead of traveling all the way to Seattle.

"That's not where the jobs are," he said. "I don't know how they can argue that."

Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, the current Sound Transit board chairman, said people shouldn't get hung up on ridership projections.

"First of all, the ridership projections are very speculative. They may be double what we think, and that wouldn't be out of the range of possibility. But what you do know is that once you build a permanent rail corridor, it's there for 100 years," he said.

"We're now 20 years late bringing light rail to Seattle. I don't want to see us be 20 years late to bring it to Tacoma. Now is the right time to bring it there. It's an investment in the future."

Andrew Garber: 360-943-9882 or [email protected]

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 03:28 AM   #1450
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I wrote a pretty basic takedown of this completely bullshit article here:

http://seatrans.blogspot.com/2007/11...i-instead.html

The article basically just creates a false frame - it's not Seattle to Tacoma travel that matters here, it's all the points in between.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 03:01 PM   #1451
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I tend to agree that the article misses the point regarding service to all the places between Seattle and Tacoma. My family used to live near Kent and might have been regular users of a transit line between Seattle and Tacoma. The article does reinforce my opinion about the decision to use light rail for the line. If it weren't for the non-grade separated section through the Rainier Valley and if higher-speed heavy rail metro trains had been used, the line would have been faster than the parallel Sounder line and the ridership probably would have been higher than has been forecast.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 03:06 PM   #1452
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http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/10/...s_one_week_out

New Poll Numbers, One Week Out
Posted by Erica C. Barnett on October 30 at 13:47 PM

A new poll by University of Washington researchers finds that the roads and transit ballot measure, Prop. 1, is trailing among registered voters, with 43 percent in favor and 46 against (11 percent were undecided), but doing much better among likely voters (those who voted in the previous two November elections). Among those voters—400 of the poll’s total sample of 600—49 percent supported the measure, 38 percent opposed it, and 13 percent were undecided. ...
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 04:31 PM   #1453
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That is an obviously flawed article (the Seattle Times one). Sounder will never be as good as Link Light Rail. BNSF probably would never let ST run trains every 5 minutes all day. And Ron Sims is a fool, buses will never be able to compete with LRT, like UrbanBen said, LRT has the advantage of serving intermediate stops without slowing the trip down a lot. Buses would only be able to compete with LRT, if they used the transit tunnel, they grade seperated the Busway, extended the Busway south, to connect into I-5 with Direct access to the HOV lanes, and connected the Tacoma Dome station directly to the HOV lanes, and they wouldn't have the ridership because of the lack of intermediate stops.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 07:31 PM   #1454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
I tend to agree that the article misses the point regarding service to all the places between Seattle and Tacoma. My family used to live near Kent and might have been regular users of a transit line between Seattle and Tacoma. The article does reinforce my opinion about the decision to use light rail for the line. If it weren't for the non-grade separated section through the Rainier Valley and if higher-speed heavy rail metro trains had been used, the line would have been faster than the parallel Sounder line and the ridership probably would have been higher than has been forecast.
Actually, for Tacoma Dome to King Street, light rail is six minutes slower than Sounder. Their 70 minute number is four stops later, at Westlake.

The key is, everyone transfers when getting off Sounder. Most passengers from Tacoma will likely take Link to avoid the transfer, and will also likely save time over walking from King Street to International District stations.

The other thing here is that there will likely eventually be a bypass of the rainier valley, something on Marginal Way. Look at how Link leaves and then comes back to the Duwamish valley.

Last edited by UrbanBen; November 3rd, 2007 at 07:37 PM.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 07:33 PM   #1455
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Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
That is an obviously flawed article (the Seattle Times one). Sounder will never be as good as Link Light Rail. BNSF probably would never let ST run trains every 5 minutes all day. And Ron Sims is a fool, buses will never be able to compete with LRT, like UrbanBen said, LRT has the advantage of serving intermediate stops without slowing the trip down a lot. Buses would only be able to compete with LRT, if they used the transit tunnel, they grade seperated the Busway, extended the Busway south, to connect into I-5 with Direct access to the HOV lanes, and connected the Tacoma Dome station directly to the HOV lanes, and they wouldn't have the ridership because of the lack of intermediate stops.
There's probably not going to be much difference between them in ridership per capital dollar spent for a long time. There wasn't really the ROW to build light rail through Kent, Auburn, etc, so you get a lot more bang for your buck just using the freight tracks. I mean, I totally agree with you, but *shrug*.

Last edited by UrbanBen; November 3rd, 2007 at 07:39 PM.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 10:10 PM   #1456
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Speaking of Seattle-Tacoma buses, is Sound Transit even going to construct the Star Lake Freeway Station? A couple of years ago I heard it was going to be a direct-access ramp, then a freeway station, and now nothing. I'm probably going off topic, but Seattle-Tacoma buses could run even faster with the Star Lake Freeway Station (HOV access), along with HOV lanes to Tacoma and all that.....(but i'll leave that for another time).

So, does anyone know?
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Old November 4th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #1457
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Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
Speaking of Seattle-Tacoma buses, is Sound Transit even going to construct the Star Lake Freeway Station? A couple of years ago I heard it was going to be a direct-access ramp, then a freeway station, and now nothing. I'm probably going off topic, but Seattle-Tacoma buses could run even faster with the Star Lake Freeway Station (HOV access), along with HOV lanes to Tacoma and all that.....(but i'll leave that for another time).

So, does anyone know?
Hey mister "stay on topic", this is the light rail thread. (I don't care)

http://soundtransit.org/x1779.xml

Why don't you call Roger Iwata on Monday and ask him?
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Old November 4th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #1458
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Hey mister "stay on topic", this is the light rail thread. (I don't care)

http://soundtransit.org/x1779.xml

Why don't you call Roger Iwata on Monday and ask him?

In the spirit of off-topic-ness that's been going on, I thought i'd join the "off-topic-ness" bandwagon . And i've given up asking Sound Transit questions. When I asked them about the Everett Station expansion project construction dates, they gave me the same information that I found on the website. Talk about customer service.........
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Old November 4th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1459
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In the spirit of off-topic-ness that's been going on, I thought i'd join the "off-topic-ness" bandwagon . And i've given up asking Sound Transit questions. When I asked them about the Everett Station expansion project construction dates, they gave me the same information that I found on the website. Talk about customer service.........
No, CALL Roger Iwata.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #1460
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does anyone know whats going on with the Airport station???

Remember in like June or July when there was that big issue with the contractor wanting like twice as much... what happened?? has the station begun construction yet?
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