On the half-century anniversary of the Seattle Monorail, more than five years after the end of the last attempt to expand the monorail along a route from Ballard to West Seattle, an activist says it’s time to try again. The announcement comes from Elizabeth Campbell, known for past campaigns including a push for a rebuilt Alaskan Way Viaduct. The news release (and a call for board members) is ahead:
This morning the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Monorail’s service is being celebrated, and this morning the board of the newly created Century Transportation Company (“CenTran”) is announcing that it is launching its campaign to create a public transportation authority to build an approximately 16 mile monorail/High Capacity Personal Rapid Transit System along the west side transportation corridor of Seattle.
In order to publicly form a transportation authority, approximately 3,600 valid signatures will be gathered on a petition pursuant to RCW 35.95A, which will authorize a public vote to be taken on the formation of the authority, along with the authorization for initial funding for the planning, design, and engineering of the transportation system.
The system will flow from north Ballard, through 15th Avenue NW, swing along the west side of the Seattle Center, then go west to Western Avenue, then run south along the right-of-way of the Alaskan Way Viaduct that is to be vacated, south to 1st Avenue, then west to West Seattle. A map of proposed route alignments can be accessed here.
CenTran will capitalize on the prior planning, design, and engineering work that was completed for the Seattle Popular Monorail project. This will particularly ensure the timely planning and construction of this critical transportation system to serve the west side of Seattle.
CenTran will especially endeavor to create an up-to-date, viable financial plan for both the construction and operation of the CenTran monorail/high capacity personal rapid transit system. Financing for the construction may include public-private partnerships, public stock sales, and a combination of revenue or general obligation bond issues. The cost of the complete system is estimated to be between $1.5 and $2 Billion dollars – for a 16+ mile monorail and 18 stations.
Following a authorizing vote in August, 2012, it is estimated that the planning and design phase will take one year, followed by two years to complete the environmental review and permitting processes. During this time another public vote will be held to authorize the funding and construction of the system. Construction then is estimated to commence in 2016, followed by completion and operation of the complete system by December, 2018.
The system being proposed will be fully grade-separated, will utilize public right-of-ways where feasible, and serve major destination points that are most likely to be produce the highest ridership volumes.
Special emphasis is being place on station locations that can be multipurpose uses, in terms of transportation use in conjunction with residential and commercial uses.
Initial talks have been started between CenTran and the Mayor/Mayor’s office about CenTran’s interest in participating in the transportation planning between Sound Transit and the City of Seattle for a high capacity transportation system in Seattle – monorail is federally recognized by definition and function as a high capacity transportation system, and CenTran’s grade separated feature also fulfills the standard of high capacity transit as it runs in its own dedicated corridor.
Recently, CenTran also weighed in with the Arena Project partners – as a transportation authority CenTran can partner with public and private projects that contribute to the establishment and operation of the transportation system.
CenTran has been formed in order to engage in the following activities:
· Creating a transportation system that utilizes train cars running on a guideway, together with the necessary passenger stations, terminals, parking facilities, related facilities or other properties and facilities necessary for the system – including passenger and vehicular access to and from people-moving systems such as High Capacity Personal Rapid Transit (HCPRT) that has multiple off-line stations to collect and distribute riders to and from the monorail system, including fixed guideway light rail systems (which include any tram and trolley systems such as the waterfront trolley or the streetcar in the South Lake Union area of the city, and high capacity personal rapid transit.)
· Exercising all the powers provided to city transportation authorities under RCW 35.95A and other applicable law.
· Providing a forum in which people and organizations can work together for the common transportation or mobility good of themselves and their community.
INVITATION TO SERVE ON THE CENTRAN BOARD
At present there are nine additional board member positions open (CenTran currently has six board members). An invitation is being extended citywide and to community, business, and special interest organizations, asking to please circulate this invite.
Board members are needed for a start-up, community based public transportation authority, being organized pursuant to RCW 35.95A The Authority will be proposing to construct an approximately 16 mile long, dual guideway monorail system between Ballard and West Seattle, in one or more phases.
To transmit letter of inquiry or interest related to CTA board member opening, and to attach resume or send other related information please use this link or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member Duties:
· Board members will be actively involved in all facets of City of Seattle transportation planning work and related regional transportation planning work, in terms of how they relate to CenTran’s transportation system’s goals.
· Board members will support the work of the Century Transportation Authority and any associated spin-off entities.
· Board members will provide mission-based leadership, strategic governance, and be involved in the search for and appointment of the Authority’s executive director; and to provide polity and guidance for the Authority’s director to follow.
· Board Members’ responsibilities will also include: setting policies, reviewing outcomes and metrics, establishing and approving the Authority’s annual budget, providing audit reports, making material business decisions, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
· Interim Board terms will be for a minimum of 14 months. Permanent board member terms will be for five years.
Experience with City of Seattle or Washington state issues, preferably transportation related, or a record of involvement with Seattle neighborhood affairs that includes some transportation matters experience. The experience should be at least two years, demonstrate a commitment to public service, and involve in-depth participation in terms of issue complexity, and be a public or documented record of participation.
Additional Considerations for Potential Board Members:
Expertise in a specific area which can help CenTran flourish is desirable. For example, special knowledge, education, or experience in one or more of the following fields: legal, financial, economic development, real estate, transportation, public or private infrastructure development or construction experience.
Leadership and management experience, especially with publicly or privately funded transportation.
Commitment to the project/grade separated system. Board members must be interested in the Authority’s business and its continued well-being. They should not be serving just for the money or for personal interests.
Possess the time and energy to devote to board duties. Board members will be expected to spend time preparing for and attending board meetings, and to serve on additional committees.