Sound Transit issues annual sustainability progress report

The Sound Transit Board Thursday received its annual update on the agency’s efforts to incorporate sustainable approaches in planning, designing, constructing and operating transit services and facilities.

Last year, Sound Transit experienced its most successful ridership year ever, with its approximately 28 million passenger boardings climbing 12 percent from the previous year. But Sound Transit’s work for environmental sustainability doesn’t stop with reducing pollution and congestion by moving people out of cars onto buses and trains. A plan adopted two years ago aims to make sustainability a key consideration in just about everything the agency does.

“Sustainability is about making long-term investments and choices that leave future generations better off than we are today,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “It’s at the core of our organization.”

McCarthy pointed to a list of last year’s accomplishments that are detailed in the latest Sustainability Progress Report, such as increasing Sounder commuter rail’s fuel efficiency per mile of service by 4 percent; maintaining fuel efficiency on ST Express buses while increasing the number of riders; beginning efficiency upgrades at four transit facilities; reducing water use at maintenance facilities by 12 percent; and increasing recycling and composting at administrative facilities by 22 percent.

The complete progress report and information on the agency’s sustainability efforts can be found online at