The Sound Transit Board on June 26 officially designated Sound Transit Deputy CEO Mike Harbour as acting CEO as Joni Earl continues her medical leave. Earl is recovering from surgeries due to a brain injury from a blood vessel leakage on the brain.
“As Joni recovers she has the Sound Transit Board’s strong support,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Mike Harbour has our complete confidence in this role to keep Sound Transit on track to serve our region’s commuters.”
Harbour has been deputy CEO since October, 2012.
“Joni is uncertain when she may return so she supports this Board action to keep Sound Transit focused on moving forward,” Harbour said. “We are very well positioned to continue making critical investments in the region’s transportation system. I am honored to step into this role until Joni returns and want to relay her appreciation for our support as she recovers.”
Upcoming priorities include preparing to launch construction of the East Link light rail extension in 2015 and opening of University Link in early 2016, which is six to nine months ahead of schedule and about $150 million under budget.
The Northgate and South 200th light rail extensions are also in full construction. In the coming months the agency will advance planning, environmental review and design work for building light rail extensions to Lynnwood and Kent/Des Moines and establishing a shovel-ready plan to reach Federal Way. Overall, Sound Transit is on track to deliver 34 miles of light rail extensions by 2023.
The Board is also updating the regional transit Long-Range Plan this year and exploring options for further mass transit expansions after existing projects are complete.