MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Sound Transit making changes to Link Light Rail to ‘increase safety’

Mar 16, 2023, 11:56 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm

Image: Sound Transit implementing ways to make light rail safer....

Sound Transit implementing ways to make light rail safer. (Photo from Sound Transit)

(Photo from Sound Transit)

With Link Light Rail ridership just about back to pre-pandemic levels, Sound Transit is making changes to help people feel safer.

There will be more security personnel on Sound Transit. The agency recently implemented four new contracts with four new security vendors. The contracts went into effect this past weekend.

“So riders are going to be safe. We’re going to be seeing significantly more security personnel throughout the system,” Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher said.

“They’ll be seeing faster response time. So as always, if people see something on the train that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should call or text our security people and let them know,” Gallagher continued.

Sound Transit notes that one of their biggest rider concerns is people experiencing homelessness and riding the trains.

“So what we heard from our passengers was a sense of feeling a little uncomfortable on our trains and in our stations. And that has, in part, something to do with the homeless who are riding our train,” Gallagher said.

“We understand those concerns. We want to make sure that our passengers feel comfortable. We also want to make sure that we’re addressing the needs of homeless people as well in a compassionate way,” he continued. “Which is why we’re partnering with agencies to look for ways for outreach to connect people to services that they may need.”

 

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Cleanliness was another rider concern, and Gallagher assured us that stations will be cleaned.

“We’re undertaking more cleaning in downtown stations so that they are cleaner for people,” Gallagher said. “And we are also undertaking new lighting in their stations, new LED lighting, which will make them brighter. And again, give people a better sense of safety.”

Other news from Sound Transit includes updates to the Link construction schedules south of Seattle. Last week it was announced that Sound Transit is delaying the Tacoma Dome link extension another five years, which pushes the project to 2035. According to Sound Transit, it’s not a money issue but rather planning. Pierce County Council sent Sound Transit a letter last Wednesday detailing items for it to consider.

Members said they had not heard from Sound Transit yet.

However, Gallagher said, “So you know, we certainly understand the frustrations the folks in Pierce County are experiencing, especially in light of the new delay to the Tacoma Dome extension. And we’re going to be responding to the letters that we received from the Pierce County Council in full.

“In the meantime, really, our goal is to, if we expand that system, have it in the best operating condition possible. It’s what’s going to make it attractive as extensions open,” Gallagher concluded.

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