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American Public Transportation Association

 Technical Tours

Tuesday, October 2

2:15 - 5:15 p.m.

King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit, the City of Seattle, and Amtak have arranged the following six informative technical tours. Please sign up on site at the host information desk for the tour of your choice.

TOUR 1: RapidRide Corridor Tour (Ballard and Shoreline)

(40 person limit; estimated tour length is three hours)

Take a look at RapidRide – King County Metro’s bus rapid transit system. We will travel along one of the recently opened lines (the D Line) and have a chance to look up close at the passenger amenities that include uniquely designed shelters, real time bus arrival signs, and off board fare payment for smart cards. We will discuss various roadway improvements that have been implemented including transit signal priority, HOV and business access and transit (BAT) lanes, bus bulbs, and queue jumps. We will also travel along a future alignment (the E Line) where there has been significant investment by the City of Shoreline in sidewalks, BAT lanes, and other elements to create a pedestrian and transit friendly corridor, attractive to businesses and residents and encouraging economic development. Experience the RapidRide red and yellow bus with its branded elements and special features which include hybrid diesel-electric propulsion, three doors, low floors, stop announcements, LED lighting and free passenger Wi-Fi.

Meet the Metro Transit bus at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The tour will depart at 2 p.m.

TOUR 2: Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Transit/Link Communications & Control Center, Atlantic/Central Operations Base

(Estimated tour length is two hours.)

Join Metro staff on a tour of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. The tour includes a bus ride through the 1.3-mile tunnel and a tour of behind- the-scenes facilities that support the tunnel. The Transit/Link Communications and Control Center houses the communications equipment that staff uses to interact with and monitor all Metro-operated buses running on surface and tunnel routes and Sound Transit’s LINK Light Rail services operated by Metro. The facility also serves as Transit’s Emergency Operations Center. The building, completed in 2007, received a LEED Gold rating. The tour will continue to the Metro’s Atlantic/Central Operating Base, which opened in September 2011. This state-of-the-art operating base also received a LEED Gold rating.

Meet the Metro Transit bus at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike Street between 7th & 8th Avenues at 2 p.m.

TOUR 3: Sound Transit Sounder South Line -- Lakewood Extension

(Estimated tour length is three hours.)

Take a narrative tour of Sound Transit’s new Sounder commuter rail extension from Tacoma to Lakewood, Washington. Learn about the challenges of planning and building a new railroad through an urban area with steep grades. Explore the multi-modal stations at Tacoma Dome and Lakewood.

Meet at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues at 2:15 p.m. for group transportation to Tacoma. 

TOUR 4: Sound Transit Link Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility

(60 person limit; estimated tour length is two hours.)

Visit Sound Transit’s state-of-the art light rail operations and maintenance facility. The tour starts with a 30-minute presentation on the key features and history of Central Link, followed by a one-hour technical tour of the facility. The tour will focus on some of the innovative technology being used for vehicle repairs and maintenance. Sound Transit buses will take passengers directly back to the Washington State Convention Center following the tour. 

Meet at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike Street between 7th & 8th Avenues at 2:15 p.m. for transportation to the facility.

TOUR 5: City of Seattle South Lake Union Sreetcar and South Lake Union Development

(Estimated tour length is two and one-half hours.)

Join City of Seattle staff on a tour of the Seattle Streetcar and adjacent urban development. The tour starts with a ride on the South Lake Union Line from Westlake Center to the Discovery Center at Denny and Westlake. At the Discovery Center, meet with representatives from local developer, Vulcan Real Estate, to hear about their bold vision for revitalizing nearly 60 acres in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Then travel to the Seattle Streetcar barn for a tour of the streetcar’s operations and maintenance facility.

Meet at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike Street between 7th & 8th Avenues at 2:15 p.m. to walk as a group to Westlake Center.

TOUR 6: Amtrak Maintenance of Equipment (MOE) Facility

(Estimated tour length is three hours.)

A major upgrade to Amtrak’s Seattle facility was achieved this summer with the completion of the Maintenance of Equipment (MOE) building. This state-of-the-art building supports Amtrak operations and maintenance agreements in the Pacific Northwest for the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Amtrak Cascades, and Sounder commuter trains.  Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation.

The new facilities and updated grounds will dramatically improve the capacity, efficiency and working conditions for the personnel that perform inspections, testing and maintenance of the Amtrak Cascades trains that were manufactured by Talgo, Inc. Amtrak mechanics, electricians and cleaners perform the maintenance under the management of Talgo. The new maintenance facility is an enclosed structure over two tracks, 680’ in length, allowing two Cascades trainsets to be completely inside the facility while undergoing maintenance. 

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