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Obama transport adviser to head up Sound Transit 25 Nov 2015

TunnelTalk reporting

Seattle Sound Transit has secured the services of the USA’s third most senior transportation official as its new CEO. The appointment of Peter Rogoff, a former Federal Transit Administrator, follows a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors.

Rogoff will succeed current CEO Joni Earl, who announced last May that she will retire in the first quarter of 2016 after Sound Transit opens the University Link light rail extension.

“Peter Rogoff will bring the experience this region needs to expand rail and bus service for our fast-growing cities,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Mobility is our linchpin for a prosperous and sustainable future. Today, we welcome one of America’s most seasoned transportation leaders.”

In July 2014 the United States Senate confirmed Rogoff as Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy in the US Department of Transportation, the department’s third highest ranking official. Previously, in May of 2009, the US Senate confirmed Rogoff as President Obama’s Federal Transit Administrator.

“Sound Transit has earned the public’s trust and a nationwide reputation for its success in delivering transit infrastructure for the people of Puget Sound,” Rogoff said. “As its new CEO, I am excited and determined to expand on that legacy as we build projects and expand service in all three counties.”

As the nation’s chief public transit official, Rogoff negotiated and signed a record number of full funding grant agreements with transit agencies across the nation to expand rail and bus rapid transit infrastructure.

Prior to his FTA appointment, Rogoff served for 22 years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, including 14 years as the Democratic Staff Director of the Transportation Subcommittee, led by Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

Peter Rogoff and outgoing CEO Joni Earl at the U-Link groundbreaking
Peter Rogoff and outgoing CEO Joni Earl at the U-Link groundbreaking

While the agency works to complete current voter-approved projects, Rogoff will lead the staff’s work to support the work of the Sound Transit Board in shaping a major Sound Transit 3 package of further regional transit expansions, planned for voter consideration in November next year (2016).

“Peter Rogoff’s resume quickly rose to the top of the more than 190 resumes Sound Transit received,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who served on the Board’s CEO Search Committee. “His interest in coming to our region says something about the caliber of the agency Joni Earl and our staff have built. We are thrilled to have secured such a strong successor of Joni to lead the further expansion of rail and bus services.”

Current Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl, who has been on medical leave, will retire in March 2016 following the opening of the University Link light rail line. Since arriving at Sound Transit 15 years ago, Earl has successfully led the agency forward from the 2000–2002 near collapse of plans to build a regional mass transit system. Today, Sound Transit is on track to open more than 30 additional miles of voter-approved light rail extensions by 2023, establishing a 50-mile regional system. Earl’s retirement will coincide with the under-budget and ahead-of-schedule opening of the University Link light rail extension that she took back to the drawing board in 2001.

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