Panel members were selected based on their expertise in a variety of technical fields. The following provides an explanation of the roles each panel member will play.
Transit project cost estimating (William Lorenz). The panel member has firsthand experience with project cost estimating on transit systems in urban settings, including comprehensive issues of design, permitting, mitigation, construction and project startup. The member will review current Federal Transit Administration direction on cost estimating.
Capital finance review (Darlene Cimino-DeRose). The panel member will provide a review of capital financing plans for construction of urban transit systems and/or other similar types of urban transportation infrastructure systems. The member may be called upon to conduct the following review: a. Assessing tax and fare revenue projections from various sources and supporting data. b. Evaluating cash flow models to support project spending in order to evaluate the scale and timing of cash needs for program delivery. c. Reviewing proposed capitalization strategies that match grant funding, debt funding for both construction financing and long-term financing as well as other debt instruments and credit enhancements, pay-as-you-go cash funding, and experience in private debt or equity contributions. d. Evaluating potential strategies to assure maximum market access to Sound Transit for project debt financing and optimum credit quality to achieve the most favorable interest rates for debt offerings. The member may be called upon to explain substantive and complex financial plans or alternatives to a broad range of audiences, particularly elected officials and the press.
Ridership forecasting (Dr. Siim Sööt). The panel member will be asked to help guide the preparation of forecasts, drawing upon expertise to determine a suitable range of probability of attainment of ridership. It is imperative that ridership forecasts in the Plan Update be fair and reasonable, avoiding overly optimistic projections while adequately preparing for future demand. In addition, the member will provide critical assessment of ridership forecasting in comparison to the actual ridership results for urban mass transit systems around the country.
Modal analysis (Dr. Michael Meyer). The panel member will provide objective guidance and evaluation of the modal technologies, specifically between light rail and bus rapid transit technologies. The member will rely on his experience in mode/technology evaluations that avoided bias of particular technology options. The member will contribute to the methodology and presentation of the Plan Update as it is being performed, and must be prepared to evaluate diverse modal choices including monorail and innovative technologies.
Legal and political "architecture" of Sound Transit's legislative charter (Steve Lundin). The panel member will bring extensive knowledge of Sound Transit's enabling language, and experience formulating well-built and correct legal analysis to the panel's deliberations. The member will provide assurance that the plan's assumptions are appropriate and reasonable, and optimum and accurate legislative and policy parameters prompted by the Plan Update are pursued.
Environmental impact statement (EIS) preparation (Alonzo Wertz). The panel member will help assure that the Phase 2 Plan Update presents the optimum approach to the structuring of the programmatic EIS under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The member will provide expertise on the preparation of EIS documentation and its consistency with the expectations of the Federal Transit Administration and the timely issuance of a Record of Decision associated with the document. The member will review corridor and route level trade-off analysis, the accurate processing of environmental justice provisions, and other environmental issues generating community interest and subsequent commitments for mitigation. The member will provide guidance in the preparation of the EIS document and lend expertise to mitigate obstacles present in the various elements of the Plan Update, particularly with permitting requirements.
Local design and constructability issues (Thomas Schmitt). The panel member has experience in the development of large urban mass transit projects, and the successful management of risk for the project in relation to local design and construction demands. The member will provide assurance that critical design and construction questions are posed and assessed, and provide guidance in the development of risk management strategies in the Plan Update as a means to ensure greater predictability of plan implementation, while at the programmatic level.
Operations and maintenance issues for urban mass transit systems (Alan Kiepper). The panel member will provide assurance that methodologies and assumptions in the operation and maintenance of various technologies are reasonable and appropriate. The member will draw upon his expertise to assure that transportation system integration, including technology integration, synergistic efficiencies, and long-term energy conservation issues are appropriate.