Light Rail Expansion to Create 44 Million Hours of Work for Skilled-Trades - August 30, 2016 - Mass Transit Now
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Light Rail Expansion to Create 44 Million Hours of Work for Skilled-Trades – August 30, 2016

Media Contact: James Canning


August 30, 2016                


Light Rail Expansion to Create 44 Million Hours of Work for Skilled-Trades
Regional Proposition 1 would support creation of more than 220,000 jobs
Bus and train
operator workforce is expected to grow by 34%


SEATTLE—Regional Proposition 1 will deliver high-quality, family-sustaining jobs for tens of thousands of skilled construction workers over the next 25 years.

An estimated 44 million labor hours will be needed to construct the next phase of high-capacity transit that gives commuters options to avoid traffic while carrying them to major jobs centers throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. According to models developed by the Washington State Office of Financial Management, Regional Proposition 1 would support over 78,000 direct jobs and more than 144,000 indirect jobs over the 25-year period of construction.

“Mass Transit Now is about getting people where they need to go, fast. I love Light-Rail and I take it all the time because it’s reliable and a good experience. Everyone in our region should have Light-Rail in their community. I’ve lived in the Rainier Valley my whole life and Sound Transit was a game changer for my neighborhood,” said Nicole Grant, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, M.L. King County Labor Council. “I can’t wait to vote for ST3 in November. It’s one vote I can make that will help us avoid traffic on I-5 all the way to Tacoma, and I-90 all the way to Issaquah, and create thousands of great jobs for young people in my community, and keep millions of tons of carbon out of our atmosphere. ST3 is the solution for our region.”

With voter support of Mass Transit Now, skilled-trades workers from across the Puget Sound region will install enough new track to more than double the length of Link light rail to 116 miles, build more than 80 stations, and laydown the infrastructure needed to expand Bus Rapid Transit and commuter rail services.

By 2029, Mass Transit Now will provide an estimated 9 percent of the construction jobs in the region.

Sound Transit’s Project Labor Agreements have been an important tool to ensure that the Agency is generating union-wage jobs with fair labor standards while training the next generation of skilled-workers. Sound Transit has a 20% of the total construction hours worked apprenticeship utilization goal.

Nearly 13 million construction labor hours have been completed since Sound Transit’s founding under the Project Labor Agreement that was signed in 1999. As part of Sound Transit 2 (ST2) 17 million labor hours have been funded to construct the East Link, North Gate Link, and Lynnwood light rail extensions. By 2023, ST2 construction will have created more than 100,000 jobs.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 587, 1576, and 758 members who keep the buses and trains running will also benefit from a passage and implementation of Mass Transit Now. The operator workforce is expected to grow by 34 percent by 2029. There will also be a 45 percent increase in ATU operations hours per year by 2041, which equates to about 470,000 additional operation hours per year.

The Mass Transit Now Coalition labor organization endorsements include:

  • Pierce County Building & Construction Trades Council
  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
  • Northwest Regional Council- National Construction Association 91
  • HOD Carriers & General Laborers Union Local 242
  • Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 46
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302
  • Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest
  • Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council
  • Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy
  • Cement Masons & Plasterers Local #528
  • Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers
  • Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 77
  • Laborers Local 440
  • Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751

To learn more about the Mass Transit Now effort, and the growing coalition that supports Regional Proposition 1, visit the campaign web site at