SEATTLE — Around 80,000 people ride on Sound Transit's Link light rail every day, but there was a time when the Link almost didn't happen.

Bob Wodnik, the author of Back on Track, and Joni Earl, former CEO of Sound Transit, recount the obstacles that the light rail faced in the early days of its conception and what lessons we can learn from the ordeal. 

"There were so many new people that didn't know the history of Sound Transit, didn't know how close it came to actually not having a light rail system, that's why I started the book, just for the Sound Transit people," Wodnik said.

Wodnik explained that Sound Transit struggled through legislative and public perception problems long before the light rail was developed.

"People didn't like Sound Transit for a while but they wanted light rail, so I think it's this belief in what you want to achieve, people will go a long way," Earl said.

ABOUT THE BOOK: "With light rail estimates well beyond the voter-approved total, a fledgling Sound Transit faced angry opposition and teetered near collapse—until a new executive director rallied team members, secured a crucial federal grant, publicly confronted critics, and revised the budget. Her team navigated lawsuits and complex demands to deliver the promised system, and today the public transportation agency’s trains and buses serve nearly 50 million passengers each year." - WSU Press.

Back on Track
Back on Track
Bob Wodnik

Segment Producer Derek Haas. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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