Opinion

Yes on transit

We say vote “yes” for Proposition 1 on the April 22 Special Election ballot due next Tuesday.

Islanders who have yet to vote need to do so.  Vote YES to use tax and vehicle fees for transportation improvements and funding to keep transit running in our county. The funding will keep bus routes going and will send money to the cities and to the county to fix roads. Those who oppose the measure say Metro has not been doing its job by trimming service on under-utilized routes or taking measures to reduce costs. Opponents point to the successful efforts of Pierce Transit in reducing costs while ridership increased. Sure, fine. But King County is not Pierce transit. And most of us do not have the ability, information or expertise to figure out what that means anyway. What they did and how they did it is not knowable to us.

The best plan would be to give Metro two years of extra funding to clean things up. After that, they need to show progress or take the cuts. Many will say that nothing would happen. But this goes beyond the leadership of Metro. Punishing Metro will hurt working people. We must keep pushing toward a solution.

In the meantime, cutting bus services while the region is on the cusp of a true economic upswing, is nonsensical. Low-income workers will have to find other ways to get to work or school which would likely involve longer commute times and will limit employment opportunities. Employers may need to subsidize either parking or other transportation options to find and keep good employees.

Cutting Route 205, for instance, the route that many take to get to work within the medical mecca that is First Hill in Seattle, makes no sense whatsoever.  It is not the doctors or the scientists who will be affected the most.  It is the people who take care of the details that ensure the workings of these 24-7 communities.

What will happen to Islanders? Many will be inconvenienced. But most will adapt and drive if they have to or even pay the exorbitant parking rates in Seattle.  But more than likely they will take up more spaces in the already tight Park-and-Ride.

Think about that.

 

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