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Let’s Give Seattle Voters a Chance to Save Transit Service

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Councilmembers Tom RasmussenMike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw issued the following statement today:

“Metro bus service is critical to the people of Seattle. It is necessary for those who cannot afford cars and depend on buses to get around. It is essential for our environment that people have multiple options for mobility and it is essential to reducing traffic congestion as well. Too many buses in the city are at capacity, and with ridership at an all-time high we simply cannot afford to lose bus service.

“Seattle voters deserve a chance to preserve bus service in the city and we are committed to giving them that opportunity in November. We are exploring every option available to keep the busses running in Seattle in cooperation with our colleagues on the City Council and Mayor Ed Murray. We are also committed to working with King County Metro and cities in our region to ensure that we preserve and build a strong regional transit system.

“We commend Mayor Murray for his leadership in developing a proposal, which will be released next week. We also commend Keep Seattle Moving for keeping public momentum going to ensure we do not lose the bus service we so critically need in Seattle.

“On Monday, May 19 we will have a briefing in City Council Chambers at 9:30 a.m. to learn more about the impacts of the potential loss of bus service in the City and to learn more about the Mayor’s proposal. We will convene additional City Council meetings as needed throughout the summer to develop a proposal to send to the voters for the November ballot.”

Editor’s note: The City’s deadline for submitting a ballot measure to King County Elections for the November election is August 5, 2014.


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Comment from Yogi McCaw
Time May 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

How will it be paid for? So far, nobody in Seattle wants to pay taxes, and noboby wants to pay tolls.
The people of Seattle need to realize, that if they will not pay to get transit, they won’t get it. It’s not a magical process by which our favorite candidate simply “makes it so.”
It has to be funded. Why don’t people understand this?

Comment from Wendi Dunlap
Time May 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Yogi McCaw, didn’t you notice that Seattle residents just voted (in a landslide) to tax themselves via their car tabs to support transit? It failed because of No votes in the county, but Seattleites approved it by a substantial majority.

Comment from Seattlite
Time May 13, 2014 at 10:44 am

Good news that you are revisiting. Of course we NEED Transit! BUT, You will note that even normally GREEN voters of Seattle even voted against the plan in it’s current state as it was not BALANCED. I look forward to a FAIR ‘single charge’ per household (+ maybe even see a budget review by METRO showing they are trying to fix the blood loss, too..)
Example, I prefer a property tax option so only ONE charge per family. Some of us own scooters or RVs that rarely leave a garage but would be stuck paying HUNDREDS more just for being a collector of such items and ALL due to mismanaged transit dollars. I look forward to a SINGLE CHARGE per household NOT TABS and then I would vote for it.

Comment from Mike O’Brien
Time May 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm

You raise some fair points, here Seattlite and Yogi. As Wendi says however, 2/3 of Seattle voters supported the tax package in Prop 1, so there is good reason to believe a majority will support the Seattle only version that Mayor Murray is proposing.

I do agree that we need to look at all funding options available, including property tax or other sources, and fully explore these options before committing to one path forward. The truth is, we need all options on the table and open for discussion, because we need far more transit service more than we will be asking voters to help buy back this fall. And unless the state legislature (specifically, the Senate) makes a huge turnaround in its ability to get a transportation package done, we will be back looking at how to save and even expand transit in Seattle again in the coming years.

Comment from Seattlite
Time May 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

Yeah, Wendi and Mike, We saw the numbers that 2/3 in Seattle voted yes… but you know that people ONLY voted for Tabs ONLY because there was NO OTHER option and people felt held hostage… That was a raw deal, you either VOTED for TAB charge or you were *evil* and voted NO TO TRANISIT, people felt forced to vote for that if they support transit. Believe me, I felt horrible voting against it but I hoped this would mean we would get another FAIR option! A Single charge Property tax, please. (I am a homeowner and good with this option!) Thanks for your time!

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