Seattle Times: How did Sound Transit’s $15 billion tax request reach $54 billion? Republicans say they were misled
"GOP legislators say they thought they were authorizing $15 billion in taxes when they voted in 2015 to let Sound Transit ask voters to expand transit. How did that become $54 billion? Legislators put no expiration date on the taxes. Now they say they were misled."...read more
We occasionally post articles and news of interest regarding transit and transportation issues that affect the Puget Sound Region. If there are stories that you think deserve attention, or if you have news or information that you’d like to share, please contact us!
A new approach to trackless transit - trains not constrained to actual tracks, but it instead following virtual ones using tires and an electric powertrain – much like a bus. Read the whole story at...read more
Seattle Times editorial columnist Brier Dudley says, "Transportation Choices Coalition has evolved from a community group advocating for bike, pedestrian and transit options into a political powerhouse with little transparency that coordinates ballot measures and...read more
Article excerpt: "Sens. Steve O’Ban and Dino Rossi are calling for an investigation into whether Sound Transit engaged in a “systematic effort to confuse and misrepresent the impact and cost of the ST3 authorization to legislators and the public.” In a letter sent...read more
Bus Rapid Transit and Bus Rapid Transit “lite” offer more flexibility than light rail. It carries more people more places.
Ride share programs are very cost effective and use existing infrastructure.
Safe bikeways and walkways are needed in every community.
Maintaining our existing infrastructure should be a priority.
Let’s put our money where it actually moves us forward.
What we want in the region
- Invest in a high capacity, affordable, rapid bus system that covers the whole region within a few years instead of inflexible, expensive and limited capacity light rail lines that reach a fraction of the region after decades.
- Finish the HOV system and commit to policies that keep it functioning at 45 mph 90 percent of the time.
- Realize the extraordinary potential of carpool and vanpool programs.
- Recognize that new technologies will change the way we get around making it even more critical to have the flexibility to upgrade and change as we need.
- Maintain our existing roads and bridges and fix the choke points that lead to congestion.
- Spend money on the simple sidewalk, safe crosswalk and bike path. These make communities truly livable and walkable.
- Start with the question, What’s the problem we’re trying to solve? Identify real goals and performance measures and allow objective analysis of the alternatives.
- Put directly elected people in charge instead of unelected boards who have no accountability and often a conflict of interest.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is not buses as you know them. BRT treats buses like subways but with more flexibility. BRT buses always have right of way: they don’t stop at red lights or get stuck in congestion. Loading is also much faster because riders pay before they board, stations are raised to be level with the bus floor, and buses have more and wider doors. One lane can facilitate 300 buses per hour. Light Rail can only handle 10 trains per hour and can never have more than 4 cars per train.
King County Metro’s Rapid Ride is not BRT – think of bus service on a continuum from classic slow city bus to “rail on rubber tires.” This description of BRT (bus rapid transit) contains all the elements of an ideal system. But, many things can be done to improve the speed of the buses through a corridor. KIng County Metro’s Rapid Ride is really just higher frequency – more should be done to actually make it “rapid.”
Volunteer: Smarter Transit is a non-profit organization run by all volunteers. We need help with research, writing, speaking, networking.
Share what you’ve learned with friends and on social media.
Contact Maggie Fimia or John Niles: Here
Does Light Rail Really Encourage People to Stop Driving? No, but it does pull them off buses, if a new study of British systems is any indicator.
Have Light Rail Systems Been Worth the Investment?
Expedia Moves to Seattle
84% of Portland’s regional trips still by car
Despite bike and transit gains, 84 percent of Portland region’s trips still by car: Metro study
Transit Riders Union concerned about a two class transit system
Hawaii struggles to keep rail project from becoming a boondoggle
Billions Spent but fewer people using public transportation in Southern California
Transportation Matters – Troy Serad has a passion for transit, especially trains that make sense, does not own a car, but the most important thing is that, like Mark Ahlers, his information is based on facts and careful research. His background is in urban planning, rail planning, accounting and cartography. https://transportationmatters.wordpress.com
What is Bus Rapid Transit – BRT?
Great website that works with cities around the world on transportation issues including Bus Rapid Transit.
Bus Rapid Transit Institute – National data and info
CETA Archives, Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives
Contact your local elected officials:
Find Your Legislator:
About Face by Sound Transit CEO
2014 PSRC Regional Growth Centers – Where does growth really go in our Region?
June 1, 2015 Crosscut We Deserve Better Transportation Planning
March 26, 2015 Daily Journal of Commerce Transportation 2040 Plan: What’s the Return on our $174 Billion investment?
Latest transportation stories from local papers
In the interest of providing the whole range of news regarding transportation and transit we are providing links to current articles and opinion pages. Smarter Transit does not necessarily agree with the views or info provided in all articles or op-eds.
Sound Transit News
Sound Transit growth reflected in $90M in...
by Mike Lindblom on November 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm
So far this year, Sound Transit’s governing board has approved five office leases totaling $90 million, underscoring the agency’s growth as a result of ST3. […]
Train and transit talk: Highlights from reporter...
by Tyler Sipe on November 10, 2017 at 12:52 am
Can Sound Transit projects be completed early? Will ST3 car tab fees come down? What impact will the Trump administration have on funding Seattle-area infrastructure? Mike Lindblom answered your transit-related questions. […]
What can Sound Transit do to keep projects in the...
by Seattle Times staff on November 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Transportation reporter Mike Lindblom answers your questions about the future of Sound Transit's light-rail projects, which are facing growing budget pressure from rising land values and construction costs. […]
Sound Transit’s Lynnwood extension running...
by Mike Lindblom on August 24, 2017 at 9:35 pm
The half-billion-dollar increase for the Sound Transit 2 Lynnwood line comes as a surprise for taxpayers, and officials will negotiate simpler designs with cities along the tracks. […]
Here’s why your ST3 car tab fee is so high
by Gina Cole and Daniel Beekman on March 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
On episode 28 of The Overcast, Traffic Lab reporters Mike Lindblom and David Gutman get nerdy with us about Sound Transit 3 and the car tab fees that fund it. […]
Sticker shock as much higher car-tab bills land...
by David Gutman on February 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm
The state Department of Licensing is getting hit with calls from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties about increased car-tab fees that are just starting to go into effect following the passage of Sound Transit 3. […]
Sound Transit moves fast to get deals on loans,...
by Mike Lindblom on November 28, 2016 at 12:45 am
Sound Transit is making deals for $2.9 billion in federal loans, bond sales and grants while money is cheap. […]
State senator calls for direct elections of Sound...
by Mike Lindblom on November 18, 2016 at 1:38 am
Pierce County voters’ opposition to Sound Transit 3 has prompted state Sen. Steve O’Ban to propose direct elections of transit-board members. […]
Where Sound Transit 3 projects could speed up or...
by Mike Lindblom on November 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Political energy, less red tape or simpler design can speed projects. So can money, say, from the federal government. Disputes about track alignments, inaccurate cost forecasts, elaborate stations or tunnels, or a recession can create delays. […]
Passing Sound Transit 3 boost for commuters, jobs
by Jon Talton on November 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm
The Puget Sound region made a big step forward in transportation and the state advanced the condition of low-wage workers. […]
General Transportation News
2 people killed in separate collisions on train...
by Christine Clarridge on January 16, 2018 at 6:03 pm
The first two deaths on BNSF Railway train tracks in Washington this year were logged within 10 minutes of each other — coincidentally — on Tuesday, according to the company’s spokesman. The first happened at 5:50 a.m. at the south end of the King Street Tunnel in downtown Seattle […]
Democrats in Olympia still wrestling with car-tab...
by David Gutman on January 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Democrats in Olympia want to move quickly to cut car-tab taxes, which are being calculated based on inflated car values. But a bill that passed overwhelmingly last year was delayed as legislators consider the financial hit it to Sound Transit. […]
Ideas for revamping old tunnel run through...
by Danny Westneat on January 13, 2018 at 3:35 am
Fanciful proposals for what to do with Seattle’s old Battery Street Tunnel all overlook the obvious: That it would make a fine, and desperately needed, roadway for cars and buses. […]
Puget Sound-area buses to pause briefly on Martin...
by Michelle Baruchman on January 12, 2018 at 7:25 pm
The pause, which is scheduled for 4:04 p.m. and is to last up to 50 seconds, will serve as a moment of reflection and remembrance to honor the birthday of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. […]
Podcast: As Seattle faces an even worse traffic...
by Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman on January 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm
What is the ‘period of maximum constraint’ for Seattle-area traffic? Transportation reporter Mike Lindblom joins The Overcast politics podcast this week to explain. […]
Highway 99 tunnel in Seattle will open to traffic...
by Mike Lindblom on January 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm
The opening is months sooner than expected for some time — but still three years later than the original goal to finish the massive tunnel under downtown by the end of 2015. […]
Bike-share company bringing electric bikes to...
by David Gutman on January 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm
Electric bikes will soon be among the thousands of bike-share bikes dotting Seattle’s sidewalks. LimeBike says they’ll have up to 500 e-bikes by early February. […]
A new milestone: 1 million senior drivers on...
by Gene Balk / FYI Guy on January 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm
The number of Washington state drivers age 65 or older has surged since 2010 by 41 percent — and at nearly three times the overall rate of increase among licensed drivers here. […]
If you think Seattle traffic is bad now, just...
by Seattle Times staff on January 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm
There’ll be no escaping construction in downtown Seattle any time soon. Transportation planners are calling 2018 to 2021 the "period of maximum constraint." And they’ve invented the slogan "One Center City," suggesting a unified plan exists to keep you moving. […]
Bainbridge, Bremerton ferry schedules to shift...
by David Gutman on January 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm
The schedule changes are being made to accommodate the six-year, $350 million renovation of Seattle's Colman Dock. The work began in August. In March, about half the current terminal will be demolished, necessitating more staggered sailings. […]