Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 5, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Proposition 1 — expansion of light rail

Let’s fix the problem

It would be to the betterment of the Puget Sound region if voters rejected Proposition 1 at the upcoming election [“Supporters, opponents of light rail face off in Proposition 1 debate,” News, Sept. 23]. They should then ask their legislator or representative to spend some time drafting an initiative to reorganize the entire public transportation system in Puget Sound.

In the last 25 years, many major industries have gone through a restructuring period in order to meet the demands of the changing market. In order to be successful and cost effective, they had to establish organizational designs that were more efficient and operated more effectively in the marketplace. Those reformed businesses became leaner and meaner, in turn becoming more successful and more economically sound.

The regional public transportation industry is operating under protocols that were established more than 50 years ago and have not changed with the evolving transportation markets, financial funding sources and public transportation service alterations.

The transportation industry is self-regulating and is not accountable to any one regional governing body.

In the Puget Sound region, there are more than 45 different transportation taxing districts — all of which have some authority to engage in raising public funds for public transportation projects or programs.

There are more than 12 major public transit agencies providing bus services, light rail and commuter rail services in Puget Sound — all competing for state and federal funding.

Each year, millions of dollars are expended by these transit agencies trying to coordinate planning of bus service and public-transit-related programs. The agencies are self-serving and focused on meeting their own goals.

For example, a person traveling by bus from Olympia to Everett would have to use bus services from as many as five different bus agencies and could encounter five different fare structures.

This is a cumbersome system and does not support seamless travel in the region. For customers who want to use public transportation, it really isn’t important which agency provides the bus service; it is the service that is important.

Vote “no” on Proposition 1 and vote “yes” to reform and reorganize the Puget Sound regional public transportation industry.

–Scott Preston, Seattle

Comments | More in Election, Politics, Transportation

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►