I object to the Dick Paylor and his Eastside Transportation Association’s view on Metro funding and who pays for it [“As bus ridership rises, battle over funding measure heats up,” page one, March 20].
Paylor makes his living in a subsidized industry (real-estate development) and you would think as a business person he would support viable options for transportation. Should only parents of school-age children pay for schools? Only those who use police and fire pay the full cost of these services?
My point is much of what makes up our civil society is subsidized by the taxpayer and we all benefit from these services indirectly or directly. I reject the Eastside Transportation Association’s libertarian view on taxation and public services. I also object to the attack on driver’s wages. Only a small percentage of Metro operators are making $100,000 a year and that is after working many hours of overtime.
The base pay for a Metro driver is $62,000 a year and many at Metro work part time and make much less.
King County Metro has been in existence for more than 40 years and is not some new terrible idea being pushed on the voters. In the last five years Metro has had to spend its reserves to operate, raised fares four times and has gone through extensive route revisions to gain greater efficiency in the system.
Public transit is vital to our region’s overall economic health and I have at times personally benefited from Metro’s service in Maple Valley.
Forty percent of this new tax goes to the road division, which I think as commuters in King County we can all agree is necessary and beneficial to all who drive to and from work. I for one will vote in favor of the new transportation benefit district.
Craig D. Eakins, Maple Valley