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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

King County Prop. 1: Metro needs to think differently, serve non-riding population

Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Times

With the upcoming vote on car tabs and sales tax a couple of facts get lost in the rhetoric [“King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1,” Opinion, April 7].

First, some 60 percent of all public-transportation dollars currently go to transit while about 5 percent of the population uses Metro (not roads). Those transit dollars are not always spent effectively.

Second, any product or service that is subsidized at more than 70 percent — Metro is now about 72 percent — will always have service demands overwhelming available revenues. Every previous Metro proposal for enhanced service has suffered subsequent service reductions or demands for increased taxes.

Metro needs some new thinking before we give it more money. If Metro wants to increase ridership, Metro must talk to and serve the non-riding population — their demands for service are different from current riders.

Lastly, the car is not the problem. The problem is a combination of the fuel used by most cars and the car’s size relative to its normal cargo. The car always has three benefits public transit can never overcome: First, it never travels empty; second, the driver is not paid; and third, all vehicle costs are paid out of the driver’s pocket.

Rowan Hinds, mayor of Issaquah 1990-1997

Comments | More in Metro | Topics: car tabs, Issaquah, King County

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