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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: king county metro

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April 9, 2014 at 5:59 AM

King County Prop. 1: Metro forced into limited revenue options

The Seattle Times’ editorial opposing Proposition 1 is extremely disappointing [“King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1,” Opinion, April 7]. I don’t have space to address all the distortions, so I will pick just one: The reason Metro is in bad financial shape is ignored in the…

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Comments | More in Metro | Topics: king county metro, Melanie Mayock, Proposition 1

April 8, 2014 at 5:53 PM

King County Prop. 1: A ‘business’ can’t operate at a loss

Let’s face it, if King County Metro were a business, it would be out of business [“King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1,” Opinion, April 7]. How many companies can continue to operate at a constant loss? Metro does not even recover 30 percent of its operating…

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Comments | More in Metro | Topics: king county metro, Proposition 1, Ron Hopper

April 2, 2014 at 6:03 AM

King County Prop. 1: high costs of congestion; serving the underserved

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

The costs from congestion is already too high

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute rates Seattle’s gridlock at six hours per day, with delays costing trucking $546,000,000 per year [“Should voters invest in roads, transit?” Opinion, March 30]. For each of our personal vehicles, it cited $1,519 of congestion cost by 2006. Meanwhile, we add almost 40,000 residents per year.

Fixing the growing problem requires highway improvements and huge spending. Replacing our crumbling viaduct with a 1.7 mile tunnel will total nearly $3 billion. Highway 520 changes cost $4.6 billion. Neither added capacity. That would have cost far more and required costly improvements to choked city streets and parking.

The main alternative is transit. Metro has 400,000 boardings daily. In contrast, Interstate 5 moves only 207,000 vehicles daily at Seneca, Highway 99 moves 60,000 north of the West Seattle Bridge and Interstate 90 handles just 145,000 east of Interstate 405.

There is no cheap solution when congestion costs for just trucking equal taxes spent for the entire Metro operations budget. Rides on Metro almost exactly match the cited number of vehicles on I-5, I-90 and Highway 99 combined. How many of those 118 million annual riders can we force into cars as worsening congestion already costs each driver $1,500 dollars per year and costs trucking over half a billion?

Proposition 1 is cheap by comparison and vital to our roads and economy.

Brian Sherlock, Shoreline

Better transportation for underserved communities

I disagree with guest columnist Bill Eager’s characterization of our transportation system in King County. Public spending on

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Comments | More in Metro, Traffic congestion, Transportation | Topics: Bill Eager, king county metro, Lucas Simons

March 22, 2014 at 6:15 AM

King County Metro needs to live within their income

Last week I renewed the registration for my fourteen 14-year-old car that I drive about 5,000 miles per year [“As bus ridership rises, battle over funding measure heats up,” page one, March 20].

The cost of $72.75 included a Regional Transit Authority tax of $9 and a congestion reduction charge of $20 which went to King County Metro. Now Metro, in Proposition 1 on the April 22 ballot, wants another $60 “… to prevent a 17 percent cut in bus service …” and a sales-tax increase of .001 percent, part of which would go to transit service.

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Comments | More in Metro, Transportation | Topics: king county metro, Proposition 1, transportation

March 21, 2014 at 6:06 AM

King County Metro funding measure would help all

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.

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Comments | More in Metro, Transportation | Topics: Eastside Transportation Association, king county metro

December 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Metro incidents are likely to increase

Public has little understanding of the pressure Metro drivers are exposed to

I am someone who has driven public-transit buses for King County Metro for 30 years. After reading “Metro bus driver fired after assault on passenger,” [NWSaturday, Dec. 14] I think it’s a good time to discuss the stresses bus drivers have been under, especially as of late.

After attempting to rouse sleepers who can’t or won’t be wakened, I have called for either a supervisor or police officer to remove the person or to arrange for this removal on my next trip to a major hub. If the sleeper remains asleep, his presence, though annoying, doesn’t usually present a threat to the driver.

That said, having someone spit in your face is no minor event. As the article states, the driver and passenger “have both been charged with fourth-degree assault.” It does appear the driver overreacted by not only hitting the rider with the wheel block but then repeatedly punching him. I don’t think the driver’s actions are excusable. He himself said he “lost it” after being spat on.

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Comments | Topics: king county metro

July 16, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Fire on Beacon Hill

Thanks to compassionate firefighters, residents I lived in the apartment below the explosion that caused Wednesday morning’s apartment fire in Beacon Hill. [“Butane gas in refrigerator caused explosion, fire on Beacon Hill,” seattletimes.com, July 10.] The nine hours following the blast were a blur, but throughout every moment, the fire department, Red Cross volunteers, our neighbors,…

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Comments | More in Seattle | Topics: beacon hill, fire, firefighters