Community Post

17% Metro Cuts Next Year? State Senators “Listening” on Monday

RFAMarch_Marching3On Monday, October 14, state legislators will be coming to the First Presbyterian Church on First Hill (1013 8th Avenue) for the Seattle stop of a statewide transportation “listening tour”.

The Senate failed to pass a transportation package this spring, despite an unprecedented two special sessions. The “Majority Coalition Caucus” (MCC), composed of Senate Republicans and two Democrats – Sen. Tim Sheldon (35th) and Sen. Rodney Tom (48th) – refused to let a package even come to the floor for a vote. The transportation package passed by the House included a Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) local option, which would have authorized a public vote on whether to raise new revenue for King County Metro. As a result of the Senate’s inaction, Metro is planning 17% cuts in service to take effect next year.

Now the MCC is leading a “listening tour” around the state, ostensibly to hear what the people want the legislature to do about transportation. Not everyone takes their word at face value. The Transit Riders Union, a democratic all-volunteer group of transit riders fighting for better public transit, asserts that the real reason for the listening tour is to sell the MCC’s right-wing agenda to the public. The MCC ‘s proposals include such “reforms” as gutting environmental regulations, exempting construction companies from paying sales tax, reducing construction workers’ wages and moving toward the privatization of public projects and services.

If the legislature can come to an agreement, Gov. Jay Inslee has signaled willingness to call a special session in November specifically for a vote on a transportation package. Monday’s hearing, which will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, is an opportunity for Central District residents to testify to the need for public transit funding to prevent bus cuts and expand service. The Transit Riders Union and transit supporters will be rallying outside the First Presbyterian Church before the hearing, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.

11 thoughts on “17% Metro Cuts Next Year? State Senators “Listening” on Monday

  1. Those liars have been promising to cut bloated metro for decades. All we see is more busses winding along tertiary roads. More people claiming to need dart.

    A transportation system would expect people to get themselves to the rail line. Metro is a freebee hand out pointless socialism for fun waste. It is not a transit system.

    • This is what we’re up against, folks: A paranoid fantasy where increasing demand for a service is proof of its failure, and the ideal transit system is one where people are “expected” to transport themselves.

      • Yes, precisely “where increasing demand for service is proof of failure.” Get out and walk. In your precious Europe with the amazing rail system, people walk two miles to get to the train or downtown.

        In Seattle we could espect people to walk 10 blocks, but, we don’t. These lazy fat asses have to have a stop within 3 blocks or they get a door to doo DART service. Our expectations of people is too low. Even most of our handy capped would be happier and heathier if we just let them be to get a few blocks on their own. It feels good.

        Honestly, I think we just don’t want to look at them struggling. Just hide them away on a bus so we don’t have to consider our own good fortune.

  2. pinebeettle, mass transit is important infrastructure and public service for the community as a whole. Name calling does not help your cause, whatever it is. I don’t get the spitful attitude that you have toward many of your neighbors.

      • No Shammy. Oppostion to Metro waste is a legitimate politcal and practical point of view. Simply stating a differing view is not trolling.

        What is the “discussion” where the expectation everybody agrees to some simplistic view of “need”. In a discussion you can expect various points of view.

        People ‘want’ door to door bus service. They do not need it and it is not good for anybody except the most severely disabled among us.

        We cannot and should not afford every imagined want for government service. Taxation between local, state, and federal collections is above 60% of income – if you are paying taxes. Sure, half the people in the country are not paying Federal taxes and the other half have all kinds of loops that are designed to benefit unscrupulous pigs. But, the honest hard working reasonably paid person shells out plenty of taxes. I am not interested in paying a cent more in tax. Fix the tax code so that everybody pays. Cut the unwanted uneccessary waste at Metro and other agencies. Then we can pay for valid public needs like egeecasion, transportation corridors (roads, rails, paths).

        I am by no means right wing or republican. I simply want a more basic, pragmatic government. People can do more for themselves when giving the space to do it. The government is choking us – especially the poor.

  3. I am concerned about the health of our people, our society and our finances. These things are better served by doing more as individuals and asking for less handouts.

    It is not spite. Just an honest perspective about the mindless gluttony that pervades today. You can be offended if you want. All I am saying is 85% off people need to walk more and Metro is gluttonous.

    • Hey, buddy. Our potholed streets and buckled sidewalks are too f’ed up and unsafe for most disabled people to walk on, whether they have a cane or a wheelchair. Some sidewalks arent even accessible for a chair. Ever walk down 23rd? ANY of our streets? Gimme a break.

      • Well I have to give you those ten points for noticing how terribly SDOT has managed their budget for 50 years. That really is my point. SDOT and other agencies have conspired to burn all the money on hand to mouth projects like busses that have now long term infrastructure value.

        Spend the money on basic improvements to streets, sidewalks and paths. Concentrate mass transit spending on high traffic arterials. Make residential streets walkable and wheel chairable.

        I always love to see a new ADA corner ramp leading to a telephone pole. Or a 4 inch high break in the concrete.

        Yes. Seattle really has destroyed and abused its infrastructure. And burned its money on sharerow logos and phony maps about how green the city is.

      • And another thing. Residents and businesses can fix their own sidewalks. You don’t have to wait for the city to bust out a little concrete and fix 10 feet of side walk. It is really easy.

        I can’t believe how many careless home owners just leave broken concrete in front of them for decades. It is irresponsible and they should be held liable for fixing it and any injuries or right of passage problems.