Video: King County Executive talks recap, letdown @ West Seattle Rotary

July 10, 2013 at 3:49 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

The speech that King County Executive Dow Constantine gave at the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch Tuesday was really two speeches. For the first 11 minutes, it was largely a recap of achievements in his first full term, as he approaches a re-election bid, without a major, campaigning-all-out opponent. For the seven minutes after that, he turned to the disappointment of being left by the Legislature without a means to avoid cuts in Metro service when two temporary funding sources run out next year without – at this point – replacement. Constantine talked about the rise in West Seattle bus ridership “going down the drain because the State Legislature just walked away without doing anything about transportation.” But, he said, a regional coalition will “continue to push (for a transportation-funding solution) because we don’t have an alternative.” A transportation-funding package made it out of the State House before the Legislature’s second special session ended last month, but it hit a dead end in the State Senate.

ROTARY NOTES: The West Seattle club’s new president Len Burton-Hardin (right) is in his first month of presiding, after an installation banquet two weeks ago. In a message to club members, he declared that the theme he has chosen for his year is “Celebrating Us,” in honor of Rotarians’ ongoing community efforts including the holiday-season Children’s Shopping Spree. The club also participated in the recent West Seattle Relay for Life cancer-fighting fundraiser and is gearing up to present another edition of the Kiddie Parade preceding the West Seattle Grand Parade on July 20th (details here).

9 Comments

  1. Hey Dow…
    Here’s a bus funding source idea!!!
    How about charging those that USE the service closer to the ACTUAL cost of that service instead of subsidizing it at near 75-80%?!?!?!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 8:14 am July 10, 2013 #

  2. Yes, poor Dow. With a KC budget of only $7.6 BILLION he is totally dependent on the state for funding transit.

    Comment by JoAnne — 8:33 am July 10, 2013 #

  3. Hey Ex-Westwood Resident….
    Have you considered the costs of more traffic, more pollution, abandonment of low-income working poor, the cost of supporting the working poor when they lose their jobs because they can’t get to work, the cost of providing Access buses to all the disabled who will no longer have bus access, the cost of emergency services to the underemployed because they will be unable to get to the doctor’s office? How about students that will no longer be able to get to South Seattle Community College? How about seniors who can no longer drive? Your calculations are becoming much more complicated, aren’t they?

    Comment by yacman — 10:17 am July 10, 2013 #

  4. Metro needs to revisit their bus pricing models. There are a couple of changes that could be made, and maybe take a few cars off the road:

    Variable fares depending on how far you are traveling (like link rail). No one wants to pay 2.50 to go from Admiral to the Junction.

    Reducing the off-peak fares to incentivize some bus passengers to take less crowded off-peak buses. As it stands there is only a .25 difference between peak and off-peak.

    Comment by G — 1:35 pm July 10, 2013 #

  5. Actually they aren’t. With riders paying a greater share of the fare, there would be more funds available too keep the routes that are in danger of being cut; more funds available for the poor to get passes.
    The “Access” service would have funding available
    MANY businesses offer discounted or free passes if you use mass transit.
    Students can get discounted passes already.
    Seniors get discounted fares already.
    Increasing the fare to reflect a truer cost ISN’T the only thing that needs to/can be done. A TOTAL reorganization and route management must be done to increase the efficiency of the service.
    I would LOVE to take the buss to work, in fact when I worked on So. Lake Union I used to, but with my new job (which is CLOSER than my old job) I would have to walk 1.5 miles, take three busses and walk another 1/2 mile, spending 90 minutes min each way for a <9 mile trip.
    While I not against mass transit and support it for those that need and makes sense to use, I feel that those that use it should be required to pay more than the 20-25% of the actual cost of the trip. I'm not saying they need to pay the full 100%, but 50% wouldn’t be unreasonable.
    BTW – That also goes for Sound Transit and ESPECIALLY Link Light Rail and the S.L.U.T.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 1:56 pm July 10, 2013 #

  6. I agree with G. I think we should revisit fares and pricing models. We also need to revisit the cost structure and funding mechanism. I just think we need to look at it holistically and to think about how wholesale changes will effect the city. We need buses. We need good public transportation. But, we do need to get the best “bang-for-the-buck” that we can.

    Comment by yacman — 1:57 pm July 10, 2013 #

  7. A transportation-funding package made it out of the State House before the Legislature’s second special session ended last month, but it hit a dead end in the State Senate.
    The MAIN reason it hit a “dead end” in the Senate is because of the 10.5 cent gas tax increase.
    THANK GOD!!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 6:45 pm July 10, 2013 #

  8. Ex-westwood resident: Perhaps you should be ex-seattle resident. Move to the East side with fellow like mindeds.

    Comment by seattlelib — 1:20 am July 11, 2013 #

  9. And the famous Liberal “tolerance” of opposing views appears!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 2:29 pm July 11, 2013 #

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