More transit news: Seattle Metro-money measure is ballot-bound

July 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 12 Comments

The City Council, wearing its Transportation Benefit District hat, voted this afternoon to ask voters to approve a sales-tax increase and car-tab fee to raise money to avoid Seattle Metro cuts. The alternate proposal by Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant, for a “head tax” and commercial-parking-tax increase, might be worth taking up in the future, they were told; Sawant retorted that if now isn’t the time for those “progressive” taxes, when is? The sales-tax/tab-fee measure is headed for the November 4th ballot is more or less the same one that lost April’s countywide vote despite winning two-thirds approval within the city limits.

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  1. Fares must be raised. More than the token $0.25 ones on the table. The service and system needs to be more self-sustaining.

    Using the analogy of the ferry system – yes, the entire state pays a subsidy for the minority group that uses it, but fares pay approx. 66% of operating costs.

    There should be an expectation from everyone that are systems be more self sufficient than they are. Metro should increase fares to cover at least half of their operating costs.

    Comment by Ray — 5:25 pm July 17, 2014 #

  2. Another opportunity to show the management that we, the people are unhappy with the direction they are taking us.
    Keep voting “no” until they get the message.
    Said this person to the brick wall that is the Seattle Voter….

    Comment by 935 — 7:25 pm July 17, 2014 #

  3. @Ray I can’t think of a single transit service in the entire world that has half their budget covered by fares off of the top of my head. None. Transit agencies like this aren’t meant to be any more profitable than the police or the library. They’re a public good and public service with wide ranging benefits.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 7:56 pm July 17, 2014 #

  4. And I gave you a transit system that is more efficient – the ferry system here in our own state.

    Make the users of the system pay more. That is both fair and just.

    Comment by Ray — 9:20 pm July 17, 2014 #

  5. Ray, that is neither fair nor just. You can not in good conscious compare Metro to the Ferry system. People who commute to Seattle via ferry are coming from places with smaller populations of great wealth. Whereas the bus system serves a much larger population – many who live paycheck to paycheck.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 9:37 pm July 17, 2014 #

  6. So thankful to have Joe and Amanda responding to Ray. Adding even $.25 to each fare will end up costing a daily rider about $100 yearly, out of a potentially small household budget. Asking those with less to pay more is just mean-spirited.

    Comment by emo — 9:51 pm July 17, 2014 #

  7. gee that’s funny – could have sworn we just voted on this like three months ago…I guess it will come up again and again and again until metro gets what they want (need???). now that’s democracy.

    .
    people that use the ferry are certainly not (all) of “great wealth”, please. if you can afford a fancy iphone, etc, you can afford to pay a more realistic fare on the bus.

    Comment by flimflam — 7:46 am July 18, 2014 #

  8. Grateful we get an opportunity to support transit in the city. Frustrating that the prior measure failed thanks to folks in the suburbs. Metro is a great option for getting around. The more people that ride the bus the fewer vehicles are on the road. Supporting Metro benefits everyone…even people driving. Disappointing to see so many people who don’t get that or have an axe to grind.

    Comment by jwright — 8:15 am July 18, 2014 #

  9. @Emo and Amanda – How is it fair or just that I should have to pay $100 a year or more to help those who use the system when I don’t use it. The people that ride should first front the cost then if need be go to the people to ask for additional help. Ray is correct and

    Comment by Scott — 8:17 am July 18, 2014 #

  10. You guys who said we just voted on this are right… and guess what? It had overwhelming support from Seattle. If you live in Seattle, go vote no, and eat it when this proposition passes. If you don’t live in Seattle, then you can eat it now, cause who cares what your opinion on this measure is?

    Comment by Aaron — 10:25 am July 18, 2014 #

  11. @AmandaKH: “People who commute to Seattle via ferry are coming from places with smaller populations of great wealth” Really? My family members live on one of the islands and they rely on the ferry each day to commute back and forth to work. They are all struggling just to barely make ends meet and so are most of their neighbors. Be careful when you assume that people who live in the islands are all wealthy. There are more wealthy people in West Seattle than on many of the islands, combined (look up the demographic data). Many island residents are retired, elderly, and on fixed incomes (like my mother) yet have to commute often to the mainland for medical care.

    Comment by Bradley — 2:00 pm July 18, 2014 #

  12. @flimflam — the ballot measure isn’t Metro’s. They are preparing new paper schedules and signage to change the schedules throughout King County beginning in September. Seattle City Council is asking Seattle voters to pay for the Metro service to benefit Seattle commuters, employers, healthcare servers, retailers, etc.
    I’m prepared to vote YES for the ballot measure, as regressive as it is. The other ballot measures seeking property measures? Not so much.

    Comment by RayK — 8:17 am July 20, 2014 #

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