Another chance tonight to sound off on potential Metro cuts

Both of West Seattle’s major community meetings on Wednesday night tackled the topic of Metro Transit‘s potential cuts. In our video above, County Councilmember Joe McDermott talked about it at the joint meeting of the Southwest and Delridge Neighborhoods District Councils in High Point, listing the West Seattle routes that Metro says are doomed if either the County Council or voters don’t agree to a $20/year fee to cover its budget gap. McDermott has said he’ll vote for the fee, but if five fellow councilmembers don’t do the same (so far, four have committed), it won’t take effect without voter approval.

Concurrently Wednesday night, at the Morgan Community Association meeting at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), a Metro rep who was there mostly to talk about West Seattle RapidRide – still scheduled to debut in September 2012 – began with a recap of the fee-or-cuts situation. The proposed fee is scheduled to go to a County Council vote next Monday, she said, but first, the last of three public hearings on Metro’s future is tonight (Thursday) at Burien City Council Chambers (4th SW/SW 152nd), and there’s some talk that it could draw hundreds, as did the previous hearing, last week at the County Council chambers downtown.

If you haven’t been to one of the hearings and can’t make it to this one, you can still officially send a comment on Metro’s future and what you would like to see – use this form on the county website.

18 Replies to "Another chance tonight to sound off on potential Metro cuts"

  • Info please July 21, 2011 (9:21 am)

    Are the cuts listed on this PDF going to happen regardless of whether or not the $20 car tab fee gets passed?

    I was under the impression that the 100,000 hours of service noted in the above PDF were going to be cut even with the $20 car tab fee.

    • WSB July 21, 2011 (9:37 am)

      It has been framed as “pass the fee OR we make these cuts.” And the fee only apparently protects the status quo. It would start with this 100,000 cut if the money isn’t found, according to the “future of Metro” summary – and then more would follow.

  • nirvanaVEVO July 21, 2011 (9:52 am)

    pass the fee! pass the fee!

  • JD July 21, 2011 (10:13 am)

    Being that it will likely be a 5-4 vote no matter what people end up telling the council it will go to the voters. I can only hope that like the last vote on taxes this gets shot down as well.

  • Deanie Schwarz July 21, 2011 (11:39 am)

    If you plan to attend in Burien this evening, Burien is not allowing parking in the City Hall/Library parking lot.

  • JB July 21, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    Seriously, JD? West Seattle is highly dependent on transit to get residents to work. Are you so anti-tax that you are willing to undermine the means by which a society works together to enable commerce? Transit cuts this drastic force more individuals to drive, which lengthens commute times for everyone. In addition, the lengthened time spent commuting reduces productivity (source omitted) and quality of life. Lastly, drivers have to put cars somewhere near their work, often for a fee. In Seattle, like most cities, that is a significant cost and ultimate erodes the amount of money left for household spending (consumption), which accounts for 70% of our GDP.

    Not passing the $20 annual fee is just plain irrational.

  • WS1 July 21, 2011 (1:13 pm)

    RapidRide. What a joke! If the busses they have could just run on schedule that would be a massive improvement. Isn’t it kind of bizarre asking drivers to pay for the busses? Still, I’ll support it.

  • JD July 21, 2011 (3:52 pm)

    Yes, I am serious. If Metro is so important to those that use it they should be ponying up the money when they get on the bus. It will still be cheaper for them than Gas, Insurance & Parking. I personally don’t care how many people are on the road, traffic is just one of those things you should get use to living in the city.
    I work 10 miles from where I live, 2 hour bus ride, sure sounds efficient to me. Would bike but being next to semi’s getting to E. Marginal is not my idea of fun in the morning.

  • cj July 21, 2011 (5:18 pm)

    There is nothing like watching a city cut holes in its infrastructure with little regard for what comes later. With out a fully functioning transit ground level economy will suffer and in all truth that is where the rest of it grows from.

    Sure pass the tab fee, I’m all for it but the more stuff like this that goes on the more I feel like I would like to know where every penny of our money is going.

  • marty July 21, 2011 (5:38 pm)

    JD: I agree with you 100%!! Raising fees/taxes has been the easy answer way to long in Seattle.

  • Brendan July 21, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    How about we start shutting down the infrastructure of private wealth, instead. See what all you ‘no taxes ever’ people think about that.

  • marty July 21, 2011 (9:34 pm)

    Brendan: We didn’t say no taxes, we said no MORE taxes. Plenty of money ready to use if done properly. Do you run to your boss and ask for more money each time you want to buy something? No you manage what you have and prioritize. That’s what government need to do.

  • taxedout July 21, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    I don’t think the tax should be passed, at least not until Metro proves it can handle money wisely. No matter how much they tax us, Metro will always be short of money. The proposed $20 tax, on top of the second proposed $80 tax, is RIDICULOUS. Punishing people that drive is not the right way to go. Want more money? How about requiring licensing and registration and insurance for people who ride their bikes on the street? They want to ride on the road, but not be subject to the same rules and regulations that other users of the road face.

  • JN July 21, 2011 (11:28 pm)

    @taxedout, I thought that since that, since it has been beaten to death and explained explicitly on this blog, people would realize that licensing, registration, and insurance fees are NOT paying for roads. Roads are payed for by property taxes and, in the case of highways (in the link below), almost entirely from the taxpayer general fund. So basically, cars are almost completely subsidized, even by people who don’t own a car. So if you use our nations freeways or highways, stop whining about “why don’t transit users pay for themselves”, because motorists certainly do not.

  • taxed out July 22, 2011 (7:35 am)

    I believe motorists do pay property taxes and other taxes that do contribute to tje general fund. I never mentioned transit users paying for themselves. I am almost exclusively a metro user. Metro wastes a lot of money and is not a very efficient service. Throwing more money at them will not solve the problem regardless of where that money comes from.

  • Yardark July 22, 2011 (9:03 am)

    Motorists are no where near paying for the cost of driving their vehicles. If we all actually had to pay those costs, noone could afford to drive. Bike riders, on the hand, come darn near close to covering their costs. Always silly to hear folks say that bikers should pay their way. (Just for the record, and a bit to my shame, I’m predominately a driver.)

  • marty July 22, 2011 (9:09 pm)

    Yardak: Bike riders make up less than 1% of the population and should get less than 1% of the say when it is time to make decisions.

  • JN July 22, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    @Marty, the reason there is such a low number of cyclists is that there has been virtually no consideration made for them in the city’s infrastructure/funding. Interesting note, major US cities going back to the ’20s had efficient, reliable streetcar service until the car companies bought the private streetcar companies up or bribed city officials to shut the public streetcars down. The reason so many people drive is because of this conspiracy to make it the “only” option. Funny that people cry “war on cars” when you hear about, say, a roughly 2 block bike lane going in the Junction area. Motorists have achieved their majority through deception, thievery and bribery.

Sorry, comment time is over.