[UPDATE 11:11 am: April Fools’, obviously! If you would like to know what we really think about Prop. 1, here’s our actual endorsement. The title above is altered if anyone is in any way confused.]
However, in the opinion of the editorial board, buses are not the future of public transportation. Newer technologies are on the horizon that will not only be cheaper to operate, but will actually turn a profit. It makes no sense to double down on a tax structure that will one day be irrelevant.
I’m referring of course to Personal Rapid Transportation, or PRT. Imagine a vehicle that delivers you with no wait from where you are to where you want to go. This vision is possible with just a little leadership from our elected officials.
We can’t help but notice that Prop. 1 gets us no closer to the future. In fact, it dedicates valuable taxing authority to ephemeral service hours when we could be using it to make a permanent investment in transit. The Editorial Board is disappointed to learn, via a public records request, that not a single councilmember from either the City of Seattle or King County has visited Morgantown, WV. Had they done so, they’d find a shining example of the kind of transportation that could revolutionize our Emerald City. It’s one of many ways in that Morgantown is a city Seattle should emulate.
Moreover, if bus service is worth paying for then we should all chip in to pay for it. The King County Council’s low-income car tab rebate and new low-income fare are a huge giveaway to the working poor from scarce transit dollars. Unless we nip this sentiment in the bud, they’ll expect that the legislature actually tax them less than their job-creating, hardworking bosses when PRT comes up for a vote.
The desire for a stopgap is understandable. But King County voters should keep their eyes on the prize and demand a solution to our transit problems that won’t be obsolete in five years. Vote no on proposition 1.