This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

In my previous post, I argued that:
1. Seattle needs a city-level mass-transit system – not to replace, but to augment the bus system.
2. King County is the wrong agency to build this.

There were several comments about how the branding a Seattle transit agency would be confusing. I’m not sure I agree (many other cities handle this fine), but I’m ok with not having a new agency as a requirement.

Here’s my proposed compromise: We build all of the infrastructure, buy the trains, then ask King County to run it. They may need to pay for a few new drivers, but it would certainly be an easier sell than having them come up with all of the initial capital.

Of course, this is exactly what’s happening with the streetcars. But I’d argue that streetcars aren’t enough. Unless they’re completely traffic-seperated, they’re just busses with increased ridership (good, but still slow and inefficient). What we need is a monorail-scale plan. We could still use streetcars (though light rail may be better), but elevate them, put them in tunnels, or just make their path completely seperate from cars.

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