This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

I have to say I’ve got nothing inherently against the idea of a regional superagency, as they’re now contemplating in Boston.  My beef with "Sound Transportation" here in WA is that it’s always been a stalking horse for Olympia to dilute Sound Transit’s power.  It always comes down to two things: accountability and finance.  That is, who calls the shots and who pays the bills.  Often there’s an overlap between these two, but not always.  

For example, if you have a regional entity, and its governing board is structured in such a way that the suburbs get a disproportionally large amount of seats, or the tax dollars come primarily from the suburbs, you’re going to get things like Metro’s 40-40-20 rule. In such cases, transit funding will suffer.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  It’s all about how you structure it.  

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