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.