Without actually endorsing either position, I thought I’d defend two propositions that are taking a beating in the comments:
- Establish no Ride Free Zone for Light Rail. The $1.75 base fare allows a $2.00 fare from Rainier Beach to downtown — equal to the current peak Metro fare for that commute. With express bus service being severely curtailed to that neighborhood and its surroundings, and a fair number of poor folks in that area, it was a solid PR move to not have the arrival of light rail result in both fewer transportation choices and higher costs for people in the community.
- R8A is a North King Subarea Project. Leave aside the train itself, which obviously benefits both subareas. Whom do the HOV lanes themselves benefit? The net impact is new reverse-peak HOV capacity on the I-90 bridge. Clearly, that’s a benefit primarily for Seattle residents, not Eastsiders.
I’m pointing these arguments out as a devil’s advocate. Please resume savaging them in the comments.