Memorial Bldg, Whitman College, Walla Walla (wikimedia)

We totally missed this election while it was happening, but Valley Transit (serving Walla Walla County) had a ballot measure Tuesday to raise the sales tax by 0.3% (to 0.6%) in order to avoid a 50% cut to  existing bus service.

The latest results show it ahead by over 50 points, better than all the hospital and school measures also on the ballot*.  Legislators should take note of the willingness of voters to raise taxes to maintain transit service, even in a bad economy and in a relatively conservative area of the State.

Transportation Choices Coalition Policy Director Bill LaBorde offered this:

Walla Walla residents are obviously passionate about their local bus system. It was local volunteers like Dan and Barbara Clark and Norman Osterman who stepped up to make tens of thousands of phone calls and knock on thousands of doors, urging Walla Walla and College Place residents to support their transit system and avoid cuts.

More coverage here.

*To be fair, the districts for the various measures are not the same.

4 Replies to “Walla Walla Voters Save Local Transit”

  1. Fascinating! Shows that smaller cities can have transit alongside the giants…and have popular appeal as well. Well, even rural America had its jitneys from railroad stations to farms and “town”.

    1. Yes, Walla Walla had an interurban rail line that was founded in 1907. Passenger service ended in 1931.

  2. Contrast this to Colorado Springs which has had to almost entirely gut its transit services along with other municipal services. Of course one of the issues there is voters continue to vote against tax increases and pass tax cut initiatives, even in the face of declining municipal services. The next step for Colorado Springs seems to be to sell off their public utilities and the city hospital.

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