Sen. Transpo Chair Tracey Eide

Transportation Choices Coalition, one of our biggest allies in Olympia, will be hosting their Friday Forum today on the upcoming 2013 Legislative session.  With fresh leadership and a new makeup in the Legislature, there are a lot of questions swirling around what we can expect for transit coming out of Olympia next year.  As I correctly predicted last month, former Senator Mary Margaret Haugen’s defeat in the 10th indirectly led to the promotion of Senator Tracey Eide to Senate Transportation Chair.

However, political junkies who have closely followed the election aftermath will also know that the Senate Democratic majority might not be as safe as once thought.  Tim Probst’s challenge of Republican Senator Don Benton’s seat failed by just 74 votes, which could turn the tables on the Democrats by giving the Republicans an effective 26-23 majority.  How that affects the Legislature’s ability to push through transit-friendly legislation will be a topic of conversation at today’s forum, along with a number of other issues:

So what does this mean for the 2013 Legislative Session and our priorities.  Will there be a transportation revenue package?  Will the Legislature step up to save transit across the state from further cuts?  What bills will TCC be working on next session?

Get the answers to all these questions and more.  Join our Policy Director Carrie Dolwick for a sneak peak at our 2013 legislative agenda and what’s next for Olympia.

For those that are free around lunchtime, this preview of the crucial 2013 Legislative session will be immensely informative.  The forum will be held in Room 121 of the King County Chinook Building from 12pm to 1:30pm.

7 Replies to “TCC Previews the Upcoming Legislative Session”

  1. For those of us who are east of the Cascades, they need to find some way of holding forums over here.

    Locally, our state senator was elected to the county commission, and rumors have been going around that he plans to resign from the state senate. He currently serves on the senate transportation committee, along with several others.

    Local support for transit (in the Tri-Cities) is fair-to-middling. The agency has thus far spent their efforts on keeping their paratransit ADA service in the public conscience, with the fixed-route service essentially there for the transit-dependent. Because the major sources of employment are either widely dispersed (everything outside of Richland and Hanford), or closely concentrated (Richland and Hanford), there is very little traffic congestion, all concentrated in Richland. Thus, most of the public seems disinterested in having a good transit system. For all of that, from a functional ability to travel standpoint, the system provides better mobility than any other system in Eastern Washington. Due to cuts at Pierce Transit, the only system in Western Washington with higher transit mobility is King County Metro.

    Brian Bradford
    Kennewick, WA

    1. Well, Sound Transit has much higher transit mobility, and its light rail and commuter rail capacity is many multiples of any of Metro’s routes.

    2. I don’t know about any other system in Eastern Washington. Spokane Transit may believe they provide as good if not better mobility. However, BFT does well given the area it serves.

      1. Spokane really doesn’t have the service levels or coverage that is provided by Metro, nor does it have the quality of service offered by ST.

        It has however avoided the deep service cuts facing Pierce County. After initially rejecting a sales tax increase to recover from I-695, Spokane eventually approved such an increase and has been able to avoid the deepest cuts. Pierce County would do well to emulate Spokane in this regard.

        Now if they would just get more serious about growth management over there….

    3. I guess I need to explain how I quantify mobility. If I incorporate BFT’s shared-ride taxi night service (which I was in what I said above), the service day stretches from 6am to 12:30am M-F, 8am-12:30am on Saturdays.

      Sound Transit is an overlay for the purposes of governance. So they do not count.

      I thought about maybe WTA having an equivalent or better level of service, but as for all of the systems other than Metro and BFT, there is no usable service network after 12am.

    1. Depends on who “we” is.

      I didn’t need a State Senator who was AWOL from Navy League meetings for the base she represents; I need a State Senator who is pro-transit, pro-taxpayer and BTW pro-Navy when Whidbey’s economy and a slice of Skagit’s depends on NAS Whidbey Island.

      Like I said, depends on who “we” is.

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