Transit Riders’ Union

The Seattle City Council will discuss measures to save Seattle Metro service on Thursday. Immediately prior to a public hearing, the Transit Riders Union urges you to show up to a rally demanding that service:

With 16% cuts to Metro bus service looming this fall, the Transit Riders Union will hold a rally and press conference to tell elected representatives at all levels of government, “Fund Metro NOW!”

This rally will take place just before the Seattle Transportation Benefit District public hearing on city transit funding options. Mayor Murray has proposed a $60 car tab fee and 0.1% sales tax increase be put on the November ballot to save Seattle’s bus service. The Transit Riders Union will rally to show support for an amendment put forward by Councilmembers Sawant and Licata that would eliminate the proposed sales tax increase and substitute two more progressive taxes, an increase in commercial parking fees and an employer head tax. The Transit Riders Union will also call on the State government to take immediate action to support public transit next session in Olympia.

If the TRU isn’t your speed — perhaps because you prefer the Murray plan, or are indifferent — Transportation Choices Coalition is also organizing people to show up and testify.

14 Replies to “Thursday Rally for Bus Funding”

  1. Is discussing the tax methods on-topic for this thread? Assuming it is: Doesn’t the employer head tax specifically exempt employees who go to and from work via transit or is that only for the one that Sound Transit can enact? If the City of Seattle (or its TBD) can enact a head tax, why haven’t they before? I thought it was repealed as part of the last Bridging the Gap.

    Do the assembled masses here have a preference from the options presented (noting, of course, that a property tax isn’t on the table, so campaigning for it starts from a disadvantage)? I’m ambivalent; anything that prevents the service cuts (and maybe even eeks out a little more service) is OK by me but I’m willing to be swayed.

    1. Yes, the previous incranation exempted employees who commuted by transit from the tax… and it was repealed by a vote of the City Council at the start of the recession — leaving ~$7 million/year (at the time) in funding on the table. This authority was approved by voters as part of Bridgng the Gap, and can be re-enacted by the Council.

    1. Official answer: The Mayor believes that Seattle’s property tax levy reserve is insufficient to meet the goals of pre-school education, transit, and other levies in the future. Since transit has an alternative (the Transportation Benefit District), the prevailing wisdom is to go that route.

      Unofficial answer: Politics and that the previous Mayor was backing the property tax campaign.

  2. I’m gonna pull a Sam and ask you all to do my research/thinking for me. Vacation and a couple three margaritas mean I don’t fell like thinking it out. Someone tell me if I should send an email in support of the Mayor’s plan or the Sawant-Licata Plan, and why.

  3. Obviously the sales tax increase is the way to go. That’s the traditional way we fund transit!

    1. Funny, but why is it crying wolf to state that the bus cuts are coming? The September cuts are going to happen regardless of what goes on the ballot in November, so to say the bus cuts are looming is correct.

      1. Because 16% is the total amount of the cuts over the next 4 service changes. They’re not cutting 16% of service this fall.

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