Dominic Holden, The Stranger:

But politicians continually resist efforts to accelerate light-rail construction. The council has deprioritized the city’s transit master plan, twice freezing its funding, as if proposed transit lines were a novelty map. We’re currently stuck with the next regional light-rail vote likely being held in 2016—eight years after the most recent vote. Continuing to build a piecemeal subway system, by approving small extensions once a decade, which then take another 12 years to build, would take a century to reach most of the city.


The council and mayor can start identify funding sources right now, fight in Olympia to access revenue we don’t already have, and then send a plan to voters to approve preliminary planning and financing. Within a few years, Seattle could pay regional partner Sound Transit to start constructing the lines.

It would be difficult—it would take the same sort of resolve and elbow grease that city hall has exerted to build freeways (ahem).

With Prop. 1’s failure in April, the city’s going through another round of angst about “regionalism” – when do we need to coordinate with the suburbs and when we go it alone?  There’s an undeniable appeal to the latter, and voting maps would seem to reinforce the argument that Seattle and its suburbs simply have different priorities when it comes to transit.  But one can take that analysis too far. The “region” did vote to support Sound Transit in 1996 and again in 2008.  When turnout is high (i.e. presidential election years), the region tends to come through with the votes. A vote to expand light rail in 2016 would have a good chance of passing, but it’s also possible that 2016 comes and goes with no vote at all.

Holden’s approach – for the city to get the money and pay Sound Transit to build the lines – is certainly a better idea than the last time the city tried to go it alone.  But transit is really expensive and funding it purely through local taxes would require taxes that are orders of magnitude higher than anything that’s been proposed since the Monorail.  It’s not impossible, of course — we’re a prosperous, growing city — but it wouldn’t be a slam dunk. That said, you can imagine many variations on this approach, such as Seattle opting to fund ST3 at higher levels than the rest of the region, or borrowing from the feds to accelerate construction.

Fighting in Olympia, however, sounds like an unabashedly great idea.  One reason why Vancouver’s been able to fund so much rail transit is that the provincial government’s helped to pick up the tab.  In Washington, all the transportation bills coming out of Olympia are road-centric disasters.  And WSDOT has shown almost zero interest or competence in moving people instead of just moving cars.  Perhaps if we all learned to ambulate by fuel injection, WSDOT would be interested in helping us get from point A to point B (ahem).  In the meantime, it sure would be useful if Mayor Murray, a former state legislator, would use some of his much-ballyhooed influence in Olympia to fund Seattle’s transit needs.

66 Replies to “The Costs of Regionalism”

  1. I certainly don’t have a problem with bugging the state or getting a whole bunch of suburban lines built as well, but I don’t see any reason that going city-only hurts the electoral prospects — the taxes for Seattle projects are coming from Seattle anyway. The only issue is that city has different revenue tools available than the County and ST do.

    1. Seattle also has different transportation needs from the suburbs: we need more transit, more bike lanes, etc.

      1. Seattle’s transit needs are different from the ‘burbs as well. Seattle needs frequent local service, providing both intra-city transportation and connecting the last mile to the regional service. Seattle also has a need for both types of Light Rail. “Streetcars” connecting points within the city, and “interurban” like LINK connecting regional destinations with the city. The suburbs, need express bus/P&R type services (along with a “core” local service for those who have no other option) to connect them to the urban areas where they can use the frequent local service to go the proverbial last mile to their destinations. Having good pedestrian and bike infrastructure is also a part of this equation.

    2. ST’s structure has created the mistaken belief that everybody’s money is helping all the projects, more than Seattle could afford to do on its own. But it is Seattle’s and Shoreline’s money in North King, so it’s the same as they could raise on their own. It just comes with the restrictions that it must be simultaneous with an ST# measure and at a regional tax rate. What other services do we fund with this kind of restrictions? None! It may have made sense theoretically in the 1990s to legislators and cities, and maybe did give a critical jump-start to the primary cross-subarea projects in ST1&2 (Central/East Link and Sounder). But now with experience on the ground and at ST3 and beyond, the restrictions are looking less useful, and it’s hard to see that anyone is benefitting from them.

    3. Right — Seattle pays for our own system any way you slice it. There is also no reason a locally funded rail project would not be eligible for federal funds, in fact, its the Seattle projects that are most likely to be eligible for federal funding as they will rate highly for a Federal Full Funding Grant Agreement.

      Of the things ST has researched so far, the Ballard Spur would be the obvious focus of a local effort.

  2. We ought to be able to jump start things locally as long as we do it in a way that anticipates and cooperates with the regional 2016 vote.

    We should just add an extra Seattle only bit on first to get the ball rolling…

    1. Agreed. The price tag for the Ballard to UW line seems really palatable for a Seattle tax base that might be getting tax fatigue. Although, the Ballard-UW line might be the easiest city line to gain county wide support, especially if it is packaged as an extension of the Kirkland-Issaquah line. Regardless, Fremont and Ballard needed rail yesterday, not tomorrow!

      1. I see 0 evidence Seattle voters have any sort of “tax fatigue”. The suburbs on the other hand ….

      2. Ask my parents, they cry of rising property taxes. Although two people definitely don’t make a trend. I’ve argued to them their tax burdens are pretty reasonable and could be much higher. When I lived in Michigan and California, I paid property tax, sales tax, much higher car tab fees, and a county and state income tax. Yet, especially in Michigan, the services were pretty subpar. It’s all about perspective — so many people here don’t realize how could they have it, yet how much better it can be.

      3. Where it matters is at the ballot box. While you will find people upset about taxes in Seattle it is far from the majority.

    1. ST is keeping the option open in any case. The long-term plan update and all the corridor studies are supposed to be finished by December so that it can go to the ballot in 2016 if it decides to.

      1. Never underestimate the fundamental malice and incompetence of the State Legislature.

      2. I hope you don’t intend that to mean that we are powerless. If its all up to the legislature and the legislature is going to say no, then we need to do something.

        I for one am not willing to throw up my hands in defeat for elections that haven’t even happened yet.

      3. We’re not “powerless,” but at a minimum your city and county representatives have to move ST3 authorization way up the legislative lobbying agenda. At the moment it’s all about Metro.

        At that point we could at least identify which legislators are a problem. I’ve heard rumors that Frank Chopp is a roadblock, but those are just rumors. The legislative Democrats are terrible but it seems self-evident that recovering control of the Senate is a pre-requisite.

      4. @nik

        Yes, unfortunately. They need permission from the state to go to the voters to ask for additional funding. Given our current state senate, this is likely to be a nearly impossible task.

      5. ST needs approval to raise the tax rate beyond the ST2 level. If we wait for the ST1&2 bonds to be paid off in a few decades, then I think we could vote for additional projects with the existing tax authority. But by then most of us will be dead or close to retirement and we’ll have spent our whole lives on slow infrequent buses in car-dependent environments. We can’t wait thirty years to start fixing things.

    2. So that means not 2020 or 2025 either unless the legislature changes drastically?

      Not a good time to buy a house in Ballard.

      1. I don’t know what you mean by “drastically.” It hasn’t been on the agenda down there so it’s hard to read how marginal Democratic legislators would feel about it.

        It is true that municipalities can scrounge up revenue sources when they really want to, as we’ve seen with the Metro funding issues. In the case of all-city measure, $2 billion for Ballard-UW would be about $67m/year for 30 years, or not much more than Murray is proposing to backfill Metro service. Whether that’s a viable ballot measure is another question.

        It’s also apparent that Mayor Murray, the prince of regionalism, is not going to lead a Seattle-only measure in 2016.

      2. The save Metro package is also a bad example, as it’s a fixed-size tax and you want a revenue source that can grow for a bonded project.

      3. To be fair, Murray has proposed a Seattle-only metro measure, which isn’t exactly regionalism, even if he did do so under some amount of political duress.

        A Ballard-UW line could score high on a FTA grant list, though I am not sure that will remain a reliable source of funding.

      4. It’s notable that the Murray plan takes great pains to present itself as regional, with some spending on two-way lines, partnership opportunities, and so on. It’s hard to see that happening with a project that at its bare bones strains the city’s financial capacity.

        And it happened after a regional measure failed. If a regional ST3 fails in the 2016 election I wouldn’t rule out a go-it-alone, but if there is no vote Murray won’t go it alone.

      5. Martin, can STB reach out to Murray where he stands on a Ballard to UW line? What options is he considering if there is no Ballard options on ST3 in 2016?

      6. Ed Murray is on record as highly skeptical of city-only rail measures, because he thinks there is no substitute for a regional solution. I doubt he would be interested before a regional solution was given a chance to succeed.

      7. If a regional ST3 fails in the 2016 election I wouldn’t rule out a go-it-alone, but if there is no vote Murray won’t go it alone.

        That’s a good point, though I doubt ST3 would fail if it did get on the ballot. So very sad.

      8. Ed Murray is on record as highly skeptical of city-only rail measures, because he thinks there is no substitute for a regional solution. I doubt he would be interested before a regional solution was given a chance to succeed.

        There’s much more than a puncher’s chance he’ll still be mayor in 2020, too, so we could be waiting a while.

      9. I agree. All that said, over time, if it became clear that the legislature was never going to do anything and that people wanted Link badly enough I’m not sure he would fall on his sword over this issue. That won’t happen in 2016, though.

  3. It sounds like the first thing we need to push for is differential tax rates. There’s both the moral problem of Seattle’s critical Link lines being dependent on not-so-obvious Eastside and Tacoma lines, and the physical problem of tax-adverse suburbanites votiing it down because their tax rate is too high (they don’t care about Seattle’s tax rate) for suburban “trains to nowhere”. Better to let each subarea choose which projects it wants and what tax rate it tolerates. To be ready for a November 2016 vote, ST would need this authority by 2015 to give time to write it into ST3.

    1. Unless you’re talking about zero new taxes in some subareas and nonzero in others, I think differential rates hurt the chances of success. Regardless of any wonky concerns about “overbuilding”, reducing a proposed new sales tax from 0.5% to 0.2% (for example) wins you approximately zero votes, and in fact costs you votes by shrinking the benefits of the package.

      1. It is hard to say, but I think I’m with Mike on this one. Part of the problem is that in the near future, the transportation needs of Seattle will greatly exceed that of the suburbs. One could easily argue that after Kent (the college or thereabouts) the southern suburbs (and the city of Tacoma) should be done with light rail. The state has paid for HOV lanes all the way from Tacoma to Seattle, so that gives you three decent alternatives for getting to the rest of the system (bus to Kent, bus to SoDo or Sounder). Even if they want to continue light rail to Federal Way, that is relatively cheap, since it is elevated. There are a number of relatively cheap projects (such as HOV ramps) that could make substantial improvements in the service to the south end.

        Likewise with the east side. There are parts of the east side that could use some expensive light rail (Kirkland) but these are relatively tiny compared to the areas that will get it soon.

        Meanwhile, you have big areas of the city that need grade separated light rail, and there really is no alternative. You can’t build a freeway ramp to serve South Lake Union. Likewise, every grade separated line that serves Ballard is expensive, even it if goes the cheapest way (via Interbay). Ballard to the UW, meanwhile, is bound to be expensive. You just can’t get across there any other way.

        It is anybody’s guess as to how the suburban voters will vote. But if you offer them a very good value (like very fast bus service which connects to light rail) they may support it over really expensive, and sometimes less effective light rail.

      2. I tend to agree with Martin here. The issue outside of Seattle is more likely to be tax vs. no tax rather than the overall size of the package.

        Don’t forget some of the sub-areas like Snohomish County have some rather expensive asks for the next round of funding.

        That said it previously has taken 2 rounds for ST to get its measures passed. Both times the package was scaled back. The first by drastically scaling back and asking for a lower tax, the second by cutting down the number of years for implementation and de-coupling from the road measure.

        I suspect in both cases running in a presidential vs. a non-presidential election year was more important than the smaller tax ask.

        I think it is important to have projects that will capture the imagination of voters and local officials so they say “I want that”. For Seattle that is easy. For this round for Snohomish County that is easy with Everett Link. South King has the problem that the potential project with the most political support sucks from a cost-effectiveness perspective. The same for Pierce except they don’t really have any good alternatives under study except for some small projects like DuPont Sounder. East King is especially problematic as there is a lack of good potential projects under study other than completing East Link to Downtown Redmond and the Renton portion of Burien/Renton. There seems to be little political will for anything other than Downtown Redmond on the Eastside.

      3. It is anybody’s guess as to how the suburban voters will vote.”

        Come on, Ross, We all know “how the suburban voters will vote”: nt just “No” but “Hell, no!” They have what they want and need from Link and ST3.

        Nobody is even investigating the cost and engineering difficulties of adding a third track to the BNSF from Black River Junction to Tacoma, so Sounder is not going to get a bunch of new service. Redmond might conceivably want to extend East Link from Overlake Station to downtown Redmond, but they can certainly pay for it themselves and turn it over to ST to run. The “Big C” to Burien and Renton is an Onion-level joke.

        The Repubs in the state legislature screwed you, folks; face it and move on. You’re not going to get a bunch of whiffy new rail lines, so stand up on your hind legs and make it really painful for people to drive into the city by taking lanes from all the radial arterials and running real BRT on them. That’s all you’re going to get for a long, long time.

  4. Here’s a thought… if it looks like the 2016 vote is going to be blocked by the state, why don’t we look into running a state initiative to give each county and city additional taxing authority to specifically address their own transit problems (via elected officials or local citizen initatives… whatever it takes).

    We can’t let our our transportation system be held hostage anymore to worthless political games.

    1. We don’t because no one has stepped up to organize statewide signature gatherers, raise money, and run polling to see if it’s worthwhile.

      Furthermore, you’d ideally run the measure in 2016, which means ST3 would have to wait for 20200.

      1. If the initiative gave the power to the representatives, you wouldn’t need another vote. You would simply elect a board and they could tax as they see fit (like the legislature does).

    2. As past elections have shown, an initiative like this would never in a million years pass a statewide vote. I’m not even sure it could pass a King County vote. The problem is that a “yes” vote is a vote for higher taxes, but with no specific projects promised in return. (Yes, we all know that taxes would not actually go up without real promises to deliver something, but in the world of soundbites, this doesn’t matter. The prospect of higher taxes will drown out whatever hypothetical projects such taxes might fund).

  5. “… require taxes that are orders of magnitude higher than anything that’s been proposed since the Monorail. ”

    Sales taxes are regressive. It’s true. There would have to be some solution to keep from unduly impacting people who have to spend a huge part of their small incomes on taxable items. But what are we talking here? ST2 was .5% sales tax increase, and that was primed to generate $7.8 billion over 15 years. I’m not interested in funding it solely through sales tax, but how many people would really hurt paying an extra 3% sales tax for the next 15 or 20 years? Anyone know how much it would generate in the city? If half a percent is worth $8B (for the whole ST area in 2008), Seattle is about 1/5 of the total regional population, so 3% might generate $8 or 10 billion in Seattle over 15 years. That’s probably enough to build Greenwood-Ballard-QA-Downtown-West Seattle, and maybe Ballard-UW.

    I’m just saying, when you look at it like that, the tax increase isn’t really that daunting. I do think that a huge car tabs fee would be very tough to sell. But property taxes, sales taxes, these things wouldn’t be as hard for voters to accept, especially if the payoff is a good subway system.

    1. conversely, for that $8B, you could do Greenwood-Ballard-Fremont-Wallingford-UW, Downtown-West Seattle, and a third line elsewhere. and that’s before any matching funds from the feds or state.

    2. I don’t think that $7.8 billion number is accurate. The sound transit financial plan says

      $3.311 billion from 2009-2023 (fifteen years) in sales tax revenue for the entire 0.9%, plus the MVET and the rental car tax. Other funds would come from Grants, Bonds, etc. which would bring it to $8.465 billion, but those bonds need to be paid back, and will have to be paid back in the following years, using the tax revenues aforementioned.

    3. $8B / 600,000 people = more the $13,000 per person. All for a line from Greenwood to West Seattle?

      I have a hard time seeing a measure passing with this kind of math, even in a pro-transit city. Many, many people will not use such a line and will balk at the price tag, even if it is spread across 15 years.

      1. I think it depends on what the exact project is and the period of time it will be paid over. $8 billion doesn’t seem like so much if it buys option D Ballard/downtown, option A3 Ballard/UW, and a good West Seattle line paid over 30 years.

        It also is easier to take if it doesn’t feel like a majority of the burden falls on individuals like it does with vehicle license fees or sales taxes. Property taxes put more of the burden on large property owners and the wealthy they also are hidden from renters.

      2. Spreading the huge cost over 30 rather than 15 years only increases the total cost of the project as interest payments are extended. The total sticker price will be even less palatable. (This is what killed the monorail in its final vote)

        Limiting the taxes to property owners likewise makes it less passable not more. King County collect only roughly 600 million total a year across the entire county. Compare this to what you are asking to be extracted just out of Seattle property owners. It’s madness to think such a measure would pass.

        You may think it will be more passable because more people will not see themselves paying the tax, but property owners vote in disproportionately high numbers and will likely vote no to such a proposal in high numbers.

        I favor expanded transit especially transit with a guaranteed right of way, but it’s important to be realistic about what is and is not possible politically.

        This discussion is beyond ridiculous in it’s fantastical nature.

  6. I think it’s also worth mentioning that even a city-only measure needs regional cooperation. If Seattle raises a bunch of money ST has to be willing to take it, and if board members think it threatens their own plans or are miffed by anti-suburban rhetoric of the movement, they’re free not to assume the risk of entering a contract with the city.

    The alternative is a redo of SMP with a separate Seattle agency, which blecch.

    1. Ok you want a regional plan? If we could somehow set up initiatives in all three counties separately to fund sound transit directly, I suspect that would alleviate the regional concerns…

  7. I believe the public perception problem, while at first glance appears geographic, is actually more related to accountability. Other states like California have been more successful at referenda and enabling legislation by creating third party regional transportation planning and taxing authorities that have both city and county elected officials on their board. Inter-city, city-DOT and city-operator cooperation is essentially forced to occur. Accountability strategies are going to sell better in Olympia and with the public than the “give us money or the sky will fall” strategy.

  8. Any law that says regional transit has to include only places that border each other? What about non-contiguous areas that vote for transit, even if their surrounding neighbors don’t?

    I’m thinking, for instance, Seattle, Tacoma, maybe Dupont, and Olympia. There is already express bus service, some local and some ST, between Tacoma and places south.

    However, it takes a so-called express bus half an hour to get out of Olympia, ten minutes or more at SR 512 P&R, and 20 minutes through Tacoma.

    ST and IT could get a lot more service out of same number of buses with things like signal pre-empt, reserved lanes, and either ramps to or relocation of a couple of park and rides.

    Like just about all current political problems, main problem is generational. Nature long ago invented term limits. Which makes it good that the anti transit side is older- hence their antipathy to change of any kind.

    2016? 2020? Really only six more years. My bet is that these coming years will see younger people be forced to overcome their current aversion to party politics by things like debt, unemployment, and the prohibitive cost of school.

    And even without return to the draft- which turns both parties pale yellow to consider- couple of dozen mile long oil trains going off decrepit tracks through someplace crowded and popular like New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and maybe Seattle too..just sayin’.

    Same with freeways becoming crumbling linear death traps- while the well-paid jobs desperately needed to both to repair these things and revive our economy are still “sequestered.”

    Meantime: any local effort to develop transit at any level serves the regional cause- especially by example.

    Mark Dublin

  9. Sound Transit getting authority for a 2016 from the legislature is a less than 50/50 proposition. Regardless of the outcome of that fight — Seattle MUST be ready to expand its transit system in 2016. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity and can’t come too soon.

    Planning for that contingency has to start now. As we’ve always advocated at Seattle Subway – we want to fund Sound Transit to build in Seattle — there is no reason to create a new agency. We will be forced to fund them locally if the State continues to show its spite for the Puget Sound (The most likely outcome.)

    1. Keith

      How will you handle the Mayor? Mr. Regional Mayor may try to sabotage a city only effort, or do nothing to help (see his Prop 1 “support). The only way I have seen him act is if you get his enemies involved (e.g.,, McGinn and Ben effort to save the buses through property tax; 15Now threaten to put a ballot measure on the minimum wage)

  10. I think that Seattle needs to consider breaking off into the “city and county of Seattle”. County Politics and needs are vastly different from those of urban Seattle, and this would be one way for Seattle to secure its future. This would include of course spinning off the Seattle portion of Metro to a new local agency (Seattle Transit System?) and other utilities and services as well.

    1. Yes. Just like San Francisco: City AND County of. With the really weird borders of King County, that would make so much sense.

  11. The voters have always had the goals of quicker transportation with a fast regional system. The masterminds in Olympia have ignored the will of the people and instead chose Social Engineering over Transportation…forcing people into ever smaller apodments and undesirable urban environments.

    To date, only Sounder, and some of the ST Express bus lines meet that original definition, more so than LINK, which, because of its meandering nature and slow speed, is simply a bus on rails.

    The old monorail “cross” design — two simple lines, East-West, North-South — may have sufficed in the 1990s….but all the population growth since then mostly occurred in the surrounding suburbs of King County (not Seattle).

    Two more Sounders would do the trick and answer the real needs of the electorate:

    -An East-West Sounder, that made a beeline from Ballard-Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond-Issaquah
    -An eastsider North-South Sounder, which would connect Tukwila-Renton-Bellevue-Woodenville.

    1. While South Sounder is relatively popular for what it is (North Sounder should simply be cancelled) it’s ridership is underwhelming compared to Central Link or even East Link. Now some of this is due to the low frequency and short service span. I’d love to see what the ridership estimates would be if it was an every 30 minute all-day service (ignoring for the moment cost considerations).

      That said, Link between Downtown Seattle and Lynnwood (and Everett if it is ever extended) beats North Sounder and express buses at all times and driving most of the time.

      East Link doesn’t knock it quite so far out of the park but is better than the existing 550 service to Downtown Bellevue and has more capacity than the existing 545.

      I don’t know what imaginary tracks you think an E/W Sounder could run on. Then there are minor problems like the destinations you list aren’t exactly in a line (meandering) and there is a rather large pond to cross in the middle.

      As for a N/S sounder from Tukwilla to Woodinville the potential ridership is extremely low. The phrase “empty train to nowhere” comes to mind. The ERC meanders and so wouldn’t be all that fast anyway.

      1. “As for a N/S sounder from Tukwilla to Woodinville the potential ridership is extremely low. The phrase “empty train to nowhere” comes to mind. The ERC meanders and so wouldn’t be all that fast anyway.”

        You are aware that for the shared segments of the ERC, and the proposed freeway-based BRT system (Tukwila – Totem Lake), that the ridership numbers were essentially the same. They were using the same modelling process, and with the ERC ‘Sounder’ being slightly less expensive.

        Now if you’re suggesting that an Eastside LRT system, with its associated higher price tag, would be something that the folks in that sub-area would go for (flush with all that extra tax revenue), then I’m on board with you.

    2. JB, I love ya, but you’re just factually wrong.

      – Central Link is much more than a bus on rails. It’s faster than the buses it replaced for downtown trips as far as Tukwila, vastly more reliable everywhere it goes, and aggregates demand between all the places it serves in a way those services never could. It won’t adequately solve downtown commuting needs for far south King County but it does lots of other stuff well.
      – The northern Link line is much more than a bus on rails. It will be much, much faster than the buses it replaces for downtown trips at least as far as Northgate, vastly more reliable everywhere it goes. It’s a thoroughly regional project with thoroughly regional benefits, especially for Northgate and Snohomish County residents that gain consistent, all-day access to the U District and Capitol Hill.
      – If East Link will be a bus on rails, it will be a regional express bus on rails. It should improve reliability and bunching compared to the 550, at least, but the reason its ridership projections are mediocre compared to its cost is because of all the intermediate trips it fails to serve.
      – “Beeline” doesn’t have an exact definition I know of, but Ballard-Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond-Issaquah cannot possibly meet even the loosest definition.

    3. At the risk of sounding obvious, John, “there are no tracks”. For Sounder, you need railroad tracks; there are none.

  12. @ John Bailo

    “To date, only Sounder, and some of the ST Express bus lines meet that original definition, more so than LINK, which, because of its meandering nature and slow speed, is simply a bus on rails.”

    I was afraid it was going to come to this, John.

    I can appreciate your arguments for your slice of the pie, from that ‘east coast commuter’ type perspective, but I guess I side with Will Douglas, who has posted here before, stating simply that he has no interest in denigrating the desires of others for their own improved transit service to satisfy his specific wishes.

    Essentially, this region is woefully behind the transit service curve, local, regional, and longer distance.

    While I might expect the faceless, nameless posters on this blog to particpate in calling for transit cut-backs in areas that don’t affect them, I’m genuinely dissappointed that you fell into the ‘divide and conquer’ trap, John.

    1. Several people have phrased my Argument as “doing what’s best for me” and gone further, like yourself, to saying and neglecting everyone else.

      I don’t think so.

      I simply have been categorizing transit into two areas: Regional and Local and advocating Regional. I am not disparaging Local, I simply have felt that it was adequately served and what was really needed is Regional.

  13. As to the transit funding in Vancouver, it’s true that the provincial and federal governments do provide most of the capital funding, but the real reason that Vancouver has built more rail transit is because it did it cheaper. The three Skytrain lines cost around $6.5b (Expo $2b, Millennium $1.5b, RAV $2b). Sound Transit has spent around $5b on Link thus far and is going to spend another $5b completing North Link and East Link. The Skytrain lines also have 100% farebox cost recovery so that also makes them cheaper in the long run.

Comments are closed.