An out-of-service Swift bus headed towards Everett Station
Funding for Swift II operations is on the line with the November ballot measure

The signing of the statewide transportation package yesterday by Governor Jay Inslee granted permission to Community Transit to exceed the maximum 0.9% sales tax rate set for public transportation benefit areas (as allowed for in Section 312 of Senate Bill 5987, specifically for counties with a population of at least 700,000 that contains a city of at least 75,000 with its own transit system). The CT Board voted unanimously today to place a measure on the November 3, 2015 ballot that would increase sales taxes by 0.3% (3 cents on $10 taxable purchases) and generate an estimated $25 million in additional annual revenue for the agency.

In their press release, Community Transit outlined where the new revenue would be spent, beginning as early as March 2016:

  • Swift II, whose capital costs are already covered by state and federal grants, will use $7 to 8 million per year in op. It is scheduled to open as early as 2018. (See my open house report from last month for more details)
  • Improved frequency on local routes with more trips added throughout the day and expanded service spans.
  • Additional commuter runs to downtown Seattle and the University of Washington.
  • Increased east-west connections within the county.
  • More service to job, housing and educational centers throughout the county, including communities such as Arlington, Monroe and Stanwood.
  • New routes, including service on State Route 9 from Marysville to McCollum Park via Lake Stevens, Snohomish and Silver Firs, last proposed during the failed annexation of Cathcart, Clearview and Maltby in 2008.
  • Reconfigured local bus service to connect with Sound Transit Link Light Rail when it reaches Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood in 2023, and eventually to Everett.
  • More vanpools and expanded DART paratransit service.

84 Replies to “CT Sales Tax Increase on the November Ballot”

  1. First comment for notifications.

    I’m ready to vote in favor of this and am excitedly waiting for the goodies (promotional materials, the expected Swift line rebranding, etc.) that will come in the run-up to November 3.

    1. You have a small, but important typo:
      “place a measure on the November 3, 2016 ballot.”

      Should read “the November 3, 2015 ballot.”

      1. Is this a typo or a indication that rushing this to ballot in an off-off year election, rather than waiting until you have a more representative electorate that likely includes far more present and future transit-reliant people is a foolhardy gamble Bruce’s brain subconsciously corrected?

      2. Considering that Swift II needs that funding secured before it can start construction and that CT is aiming for a September 2018 opening (at the very earliest), I think it’s wise that they’re going to try a ballot as soon as possible.

        I assure you the only rushing done here was by myself on this post, cranked out in under an hour after the press release was emailed to me.

      3. Bruce, great comments and yeah, I hope the STB hires you as their paid journo. Seriously, you got my vote.

        All I ask is you please support Future of Flight service in 9/2018 please once Seaway Station is up to serve Swift II.

      4. I hope your confidence in the electorate is well-placed. Given the SWIFT II is probably the least valuable part of what this funds, I personally wouldn’t risk the whole deal on a shaky electorate to protect a timeline for the most dubious project. I hope their confidence is well founded.

    1. Transit should be funded, even if not by the best means.

      But concerns about the regressivity of sales tax could be partially addressed by Community Transit, Everett Transit, and Sound Transit partnering to bring ORCA LIFT to Snohomish County.

      Everett Transit may as well make a deal with King County Metro and Kitsap County, since its fares would only be reduced by 25 cents (if the LIFT fare were to match the youth fare) for those who qualify, but Everett citizens could then avail themselves of more affordable connectivity around the region. I have a hunch existing staff at Everett Station could handle the line of those seeking the LIFT card. They wouldn’t have to go into the business of income qualification, but merely accept other sufficiently-recent documents showing how the customer qualified for another program set at 200% of the federal poverty level or lower.

      Community Transit would face a slightly larger impact, given their higher fares (which are still lower than King County’s). The youth discount (which ORCA LIFT would presumably match) is 75 cents on local rides, $1.25 on commuter express, and $1.50 on long-distance express. Consider this as substantial Title VI mitigation for the tax increase.

      Sound Transit’s hit for matching LIFT fare to youth fare would be $1.25 on in-county ST Express routes, and $1 on 2-county routes. But putting that into the ST3 mix could be a vote-gainer for ST3, not to mention significant Title VI mitigation.

    2. We unfortunately must use the tools available to us, however insufficient they may be.

    3. Sven Seattle and Wally Washington have to learn to pay for the services they want, and which benefit the value of their community. Anything else is robbing my income for their benefit, not mine.

      1. Please explain how sales tax is robbing other people’s income, while property tax isn’t. Is your concern about shoppers from out of county? But, remember that people coming in from other counties to shop still add to local traffic congestion; there’s a stronger argument for them to pay transit taxes than much of anything else

      2. John,

        Most states have a sales tax. If you don’t like the sales tax I suggest moving to Oregon or at least making regular shopping trips there.

        If you feel Seattle is ‘stealing’ your money then make sure you buy anything subject to sales tax in Kent.

    4. Property tax isn’t the most fair measure either as its not a progressive tax like income tax. Remember renters pay property tax too through their rent.

      Income tax would be best but this is what we have to live with.

  2. LET’S KICK THE TIRES AND LIGHT THE FIRES!

    Who wants Swift 2?

    WE DO!

    Who wants to pay 3 cents per ten bucks for this?

    WE DO!

    Who wants genuine congestion relief?

    WE DO!

    Who thinks three cents per ten bucks is a fair price for genuine congestion relief?

    WE DO!

    Who wants the Future of Flight transit desert hydrated?

    WE DO, RIGHT? :-)

    BACK. THIS. ALL. THE. WAY.

    1. It shouldn’t just be about the Future of Flight Museum.

      The several times I have taken the 113 it had maybe 3 people on it.

      The route could serve far more people if it connected to more stuff, and did it faster.

      Something like a route that goes from Mukilteo to the Future of Flight and continued out to a connection with SWIFT and South Everett Freeway Station would be able to connect a lot more people, not just Future of Flight.

      1. Now there will be 4, though not sure it’s every day for the Future of Flight proponent?

  3. First, I’m not raining on anyone’s parade here. I don’t have a vote in this but would encourage my friends to vote YES because CT does a good job compared to most transit agencies. OK, that’s out of the way.
    Now, a bigger question to answer, not just for CT, but all transit agencies is this.
    Sales tax revenue is tied directly to inflation AND population growth, so in a perfect world, those two factors alone should yield enough revenue to maintain the status quo of service per person throughout the district.
    Take Metro for example. When first formed it taxed at 1/3 cent which has tripled over the last 30 or so years. Revenue tripled with higher rates and also grew with BOTH inflation and population increases over the same period.
    It seems logical that tripling taxes should yield a tripling of service hours per capita in the district and a tripling of mode share across the board, but that never happens – not even close.
    Transit should have to justify their wise use of funds just like any department in any corporation. At some point the boss says “You’ve grown too fat and we have to let you go”.
    ps, those early budgets did contain a healthy component of building capital projects each year too.

    1. That logic sounds convincing at the first, but I don’t think it is true in actuality for three reasons:

      1) Sprawl. Most of the development in the 1990’s was in areas of King County that are difficult to transit to serve, compared to Seattle neighborhoods that were well-populated before then. Metro still has the obligation to serve such communities as they get built, even with the expectation of much lower modeshare. The trend has started to reverse a bit over the past few years, but it’s still an aberrition, and as long as NIMBY opposition to new development persists, infill development is always going to be difficult. In fact, I would argue that if county-wide mode-share is holding flat, in-city mode-share must be increasing significantly to compensate for all those new people out in the ‘burbs that never ride the bus.

      The sprawl also relates to not just new residences, but also new employment centers. 30 years ago, employment was much more concentrated in downtown Seattle than it is today, which meant even in far-flung areas, you could get good transit numbers simply by running commuter express buses to downtown. When the percentage of people working downtown decreases, the difficulty of attracting people to transit increases, for reasons having nothing to do with Metro being or not being too fat.

      2) Traffic Congestion. Traffic congestion has gotten a lot worse over the past 30 years, especially along corridors with high ridership potential. In many cases, buses have not gotten the priority treatment they need to bypass such congestion. The result is that a good chunk of service hours that got added over the past 30 years get squandered sitting in traffic. Again, nothing to do with Metro being too fat.

      3) Diminishing Returns. It’s always going be the case that each n riders is going to be more expensive to serve than the previous n riders. Getting mode-share from 0% to 1% is easy, and can be done with nothing more than a collection of express routes to downtown from a few dense neighborhoods. However, with each incremental percentage point after that, the easiest n% of people to get on the bus are already riding the bus, so getting that next 1% of the population becomes more difficult. It might involve running buses to less crowded neighborhoods more hours of the day, or catering to time-sensitive people who won’t ride unless the bus goes straight downtown from their neighborhood, with no intermediate stops – even if the bus is just half full. Or it might involve catering to people who don’t even work downtown at all, or catering to trips other than home->work altogether.

      While the diminishing returns phenomenon is real, it can’t be used as an excuse to not invest in transit. Doing that is tantamount to just giving up.

      4) Many costs associated with providing service have gone up faster than inflation, in ways that Metro has little control over. For instance, the cost of diesel fuel has at least tripled since the 1990’s, when gas was $1/gallon. The cost of health insurance for bus drivers has also gone way up – again beyond Metro’s control.

      1. Good arguments ASDF2. I agree sprawl and congestion are driving up the cost of transit.

        We really need to work on people and get them to realize the more time on a bus is more productivity and less congestion for all.

      2. All good points asdf2 which can be calculated into the debit/credit balance sheet as credits to why more tax revenue is justified. Of course, the flip of that would be the Sound Transit taxation going towards STEX service where some routes that Metro paid for are now being paid for out of a different tax payer pocket, but paid none the less and still operated by the same agency. The same can be said for some CT routes.
        I’m not picking on any particular agency this morning, but the number of service hours per capita in CT service area actually went down between 2000 and 2013 by 21%. Some of that has been added back but I don’t have the NTD info past 2013 to work with this morning.
        Of course that’s just one metric among many.

      3. I think the first and second argument are the keys. I remember taking buses from Magnolia, back in the day, and the service was great. What changed — did Magnolia get smaller? No, but relative to the rest of the county it did. But Magnolia is very close to the rest of Seattle. The runs there are very short (even when they loop around on every major street). Running express routes from far away suburbs is a lot more expensive. Congestion, meanwhile, gets more expensive the more we sprawl. I know congestion around very densely populated areas is bad, but relative to the population, it isn’t nearly as bad as congestion in less populous areas. The reason is that if 100 people are added to Ballard, ten of them walk, and ten of them ride a bike to their destination. But in Lynnwood that number drops quite a bit.

        Now, one could argue that we needed to build more roads. But there are several problems with that. First, if you are talking about Magnolia, you would need to expand 15th, and Denny, and much of downtown. That is really expensive. For the suburbs, you would need to expand the freeways. In both cases, this hasn’t been done, nor does it scale very well. In other words, the good times are over. Once a city gets this big (whether the people are concentrated in the city or not) it becomes more expensive to move them around. Other things can become cheaper per person (e. g. education) but transportation bases on roads does not. The good news is that if density increases, then rail becomes a much better value. There are only a handful of places in Seattle where this is the case, but we should be glad that some of them are finally about to get rail. For other places (like the Swift routes) buses remain an excellent value.

      4. CT managers should pay attention to some pretty critical comments in the local papers about raising taxes, despite Joe’s best efforts to counter the chatter. Some tough questions will be asked and providing the public with straight answers can only help their cause. In other words, turn off the spin machines.
        In 2000 CT provided 7.3m boardings and grew that by 19% to 9m in 2013. Great! Unfortunately, service area population grew by 40%, that’s going the wrong way.
        Operations and Capital grew from $61m to $115m. Inflation accounts for $35m of that increase, but still leaves $20m unaccounted for. Service hours went up by 24%, which accounts for congestion, added service and the missing $20m.
        In short, after running some numbers, I’m still saying Vote Yes, that CT does a good job, but I have to think they can do much better than losing market share each year, while Sales Tax quadruples over 30 years from 3/10 to 12/10th of a cent.

      5. Thanks mic.

        Part of CT’s problem in my view is great message, horrible imagery. Hip hop images with a great message is not going to get more commuters to leave the car behind or park the car at a park & ride to/from work.

      6. Here’s a free idea for CT: host their own version of the Amazing Race and have teams go to/from Seattle at rush hour. One on the Double Talls, another vanpooling, another in a SOV. Throw in a mid-commute challenge (look up something online for a quiz, for example) and maybe a challenge at the end goal that requires being well rested to do.

        Repeat with Swift and local service and you could have a nice campaign that showcases both alternative commute options and maybe some of our local treasures (parks, monuments, venues, etc.) accessible by transit.

        Make the videos somewhat short, add some interesting commentary, maybe host a live special episode once the series matures enough to silence anyone who says they’re faked.

    2. Fuel costs have risen faster than inflation, ‘eh? That and the decentralization of housing and jobs others have mentioned probably accounts for a lot. I don’t really like to speculate wildly, though, about something that could be answered definitively with some budget information and possible some general economic stats.

  4. While we’re talking about CT, do any of you know when and where they will truncate commuter buses to Seattle by transferring to Link? I assume the UW extension opening next year is too far east from I-5 to save them many service hours, so we would be looking at Northgate Link at the earliest?

    I’d also love to see CT conduct a feasibility study about extending Sounder North to Marysville and Arlington. That stretch of tracks shoots straight up I-5, without any risk of landslides, so I think it would be popular with commuters into Everett (and there are quite a few). Since it’s outside ST’s service range, CT would be a natural agency to take the lead in paying ST for the extension.

      1. Having Sounder North feed into Link at Everett from points north (maybe at most Stanwood/Arlington for the first phase) could work well. Portland has a similar setup with their Westside Express commuter rail line (Wilsonville to Beaverton, where there’s a transfer to the MAX Red and Blue lines). Maybe having some peak runs travel through Everett to Seattle (as a premium service with a premium fare) would help offset some of the costs.

      2. Continuing to operate Sounder North from Everett to Seattle is nothing but a money-waster. If Link were extended to Everett, a truncated Sounder line between Everett and Marysville could possibly work, if nothing else because operating costs would be much less (due to much shorter distance to travel), and the fact that the train might actually be time-competitive with a bus, due to the numerous stoplights a bus has to through to get between Everett Station and I-5.

        However, as long as BNSF owns the tracks, I am going to be very skeptical of the idea. ST’s lease specifically covers Seattle->Everett, so if they switched Sounder over, they would probably have to pay BNSF another $250 million for track rights, while selling their existing easement back to BNSF for pennies on the dollar. There’s also the practical matter than Marysville is not in the ST district.

      3. Good stuff asdf2. Like I said, it would be nice but highly unlikely.

        I hope King County Exec Constantine can lead a strong coalition to put on the table trading Sounder North as it stands now for something better before The Big Slide causes a potentially deadly tragedy in the winter months.

      4. There’s a state study on an Everett-to-Bellingham commuter rail that would transfer to Sounder. It would be funded by the counties. None of them have expressed enough interest to get it off the ground. The same thing happened with an Auburn-to-Maple Valley line. (That sounds parallel to Sounder but it’s actually more perpendicular, and would serve Covington along the way.)

      5. Is Dow against Sounder North? Last I heard ST wasn’t interested in canceling a voter-approved service, which they interpret as a mandate to keep it running. I thought that was the entire board’s position. If Dow is against Sounder North, does that mean the board is divided on it?

      6. Meaning, now that Everett is really excited about Link and that Payne Field extension, and it costs something like $5 billion, and Snohomish doesn’t have a lot of money, then… maybe Sounder doesn’t look as shiny as it did last year. It’s a wash for Everett, an hour to Seattle no matter which mode. Mukilteo and Edmonds are the ones who get more out of Sounder. But it’s hard to see those tails wagging the dog.

      7. I would love to see Sounder Elliott Bay – in a tunnel or bridge between West Seattle & Magnolia would be a good option to bypass downtown. Looks unlikely though.

      8. What’s the point of having a tunnel from Magnolia to West Seattle…and especially when it’s not even light rail with frequent headways?

        That kind of commute should be covered by a bus to Interbay, a transfer to Sounder or maybe a Link line on 15th, a transfer to the West Seattle Link line in downtown and a bus for the last mile.

    1. Yes, more $30 subsidized rides into Seattle, which would rise to maybe $40. Move over BART, we’re coming after you for the crown of highest-longest-pointless services government can conjure up.

      1. Don’t get me started on that. Half the Sounder N. riders come off ferry boats. None of the points of origin are within the ST district = free loaders on a very, very expensive service.
        Even Sounder North is in violation of state law, where it has to be cost competitive with bus service, but ST ignores that law and gets away with it.
        Yeash

      2. mic;

        Yeah, I see that. It would be great if King County Exec Dow Constantine could lead a coalition of safety advocates & fiscal conservatives to prevent the inevitable great tragedy…

      3. “Half the Sounder N. riders come off ferry boats. None of the points of origin are within the ST district = free loaders on a very, very expensive service.”

        They’re not freeloaders; they pay fares. They use the service that exists. They don’t have control over whether ST provides it as trains or buses. If ST provided ST Express buses, they’d be on it, and if they complained ST could tell them where to go. ST seems to focus on Sounder ferry service for its own reasons; e.g., “multimodal transit hub” looks good on paper and the passengers help justify Sounder North. For a fun exercise, subtract the ferry passengers from Sounder’s ridership; then how does it look?

      4. Of course, it would help if Edmonds (where I live) would do something about increasing density around the station, but they’re caught up in the height-restriction battles. The Port-of-Edmonds was going to develop the Harbor Square property but backed out.

        Maybe a budget-based property tax scheme for Sound Transit, so that if a given municipality/neighborhood wants a station, then to keep individual tax amounts low, the more residents the better, otherwise, you could consider it a ‘SFH-only-next-to-transit’ surcharge.

      5. “Don’t get me started on that. Half the Sounder N. riders come off ferry boats. None of the points of origin are within the ST district = free loaders on a very, very expensive service.”

        But if we included Kitsap County in RTA district, then they’d be asking for their own train on the Penisula!

    2. CT will probably be truncating its commuter service when Lynnwood Link opens in 2023. It’s not worth having two years of truncation at Northgate and Lynnwood is a natural terminus for its services (since some of the northern express routes even stop there already)

      With the bus hours freed up, CT could vastly expand Swift service and create new commuter runs to Lynnwood from areas that don’t have express service today (Arlington, Smokey Point/North Marysville…I can’t think of many places without them) while retaining their Double Tall fleet.

      The only downside is that Seattle will no longer have Double Talls running through it on weekdays, which is a bummer.

      1. “The only downside is that Seattle will no longer have Double Talls running through it on weekdays, which is a bummer.”

        If you live in Seattle, it doesn’t matter because the limited schedule for the double talls (peak-direction-only) means that it will never make sense for anyone in Seattle to ever ride one (unless you like riding the double tall so much that you’re willing to ride it to Lynnwood, only to immediately turn around and ride the 512 back).

      2. Mike;

        There are many routes that could use a Double Tall in the Puget Sound.

        County Connectors of Skagit Transit, WTA and Island Transit
        Island Transit Route 1 which goes from Clinton to Oak Harbor
        Any route Snohomish County to/from Seattle
        A special Sound Transit route to the state legislature from downtown Seattle
        A replacement for Sounder North :-).

        The ideas keep going!

      3. Five Sound Transit double talls are expected to enter service shortly.

        Stupid question: These buses aren’t really twice as tall, are they? But they are twice as many “decks”. So, why not call them by the more accurate commoner term “double decker”?

      4. Particularly useful on the Skagit Transit Express, where standing isn’t allowed and the service is fairly popular.

      5. I agree. Neither Husky Stadium nor Northgate are good destinations for buses. The way we are growing is a bit frustrating from a bus standpoint. Imagine if, for example, we managed to get to U-District (Brooklyn) with the first round, then Mountlake Terrace with the next. I could easily imagine buses going to the U-District for five years (even though it isn’t a perfect spot). This is a bit cumbersome (no HOV lane) but it is a major destination, so you kill two birds with one stone. But Mountlake Terrace would be a great choice, even if the buses had to be rerouted in a couple weeks instead of a couple years. That would be a winner for all involved. But while we can dream, it won’t happen. I don’t think buses will be rerouted to the U-District (or 65th or any other stop) for only a couple of years.

    3. CT has said it will truncate the commuter routes. Geographically, almost everything would have to be at Lynnwood Station, because nothing is closer to Mountlake Terrace Station than Mountlate Terrace itself. Downtown Edmonds is between the two so there’s some uncertainty there. It has a more open highway to Mountlake Terrace, but the existing frequent corridor is to Lynnwood. The latter is a future Swift corridor and has a lot of apartments (at least east of Edmonds Community College), so that will probably win out.

      Sending the buses to Northgate Transit Center would require doubling or tripling the bus bays and layover space, and access ramps from I-5 so they’re not stuck in Northgate Way congestion — or adding to said congestion. That would be a massive investment that would be used for only two years. I was surprised that ST2 included Lynnwood because I only expected Northgate. But it avoids the need to massively expand the Northgate transit center, which would also make densifying the station area even harder.

      1. Yeah, I pretty much said the same thing above. If the Northgate round went as far as Mountlake Terrace, then I think they would truncate there. But Northgate is terrible from the north, so that won’t happen. Meanwhile, the Husky Stadium site is also really bad. They could terminate at the U-District or Roosevelt for a couple years, but I think they will just wait (since it is only a couple years).

      2. One might be able to make a case for truncating the 512 at Northgate, even if peak-hour buses continue going all the way downtown. The justification would fall along the lines that the 512 is also very crowded at all hours of the day and needs more frequency. Without more money to increase service hours, this is how ST might be able to get that improved frequency. And that’s in addition to the fact that many times of day, the transfer would actually be faster, in spite of the overhead of getting between I-5 and the TC. It would eliminate the I-5 south parking lot between Northgate and 520 when the express lanes are closed, plus the long slog through downtown streets (~15 minutes from Stewart and Denny to 5th and Pine, ~30 minutes from Stewart and Denny to 5th and Jackson).

        And, with the 41, 555, and 556 gone, there should be no trouble finding layover space for the 512 at Northgate Transit Center

      3. The 512 could definitely be truncated at Northgate without using too many resources (no real need for a bus ramp from the HOV lanes since buses are already on the shoulder lane).

      4. Husky Stadium, hahaha! This is the university that won’t even allow a second layover space for a bus from Kirkland or Lake City.

      5. Some years ago, when Lynnwood Link drawings came out, I ran the numbers on bus bays needed to meet the incoming hoards of commuters trying to load onto their last 10 mile buses.
        Assuming about 1,000 riders head for their parked cars, and some more peds and bikers dispersing into ‘Downtown Lynnwood’, it still left a huge number of bus riders to accommodate. I’m not sure what the fantasy boarding number is today, but CT is going to have to send a bunch of buses elsewhere because of the layover and loading space inadequacies built into the station design.
        Or maybe not, if the ridership is far fewer than the 20-25k alightings daily.

      6. The 512 is definitely a candidate for truncation, because it isn’t quite the express that I assumed it was. It stops at 145th anyway and 45th. Northgate is a tough stop, but since the bus is making those stops, it means it is in the right lane anyway (and not in the HOV lane) so it might as well stop there. An alternative is to serve the U-District. This might mean skipping the Northgate stop. Those that want Northgate can backtrack (up north). Meanwhile, those that want the U-District have a better one stop ride (right to the heart of the U-District). But I think Bruce is right, Northgate is probably the best deal.

    1. Supposedly market-oriented groups harp on the benefits of contracting out operations of transit service (if they don’t flat-out oppose the existence of public transit).

      Community Transit has done that, contracting its operations to First Transit. Has that led to any groups like the Washington Policy Center supporting Community Transit, and its need for more revenue?

      Indeed, are there any reforms that, once enacted, have gotten such groups to stop saying, “We think they should reform themselves first.”?

      1. Well put Brent, well put.

        I am sick and tired of people who want to hide behind calls for reform when what they want is to do away with public transportation.

        On this one, I am not going to be Mr. Nice Conservative. On this one, it’s we need the money. This is not a want or nice to have, this is a necessity to get transit service needs met.

  5. Won’t more buses in service add to the full highways and streets? How will the transit providers be able to make their service commitments? Will more money make transit better?

    1. More buses in service will take single occupancy vehicles off the streets.

      A small, dense surface area versus many surface areas w/ only 1 or 2 people in them.

      More money for Community Transit = more transit to more destinations.

  6. why will single occupancy vehicles be off the streets when new ST buses are put in service? Is there not room for existing single occupancy vehicles with the addition of new ST buses or will people start using transit once new ST buses are on the streets?

      1. Well commuters tired of being STUCK in traffic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Commuters who want to save money or who would rather have to take a car instead of use that time to work their electronics.

        I can go on.

      2. It seems people already either drive in their cars or ride very full buses on the freeways which don’t have room for additional buses. Not sure who will ride the new buses. Maybe they could use the new buses on off peak hours when the roads are less busy and there may be more riders available to ride the bus. Could even offer discounted rates to attract riders and maybe go to destinations not serviced by existing bus routes.

      3. Well, well Chuck the plan with the new money is to, “go to destinations not serviced by existing bus routes” and provide more service, more often.

        I hope for your support please on this matter.

  7. I’d vote for it, but only if there was a requirement of regular comprehensive independent operational audits to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely, as opposed to on slick videos and an app with a functionality that could have been had for free and more convenient for riders (OneBusAway). @mic wrote “Transit should have to justify their wise use of funds just like any department in any corporation.” and that “CT does a good job,” but do they and how does he – or anybody else here – know? Has there been a comprehensive, independent operational audit? Not that I’m aware. Are their board meetings online? No. Are their staff reports online? No. Are the financial and performance details of their projects online? No. Instead, everybody is taking a leap of faith that when they who have been entrenched say they “need,” are eager to give them what they want, no questions asked. I’d feel much better if an outsider looked at their operations and gave them an objective review, just as what happened at Metro, where millions of dollars of cost savings resulted, translating into forgoing service cuts for years after those who didn’t have such audits were forced to cut service…a lot.

      1. Thanks Bruce. Sadly the Snohomish County anti-transit troll army is clearly on the march, munching away at transit advocacy.

        The levy lid request is for NEW service, NOT to maintain current service.

    1. Their national transit database numbers are certainly online. I’ve got a draft of a page 2 article about that, but it will piss off a lot of people in Snohomish County so I’m thinking I might keep a lid on it until after the election.

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