Transit has no stronger advocate in the State Legislature than Sen. Marko Liias. Liias serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, where he has been able to speak up against non-sensical efforts to undermine transit agencies, and advocate for more investment in public transit, with huge success.
STB has covered Liias’ career championing transit in Olympia at length.
- Liias sponsored the Senate bill that would have given Sound Transit authority to take ST3 to the ballot without being tied to road funding , where the transit would have required a public vote and the roads wouldn’t. He then got 19 of his colleagues to sign on.
- During the fight over reducing car-tab revenue for the voter-approved Sound Transit 3 capital program, Liias proposed various amendments that would have gotten useful gains for Sound Transit to make up for revenue losses, such as permit streamlining for light rail construction.
- Liias helped shepherd through additional sales tax authority for Thurston County Intercity Transit. Intercity Transit may be going to voters to ask for said increase as early as November.
- Liias has been able to fend off schemes like having Sound Transit subsidize parking permits for neighbors and making the ST board elected, even when his colleagues wouldn’t raise their voices.
- In what may now seem like ancient history, Liias was one of the chief advocates for tolling on SR 520.
The STB Editorial Board currently consists of Martin H. Duke, Brent White, and Dan Ryan.