The most progressive change we can make to the proposed Seattle Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is to make it larger.  Even if we focus on funding transit service as we urged last week, the initial proposal of a .1% sales tax with nothing to replace the current $60 Vehicle Licensing Fee will mean big transit cuts.  Those cuts won’t be academic, they will mean cutting critical service just when many Seattleites will need it the most.

After I-976 passed last year it took away the city’s ability to include a Vehicle Licensing Fee as part of the new TBD.  This would mean about a 50% cut to the TBD funding in normal times, but in the post Covid-19 recession, the cuts are much bigger.  Sales tax receipts have fallen off a cliff and the recovery could be slow.  We should be looking to use all the funding available in the TBD, the full .2% sales tax, so that we can return service after as the recession wanes – but we should also be looking for emergency funding for next year.  

Though sales tax is a regressive funding source, it’s far better than cutting the transit people will increasingly rely on. This recession is hitting people who were already struggling to afford Seattle the hardest. About 19% of Seattle households don’t own a car and that number will almost certainly rise – cars are expensive.  Inaction means forcing people on a tight budget to buy a car or continue to maintain a car because transit doesn’t serve their needs.  

Metro should also be looking to structure service to match the demand that exists rather than demand that used to exist.  Focus funding on supporting people trying to get to jobs that don’t conform to 9-5 schedules downtown.  Transit needs to be flexible and support people’s individual economic recoveries.

We have to think about this in post Covid-19 terms.  This is a ballot measure for November with funding that won’t start until April of 2021.  As the pandemic fades and more people have to rely on transit, demand will go up sharply.  Our transit agencies will need to be responsive and meet that demand where it is – and have the funding to back it up.  

We should also be looking to improve transit funding for the future.  The legislature has the power to enact progressive options for future transit funding packages. A future TBD should be at the King County level and use a progressive funding source.  That work needs to start now so that we’re not having this same conversation again in a few years.

There is a Seattle City Council meeting on the proposed Transit Benefit District this morning at 10 am.  Please join us in urging the council to be bold and save our transit by:

  1. Increasing funding as much as possible (both .2% sales tax and emergency 2021 funding); 
  2. Focusing funding on Transit Service; and
  3. Structure transit service to better serve the needs of people who are transit dependent

The Transportation Committee meets at this morning at 10 am (7/17/20.)  You can share your thoughts by email or sign up to testify here.  

33 Replies to “Action Alert: Save Transit, Fully Fund the TBD”

  1. “While the court considered the constitutionality of the main provision, Democratic Governor Gary Locke called a special session of the legislature to pass the $30 car tab flat fee provision into law, lay out budget cuts to account for the tax reduction, and Attorney General Gregoire defended it before the court.

    Despite “Microsoft, Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, labor, and virtually every editorial page in the state opposing I-695″, and more than $2.1 million spent in the campaign against it, the $30 car tab fee was formally signed into law on March 30 after a positive ruling by the courts.” -Wikipedia, Subject “Tim Eyman”

    I-695 cost the public the fine little public library on the fifth floor of the Exchange Building, where paid staff would help you find material on every technical subject under Metro’s purview. And Intercity Transit, the excellent bus system of Olympia, where I live now, has still never gotten over the damage.

    My relocation from Ballard to Olympia, neither any choice about it nor any regrets. When COVID’s OVER, IT 612, ST 574, and Link will once again let me maintain contacts and attend ST Board meetings. IT doesn’t want my ORCA card anymore, but Tacoma Dome Customer Services sells me monthly passes. Olympia’s a good residence to help with the regional transit system that our joint-use Tunnel gave such a strong start.

    But one question. You don’t have to tell me your names, but here’s why your age is important .The two public officials mentioned above are both lifelong Democrats. And to put it mildly, neither of them has suffered any career damage at all over giving Tim Eyman everything he’s ever wanted likely lifelong, after the Washington Supreme Court swiftly handed them his head on a plate when it ruled I-695 Unconstitutional.

    Having five years’ age on the first Governor, since the Viet Nam War, I’ve been seeing my side abet a tragic generational addiction worse than methamine and opioids combined: An income bracket and connections worthy of Governor- and Ambassador-ships, give us a wealthy governing class that finds political defeat comfortable. Lower bracket? Reason their candidate’s in the White House even though he lost by three million votes.

    But since COVID’s made “The Cure” ” The Major Need,” I’m glad to be looking at its political equivalent. As they take each other’s pictures on the steps of the closed-down Capitol, for the graduation ceremonies they’ll neither have nor have any reason to regret missing. And they politely refuse to accept excuses for non-performance across the board.

    At 18 you can both vote and be a State legislator. Anybody saying that on Facebook or Twitter? Seattle Subway, what can I do to help you get both their votes and my legislators’ too?

    Mark Dublin

    1. “Democratic Governor Gary Locke called a special session of the legislature to pass the $30 car tab flat fee provision into law”

      That was twenty years ago in a different political climate. The anti-tax movement started in the 1970s with California’s Prop 13, and in the 1990s it had gained enough popularity in Washington to pass Initiative 695. That was during the dotcom boom. In the previous decade the suburban ring had expanded from Lynnwood-Redmond-Kent to Everett-Woodinville-Issaquah-Tacoma. Separate job markets became exurbs, and were particularly anti-tax. Libertarianism had grown since Reagan, and said government could do more with less, and should do less. The liberals were flying high after the 60s revolution, Vietnam, and Watergate, but that reversed after Reagan’s victory. Liberal developed a pervasive fear that they would be swept away if they didn’t adopt conservatism-lite and cap taxes and streamline government. This was a recurring trend in the Clinton and Obama administrations, in Congress between 1980 and 2018, and in the Washington legislature.

      In 2000 the anti-tax movement was in its initial ascent, and legislature adopted the I-695 provisions out of the same fear that a conservative tidal wave would wipe them away otherwise. Since then Eyman’s initiatives have had a lower success rate, the state/counties/cities have raised taxes without armageddon coming, people’s quality of life and future prospects have deteriorated, and there is a growing awareness of the need for government services and taxes.

      In 2000 housing costs had been moderate for at least forty-five years — the entire lifetime of the boomers. The population was lower so congestion was less, and 30-mile commutes were still unusual. (Boeing workers have always commuted long distances, but others hadn’t.) So driving was more tolerable, and transit was seen as less necessary. Climate change was not a mainstream concern yet. Urbanism had only been popular for a few years and was still small. There was less awareness of how taxes affect infrastructure. People took postwar amenities for granted and imagined it had little relationship to tax rates because most government money was going to a black hole of waste. Some people still believe that, but there’s more recognition that infrastructure costs significant money and it comes from our property tax and sales tax. And there’s more urgency about climate change and clean air.

      So it’s unlikely the current legislature will do exactly the same thing as in 2000. It will probably adopt some of I-976’s provisions, perhaps in a modified way, and will at least think about consulting cities and counties about the need for transit and how to soften the blow. And the voice of constituents will be more mixed and there will be a significant “Save transit” voice in it.

      1. Mike, were I with military judge-advocate division in a just war, while I can’t see imposing the death sentence myself, I could understand why cowardice is a capital offense in a wartime army. It’s pernicious, incurable, lingering and…contagious.

        So the major energy behind my own politics from here on is to see to it that this year’s first-time voters can ever live to “sweep” (mop or shovel more like it) away the stench of “Eau d’ Pervasive Fear” my generation generation thinks we’ve got the right to leave them for an inheritance.

        Your above excuse for the behavior, I’d advise anybody else never to offer in front of me. Lifelong shame enough how little I could do about it, over all the years since I sat in the Student Union in 1964 watching Lyndon Johnson lie us into the Viet Nam War ’cause he was scared of Barry Goldwater. Like Barry’d ever make him step on a mine?

        Fact they’d been decades out of power, and were strongly outnumbered, still left them plenty of fight. They weren’t afraid. . Why were we? If we’d all literally gone down shooting- how much lousier would our legacy be?

        Given the motivation of the REAL Boston Tea Party, not Government Spending but TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, what us Democrats should’ve done was declare that nobody living in Washington DC would pay a penny in taxes ’til they could vote. And invoke the Second Amendment literally full-bore to be sure the IRS sent nobody to either jail or foreclosure.

        [Topic] Up close and transit-personal? The terrible Breda bus fleet. The self-lamed operations that threw away millions in Tunnel signalling. The train wreck at Dupont….no passenger train had better put wheel to rail on that Bypass while that curve is still there.

        Whole generation-long misery is pretty much summed up, though, in the fact we’re leaving the Class of 2020 with a lot worse Tim Eyman than the one we should’ve let the Courts squash and flush as they did their best to do. Him for an 18th birthday present should lose anybody parental custody.

        So while passengers who need special measures to ensure their mobility and earning power should be a serious consideration, forgive me if my efforts concentrate on how public transit can initiate a lifetime of assistance to this year’s first voters, to literally send them out loaded with a lifetime of ABILITY.

        Starting with a permanent ongoing collaboration between transit and our public schools, purposed to create personnel from drivers to mechanics to management to STB Board Chair-persons. From kindergarten through engineering school. And every ORCA card a proud brass membership pin, possession proving payment. Funding source, unending supply of Sweat Equity. Repaid with interest, For. Starters.

        Mark Dublin

      2. There was an excuse in there? I was just analyzing people’s motivations, why they chose yes or no. Not excusing it. We have to understand people if we want to predict what they’ll do, persuade them to change their mind, or make things better in spite of them.

        There are also underlying trends I was trying to get at. The triple calamity of WWI, the Depression, and WWII created a mindset determined to improve society for everybody so that future generations wouldn’t have to go through what they went through. Political polarization almost disappeared for a half century, with both Democrats and Republicans promoting the same things, and liberals and conservatives in both parties. The WWII generation thought it was inevitable progress, and the Boomers and later generations thought it was normal, but it was really an unusual period in history.; (This based on Thomas Picketty’s analysis.) It could become a future normal, but not as easily as we thought.

        When libertarianism and the tax-slashing movement arose, it was in that environment. People who hadn’t lived in Europe in WWII or experienced the Depression or 19th-century inequality. In many cases their schools didn’t even teach it more than just bare-bones abstractions. So people just assumed a lot of things would always continue, even if they slashed taxes or starved the government, because they didn’t understand how they were being done or were in denial about it.

        You might think this is an excuse too. But my contention is that everybody, including us, had/have this viewpoint, and it operated/operates on car-tab supporters perhaps without their awareness. Anyway, I think it’s useful to understand people this way, and it gives background input to inform us for whatever we want to do about it.

      3. @Mike Orr, I just wanted to say thank you for writing that post. I have nothing specific to add to it, other than my appreciation, especially for the point about having to understand how people think and what motivates their actions before we can work to change them.

      4. Thanks. For what it’s worth, the four biggest things I learned in rhetorics class (I studied speech communication) were: (A) Rhetorics is the art of giving persuasive speeches. (B) The biggest reason people don’t do what you want is you haven’t told them clearly what you want them to do. (C) In order to persuade people, you have to first understand what they believe and start with that, and take them step by step to what you believe. “If you believe A then you can believe B, if you believe B then you can believe C.” (D) The audience wants you to succeed. (This is meant to counteract the fear of public speaking speaking; most listeners aren’t waiting hostilely to pounce on your mistakes, they want you to do well.)

      5. Thank you again. That advice aligns very well with the advice I got from my graduate school advisor, actually. Her point was (in a slightly different context, that of getting negative feedback during the peer review process of a conference or journal submission) that no reviewer wants to fail the submission, so even seemingly negative comments are a reflection on the authors’ ability to communicate their thoughts well. In other words, whenever I (or another author) would feel like answering “but they didn’t get it”, the fault was not with the reviewers, but with the authors for not explaining it well enough for the reviewers to get it. I think it’s a similar thing.

  2. Nobody gives a (forced copulation) about anything I have suggested. Include tabs, or lose any remaining support I have for Transit.

    At least Amazonian is going back to MT.

    1. The problem with tabs is Tim Eyman and I-976. Transit needs money that we know will be available for service, not money which may or may not be available, depending on how the court rules.

      As to impact on low-income populations, an additional 0.2%, with rent and unprepared food exempt, has a negligible impact on a low-income person’s pocketbook, compared to the $400-600/mo. that car ownership costs, which becomes more necessary if you allow transit to deteriorate.

      Also, much of the sales-tax-is-regressive argument comes from an assumption of universal car ownership, as car purchases and car repair are big expenses that sales tax is based off of. That assumption may hold true in nationwide household budget surveys, which skew heavily towards parts of the country with terrible transit, but is a lot less true in the middle of a large city with good transit, and certainly becomes less true when a city’s transit system is properly funded.

  3. asdf2, to what does Tim Eyman owe his status as a “given”, besides the fact that the two Governors I mentioned above over-rode the Washington Supreme Court to make him Essentially Washington’s earliest and longstanding strain of COVID-1999? Worst (which is saying something!) thing about him is that at 54, he’ll easily outlive a cure.

    Major Action Alert! right is how we get rid of him. His funding sources are likely odoriferous enough we can find them later. But main investigation has to be why so many people at all levels give flock honking to his ranks.

    How much I care about public transit is why I’m so hard on it. No accident that the first question Seattle Subways and all its other friends might want to face is how much of our own approach and performance gives Tim his own jet-pack. That he doesn’t even need to shoplift.

    And while we’re on aviation, Brian…that aircraft that somebody else will have to now have to donate….is it jet, prop-jet turbine, DC-3 or glider?

    Mark Dublin

    1. I think a propjet would work best, but I have grown a distaste for propwash, because I get to hear helicopter traffic all day.

      And I thought Top Hat was noisy.

      1. BUT…..aviation history provides an intriguing possibility:


        Proudest moment of my whole education was when my sixth grade teacher, a Canadian named Keith Lancaster, interrupted my show-and-tell to show the whole class how superior my radial engine ship was to the water-cooled-engine dive bomber in my other hand.

        Last 190 he saw was through the gunsights of his turret on the water-cooled-four engine Canadian bomber that shared his family name. Just sayin’, Seattle schools, just sayin’….But Topicontact here is that for the creation of loving public loyalty, whether steering-wheel, “stick” or Link-controller, huge amount owes to the hearts, minds, hand, training, and supervision of the people at the controls.

        Affection of our people back home must always be first in our squadron’s minds. Even if it’s not a Flying Focke (-wulf) we can always spare a reminder that a 60′ transit coach can keep a long seated-load of would be motorists out of the lane of a driver who really needs it.

        And Brandon, not that I could blame them, but nobody political answers any of my calls or e-mails anymore. Amount of time it’ll take before Seattle Subways or anybody else can formulate a program, let alone act on it, should be a relief: Much more time for thinking, planning, and online research. Though I do find that the four officials I e-mail, all not only remember me but read what I write.

        Mark Dublin

    2. “right is how we get rid of him.”

      The biggest thing now is to make sure he doesn’t become governor in November. In addition to his anti-tax, anti-transit attitudes, he has jumped on the Trump bandwagon on other issues. Who knows what other attitudes he might reveal as governor. We could end up with the opposite of 2016, when Trump won nationally but transit/urbanist/progressive items won locally. A right-wing or tax-stingy state government could drag our economy into a hole like Kansas and California were, gut transit, entrench fossil-fuel dependency further, and defeat coronavirus-containment measures if they’re still an issue.

      There’s a possibility he will lose in a landslide, and another that he might eke a win. So it’s like the situation in 2016, where Trump was expected to lose in a landslide but he eked out a win. Even though most of Pugetopolis will be strongly against him. The siren song of $30 car tabs is loud. I think most people voted for I-976 because they always vote for low car tabs regardless of who proposes it or how it might affect public services. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll always vote for all his initiatives or for Eyman himself, it’s just that they feel particularly strongly about car fees because it appears threatening to their chosen lifestyle.

      1. The chance of Tim Eyman actually becoming governor is close to zero. The thought of anybody with an R next to their name winning statewide in Washington on a presidential ballot is nearly implausible. Especially with Donald Trump dragging down Republicans everywhere while Inslee, if anything, gained in popularity from his handling of the coronavirus. In spite of the loud protests demanding that everything reopen in April, we need look no further than Florida and Texas to see that Inslee’s cautious approach has proven correct.

        I also would not at all be surprised to see Eyman not even win the Republican primary, when there plenty of other candidates, just as Trumpy, to choose from. At least looking at yard signs, I’ve seen a few for various other Republicans in the race, and not one for Eyman.

      2. Is there a governor primary? I thought it was already decided Inslee and Eyman would be the choices. Hmm, there is a governor primary in my voter’s pamphlet, and there are 36 candidates. Including Mr Tsimerman, whom we don’t need to mention further. OK, is there anybody better than Inslee?

      3. is there anybody better than Inslee?

        Of course not. What century are you from?

        No Democrat is challenging him. Most of the Republicans are demagogues, like Eyman. The last of the sensible Republicans (like Dan Evans) are supporting someone with no political experience (Raul Garcia). The only remotely qualified candidates are former Bothell mayor Joshua Freed and state senator Phil Fortunato.

        Obviously the edge should go to the man who has actually worked in the state legislator. Furthermore, Freed has other flaws. Freed has opposed the wearing of masks and … and … do I really need to write anything else? In normal times, Fortunato would be running away with the race. He is a state senator, and has been a state representative. But the way things are going, he can’t even get the endorsement of the “old guard”.

        The Republican Party is in complete disarray, locally and nationally. Oh, there are a few sensible people out there, who hold onto the label (party of Lincoln and Ike and all that) but they are outnumbered by the loons. It is not surprising that the state rejects their lunacy. What is surprising is that a lot of the rest of the country embraces it.

        In any event, Inslee will win easily.

      4. Um, er, ah, asdf2, there IS no “Republican primary”. Wake up, Rip Van Winkle, you’ve missed the past 20 years! We now have a “Top Two” [or, excitingly, “Jungle”] primary.

      5. Yeah, by “Republican primary”, I meant finishing second in the August 4th “general, top two” primary. It’s effectively the same thing.

        I got my ballot in the mail, and was shocked by the shear number of gubernatorial candidates. I have never seen anything like this, ever, even back in 2012, when there was no incumbent running. I was also shocked to see the Republicans on the ballot not even referring to their own party by a consistent name. Some said “Republican party”, some said “GOP party”, and others said “TRUMP Republican party”. They looked very much in disarray.

        I also looked up the latest polls out of Washington State. As of late May, Biden was leading Trump by over 20 points, and Inslee trouncing all of his opponents by even more. Of all the Republican opponents, Eyman was running the worst, losing by a whopping 60-31. And, this was late May. Since then, Trump’s popularity has only gotten worse. The coronavirus has also gotten worse, making those politicians who want everything open ASAP, with no masks and no social distancing, looking more and more out of touch.

      6. The main reason there are so many candidates is because the state waved the filing fee. They did this because the alternative to the filing fee was to gather enough signatures. That made no sense during a pandemic, so they just waved the whole thing. Thus it cost these people nothing (in time or money) which is why so many people are running.

    3. Besides the governor’s race, if the courts overturn I-976 and he gets prosecuted for misuse of campaign funds and the public becomes more pragmatic, his influence could shrink to insignificance. The voters and legislature have been mixed in recent years on his proposals. So that trend could continue. Or hopefully the public will become more serious about solving problems and less willing to accept the siren song of miniscule car-tab taxes and no need for transit. There are hopeful signs that things are gradually getting better, even if it’s “two steps forward, one step back”.

      One thing to look at if Eyman is governor is who is the attorney general? It’s the attorney general that’s holding Eyman to account, and a William Barr-like attorney general would halt these investigations and burn the evidence. The worst vision I can think of if if we someday have Eyman for governor and Alex Tsimerman for lieutenant governor or attorney general. Not that the latter has gotten more than 1 or 2% in his local races.

      Re Intercity Transit, would you care to write an article about its history? What was its service like at its peak, and how has it changed over the past fifteen years? And what has Olympia-Tacoma access been like over the years? And how many Olympians support ST Express or Sounder-like transit to Tacoma and Seattle?

      1. Excellent thought, Mike. I’ll do it. Only problem is how non-easy it’ll be to get the personal conversation that always gives me my best perspective. For who knows how long? Pandemic’s worst damage could be its complete destruction of this mode of communication, on every level of agency and government. But please hold me to it. I owe you and everybody else connected with STB that much.

        Mark Dublin

      2. I’ve seen that in the YouTube ASMR community, a group that was essentially created in that platform. The concern being, what if YouTube went away, would the community collapse? I guess if STB were no longer able to operate as a website, we’d need the STB Facebook group, Transit Riders’ Union, Seattle Subway, and/or STB staff and their email contacts to figure out some kind of alternative. Or fall back to the Facebook group if it’s still there and people have internet access.

  4. The priority needs to be first: Structure transit service for the transit-dependent. This should be the primary purpose and reason for transit. Serving and thus subsidizing people who can afford a car and choose not to own one, and serving and subsidizing those who own a vehicle(s) should be the secondary purpose and reason for transit. For example, adopting fare policies that support this view is where transit should be headed, such as low or no fares for low-income that are subsidized by higher express bus fares, with local fares somewhere in-between.

    1. No. Just “NO!” Transit is MUCH more important than just another welfare program. It helps shape cities in a way that can massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shared usage of vehicles and shared walls in buildings.

    2. Cities should have robust transit available to all as a first choice, because it’s a more efficient use of land and energy and the environment and is more equitable. Driving should be an extra we accommodate to a moderate extent, but not going out of our way to build more than two general-purpose lanes on arterials and highways.

      Cities’ transportation priorities should be first pedestrians, second and third transit and biking (there can be a debate which to put above the other), fourth freight, and fifth cars. That’s more or less the priorities Paris has, and it consistently puts BRT lanes before car lanes. It even has a policy of removing a few hundred parking spaces per year on principle, even if they’re not immediately needed for BRT or bike lanes.

      Even if we did all those, driving would still have a lot of externalities and subsidies we haven’t addressed. So let’s not exacerbate it by making transit only for the poor, or infrequent and unusable. Serving the poor should be the minimum transit does, but not the only thing transit does, even in a recession.

    3. If transit is run and funded properly, the same service should be useful to people of all income levels because everyone is traveling all over the region. By contrast, when you start designing transit around where people of privilege imagine poor people needing to go, you end up with routes tailored to a highly specific set of social service destinations, useless for getting anywhere else. Even for poor people, most trips are to work, not to social services, so the service fails.

      A poster child of how not to run a transit system is the Solid Ground shuttle, which briefly ran a one-way loop around downtown/First Hill. It serves the front door of various social services, and was free to ride, as a service to people who couldn’t afford the $2.50 bus fare. But, it was slow, very infrequent, and got stuck in traffic. Plus, the whole route covered essentially a one mile radius, rendering riding the bus not actually any faster than just walking, by the time you waited for it.

      And then, there’s the stigma aspect. Nobody wants to ride around on a bus with “building community to end poverty” printed on it in big letters, advertising to everybody around you that you’re in poverty, or you wouldn’t be riding. Much better is a free or discounted Orca card, allowing you to ride a regular bus and blend in with the regular bus riders.

      Just as the city does not build separate streets for rich and poor people, it doesn’t make sense to have separate bus routes. Just run frequent buses up and down busy streets, implement free/discounted fares for low income individuals, and let them ride the same buses as everybody else.

      1. The Solid Ground shuttle was part of the grand bargain for eliminating the Ride Free Area. I thought the homeless people themselves asked for that routing. There was a group that opposed eliminating the Ride Free Area unless that shuttle was added.

  5. Folks, folks….

    I rolled in on the public comment today and then watched the STBD. My conclusion? We need to get to one message here for a week from Monday.

    1) Where are we on 0.1 vs. 0.2?
    (I’m for 0.2% if it’s doable and has allied support.)

    2) Where are we on 4 years, 5 years or 6 years?
    (I’d say go for 5 years and have the fifth year be available if a regional option falls apart. Let’s remember KC Council and Transpo Choices had to back away mostly due to Covid19 impact.)

    3) Bus lanes?
    (It’s my sine qua non for more than a 1-time $25 donation to the campaign. Expand the bus lanes, prioritize this and name after our heroes. To quote “Better Buses, Better Transit” by Steven Higashide of TransitCenter: “More people choose buses when they are a useful option for them—when it’s reasonably fast, affordable, and convenient. Decades of research by academics and public agencies show that this is determined mostly by factors such as how often the bus runs, how fast it is compared with alternatives, how reliable it is, and how safe riders feel.”)

    I’ve said enough. Over to you.

  6. Ok if I tell all the Eymanians how much money my vote for a first-rate transit system will save me on gas, maintenance, repairs, and insurance? But even better, when attendance is once again possible, generous school field trip arrangements might pay for themselves via the number of young women from age four on up who, after their first train ride, will constantly point out the window of their folks’ trapped car at examples of how fast they COULD be moving.

    Mark Dublin

  7. Transit measures do best in elections with high turnout, probably because more young and lower income folks tend to vote. Turnout is highest in Presidential elections; turnout is expected to be very high this year, as folks are very engaged. So, this is the best year to ask for transit funding. Recent history: the RTA (pre-ST) lost in April 1995 and won in November 1996; ST won in 2008 and 2016; ST lost in 2007 when shackled with the RTID in 2007. Metro won in November 2000 and 2006. The STBD lost in 2011 (it included streetcar planning). The county TBD lost in April 2014; the Seattle TBD won in November 2014.

    Yes, a better revenue source would be great. The cities, TBD, and transit agencies are creatures of state government. In 2009, the agreement between the three executives to build the deep bore to replace the SR-99 AWV included a local option MVET for Metro. it was not provided. in each session, between 2009 and 2014, inclusive, the county and cities attempted to get improved local options. there was no success. In 2015, the focus shifted to ST3; CT got their sales tax; nothing for Metro.

    The term is an interesting choice. The longer the better, but it should be easy to shift it down or eliminate it when better revenue is found.

    Note the city is attempting a more progressive revenue councilmatically for the homelessness crisis. We get to vote on transit. If so, this is the best year to vote.

    The virus has its own schedule. No one knows how long physical distancing will be required. Other nations seem to be doing better. A vaccine may be developed and provided. we hope the TBD term is longer than the Covid 19 crisis.

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