Debating Proposition 1: Funding Transit in Seattle’s King County

“Vote no on Proposition 1, and send King County government a message that Metro has more work to do on righting its cost structure before asking voters for more revenue,” says an editorial from the Seattle Times.

A recent editorial from the Seattle Times attacks Proposition 1, a revenue generating initiative on the King County ballot that would ask the public for a $40 increase in car tabs and a 0.1 percent sales tax.

The Times editorial cites Metro’s repeated requests for revenue from the public: “The pattern is clear. As in previous rounds of asking taxpayers for more money, Metro sees its shortfall as a revenue problem, rather than thoroughly confronting its well-documented unsustainably high operating costs.”

According to the Times, here is the jist of the choice confronting voters:

  • “If voters approve Proposition 1, King County would have no incentive to do the hard work of bringing down labor costs that still saddle Metro with the fifth-highest driver costs in the country, behind only Boston, Santa Cruz, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.”
  • Or: “If voters turn down Proposition 1, King County threatens a round of devastating bus-service cuts, many on popular routes including those carrying students to college.”

In a strong response to the editorial on the Seattle Transit Blog, Martin H. Duke calls the argument of the Times editorial “generic union-bashing and right wing talking points about trimming fat.”

Duke details some of the unattractive options implied by the Times’ argument, but instead lists a number of proposals detailed in the past by Seattle Transit Blog to increase the efficiency of the region’s transportation infrastructure. 

Full Story: Editorial: King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1

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