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April 18, 2006

Ron Sims Offers Some Practical Leadership on Transit

There must be some kind of weird convergence in the air.  Today oil prices hit a record high, and King County Executive Ron Sims released his plan to ask us to fund a massive expansion of Metro bus service.  For a measly $25 per household per year, we'll get 20% more bus service, including Bus Rapid Transit along five major corridors including Aurora and 15th Ave NW in Ballard.  That's every ten minutes, every day, and more often during rush hour.   Other major routes will have their service boosted to every 15 minutes.

This is exactly the kind of investment we need to be making if we're going to build communities that can survive and thrive in a world of increasingly expensive oil.   In fact, it's long overdue.  And at a total of $50 million per year, it's a bargain.

Posted by Jon Stahl on April 18, 2006 at 11:02 PM in Policy | Permalink


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Amen, brother!

The mouth-breathers on the anti-government side are all atwitter, of course -- Sims wants to RAISE TAXES!!! -- but this looks to me like an amazingly huge "bang for the buck" deal. Pay a little, gain A LOT. Like Larry Gossett, I'm not happy to see the disproportionate burden placed on poorer people through use of the regressive sales tax, but funding options are so sorely limited by the Eymans of the world (and by the inanities of Washington's entire tax system ... B&O; but no income tax), that there's really no alternative to this very slight uptick in the sales tax.

Frankly, I'm astonished that, with all the slings and arrows thrown at King County and its government (particularly with regard to mass transit), there's still sufficient infrastructure in place to enable this sort of "small increment, very large effect" action to be accomplished.

Posted by: Neal Traven | Apr 19, 2006 9:51:14 AM

Sure it's the right thing to do but Sims is no hero since he has taken the lead in squandering BILLIONS on light rail. He's doing this now only to tweak Greg Nickels and so that his legacy will be some real improvement in local transport.

This should have been Sound Transit's very first -- very first -- initiative. So better late than never but don't paint Mr. Sims as any sort of visionary leader...as you very obviously did not.

Posted by: David Sucher | Apr 20, 2006 9:47:09 PM

This is good transporation policy?... Ron Sims comes in with a brain fart... let's have all those empty buses run more often, if they are empty now, maybe its because they aren't running often enough! I think Ron should be forced to pass the bong because he's bogarting all the biggest tokes.
Sims only reason for this ridiculous and moronic nonsense is to 1) to place a block (his only move, apparently) against Greg Nickels and the city of Seattle from adding any transportion inside the city, like extending the streetcar line to the UW (already announced by Conlin last year) or adding streecars or light rail to replace the monorail, 2) to add more jobs to the shrinking Metro workforce and increase his cred with the unions and public employees, 3) Sims has the absolutely worst transporation planners in the US. This just proves it, again (and again and again....)
Buses running up the ying yang! Dummbest boondongle of the year, or just another sorry waste of money from Washington State's most dishonest public official? You decide!

Posted by: Mike Weisman | Apr 26, 2006 9:04:36 PM

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