If you read only one article regarding ST3 vs other options,
read this one by Mass Transit Magazine.
Sound Transit has spent over $3 million trying to win your vote for ST3, heavily funded by those organizations and companies who stand to profit by getting paid the $54+ Billion it will cost. You are likely being bombarded by advertising by MassTransitNow and other sources. I’m not getting paid by anybody from any side. In fact, I had avoided discussing ST3 altogether until RideShareOnline (WSDOT) took an email address I used exclusively for that website and they gave it to MassTransitNow to start sending me email. This is quite illegal, but not above the tactics already demonstrated by this organization. So I am speaking out what I know about ST3. I urge you to take the time to explore and understand both sides of the issue with the equal depth of understanding. Know that it will be hard to get a balance with $3 million behind the pro campaign, vs citizen groups with limited resources on the NoST3 campaign. Start by reading these two articles:
1. Read this article on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and learn what true BRT is (not the hybrid models SoundTransit uses in their comparisons):
2. See what the national mass transit experts are saying about BRT compared to light capacity rail (LCR). This article was published just this week by Mass Transit Magazine, historically strong advocates of LCR. This article states:
More cities are considering BRT as a cost-effective mode of transportation. In 2015, the Maryland Lt. Governor publicly recommended BRT as an alternative to rail. And across the country, more than 20 new BRT systems are in the works. Why? Simply put, cost. Light rail is notoriously expensive — to the tune of approximately $150 to $250 million per mile. Comparatively, BRT — a mass transit solution initially developed in Latin America — is typically $10 to $30 million per mile.
The Traffic Group considers BRT to fit into the 80-20 Rule. This means BRT can often cost 20 percent of a light rail system but can capture 80-85 percent of light rail riders. In other words, this has the potential to save taxpayers millions of dollars while simultaneously reducing traffic congestion and providing great transit.
By the numbers: $54billion paid by 3 million people in the ST region = $18,000 per person.
Very few will ever ride it or benefit from others riding it. SoundTransit’s own studies say it won’t reduce congestion.
Yes, we need solutions, but choosing the wrong one will be make things worse by locking us into a money pit of expensive rail Sound Transit has repeatedly demonstrated bad judgment in use of our money. They spent nearly $1 Million on the party for the opening of just one rail stop. Sound Transit only offered us one choice. At the very least, we should be putting this up to a request for proposal to get multiple proposals of solutions to select from. If you were hiring someone to do something like remodel your house, you wouldn’t just get one estimate, would you? Why are we only considering light capacity rail or nothing?
Read this article by the experts and share it. I can’t pay you $3 million to share it, but I can save you $18,000 by voting NO to ST3.
Also, why is Bothell, Kenmore, and most of Kirkland not part of the light rail plan, AND we got stuck with the 405 tolls? Feels like a double whammy. Who decided that Bothell and Kirkland were only getting bus service instead of light rail? I’d like to know who to send an email to.
“Who decided that Bothell and Kirkland were only getting bus service instead of light rail?”
Your city government. Especially in the case of Kirkland.
The bigger question is why have all the Eastside cities who have paid millions and millions not received any rail? We have been paying for 20 years. This is a Seattle decision that the Eastside pays for – and won’t receive any benefit from. I guess Bellevue is finally getting something, but at a cost of selling our park lands to do so.
Because your city governments opposed having rail come through.
And for the record, the way ST funding works, is that taxes collected from each district fund the projects in that district. The Eastside isn’t funding Seattle projects. The Eastside is funding the Eastside’s projects.
“SoundTransit’s own studies say it won’t reduce congestion.”
After 25 years of growth, merely “not reducing congestion” is a win.
Also BRT would require the same infrastructure development as light rail. It’s not like we have the room to widen I-5, or the public willingness to convert the HOV lane to bus only.
Real BRT does work well. But real BRT isn’t any less expensive in the long run, and real BRT simply isn’t feasible in Seattle proper.
“I can’t pay you $3 million to share it, but I can save you $18,000 by voting NO to ST3”. That ‘s choice! And to that I would add we don’t need to authorize any more ST spending to get a reliable region-wide BRT lite bus system by simply improving the HOV lane system to provide 45 mph or better service. That was the intent of the I-405 Master Plan as it included a single limited access HOV lane each way with a number of direct access interchanges to the arterial system and additional park and ride lots. That lane would operate like a freeway within a freeway. And the best part of this story is there will be $9.3B in excess bonding potential from the ST2 program to spend on this sort of thing on all freeways… but only if we turn down ST3.