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Mayor's Feedback Requests

Why did you vote the way you did on the King County Proposition 1 transportation measure?

I did not support this proposition. For one, the voters have clearly spoken that our car tabs are not the place to go for funding every crisis. We have gas taxes which reflect the actual use of our vehicles. I could not ride public transportation to work if I wanted to. I drive a car. To many, that makes me a bad person and I should pay dearly for that. I don’t work in the city. I work variable hours. I can’t ride a bus. Should I be penalized for that? I pay the gas tax, one of the highest in the country. That should be enough. For many pushing this proposition, this $60 is a punitive fee as much as a revenue source imposed on those of us who own and drive cars. If a person owns 10 cars but can only drive one at a time, should he pay $600 a year in additional tab fees even if he never drives those cars? Some would say yes because he can afford it, but he already paid sales tax on all those cars. He pays the gas tax on actual use. The $600 he would pay is nothing more than a punitive fee and easy money for the broken and mismanaged Metro system. In other words, this is not even close to a fair use tax, but more like a sin tax. 

We hear of the unfortunate who will have their bus schedules cut, but statistics put out prior to the vote showed that the overwhelming majority of the transit riders are well above average income and could pay 4 or 5 times what they pay to ride transportation, but we continue to subsidize. I pay my tax for every gallon of gas, I feel that transit riders should pay what their way to make Metro break even. Lastly, it has been shown over and over, the absolute waste and abuse of tax payer monies by our elected officials as well as entities such as Metro, and when the money is gone, they just come to us for more. Until I see fiscal responsibility, I have to say no more. 

Curt B.

I didn’t support it because we have already passed multiple transportation propositions where the County and/or State has mismanaged the project or not generated enough revenue.  I also don’t love that we are creating new taxing revenue to PRESERVE current metro levels and transportation improvements.  I believe that the county has a large deficit and is placing on the backs of taxpayers the responsibility of balancing the budget.  Pay more for the services we already offer you or we cut the program you wanted.  Government isn’t asking for new money for new projects, but asking for more money to maintain benefits.  I feel hamstrung into paying more and more for a program that I don’t use. 

Finally, there isn’t many metro routes from Maple Valley to Auburn where I work.  It isn’t something I use because of the lack of convenience.  I feel like a lot of the benefit of Metro is for those employees that live in Seattle or are commuting to Seattle.  Therefore, it is not a benefit for me that I will have to pay for.  If I was to guess, this is why Seattle had a 65% approval rating.  People in the city use the Metro system.  Also, this is why the County voted it down, more people don’t use the Metro system than use it.  If taxpayers vote a proposition down, I would hope that our politicians hear that message as a majority vote and don’t go a different direction than the popular vote.

Aaron B.

I agree with the statement “ it does not benefit me or my family” Why is it when we need more revenue,  its always “ lets increase car tabs”. Could you imagine what tabs would be , if our tabs had not been reduced, how high it would be now? It be around 1000 per car a year. Its time for transit riders to fork out the funds to ride. Besides until we have better regulation on how money is spent, there will always be misuse of funds and unnecessary spending. I think they should look at how full buses are. Maybe during non peek hours decrease the bus service and increase it for high peek times.

Scott E.

I do not get any reprieve on owning a vehicle for my usage. I want to get to & from work I must be able to support my own transportation. I do not get any help with owning a vehicle. So should the rest that want to ride the bus, they only pay for fare NO other expense's, like Payments to own a vehicle, insurance, tires, oil change, batteries, & maintaining a vehicle for safe traveling. Who is going to pay us for supporting  owners of Vehicle??? Think about why we should help support their needs. I say,”Raise the price of bus transportation to those that ride it”. I vote NO on this proposal sticking it to the owners of vehicles...

Mavis H.

I voted against Prop 1 for two reasons:

  1. I am on a fixed income and a $60 car tab fee AND a $.01 sales tax hike is just over the top too much.  I have an extremely hard time making the ends meet and just don't want to have some socialist move the ends,  If the voters in Seattle want to, let them pay the taxes to support "their" transit.
  2. I see many buses that have 0, 1, or 2 people on board.  That certainly is inefficient and a terrible misuse of my tax money.  I also see many Access and DART buses going to the Casino, the Outlet connection, etc.  I understand the need to have special needs transportation, but that means of transportation would be much better (more efficient and a better use of my tax  money) if a private company did it.   Most, if not all, of these folks are receiving government subsidies which will pay all or part of their transportation without having a 15 passenger bus.  Oh by the way, the ADA requires that public transportation have handicapped access, so these services (DART and Access) seem to be duplication.

It would appear to me that the population density in the suburbs of Seattle is insufficient to support a transit system of the magnitude that folks have gotten used to.  I would suggest that the current cuts are necessary and that more should be made to align the services with the needs.  Maybe use a DART-size bus instead of a double long and lengthen the times between route runs.  I know people will complain (it seems that that is their favorite pasttime) but the re-alignment must surely be done.

One other thing that I certainly would offer.  After a tax or fee or permit fee passes., why does no government publish where that money was spent.  It doesn't have to be the detailed journal entries, but at least some categories of spending.  If I pay a $683 permit fee, where does that money go?  And why is the county, in this case, raising the fee?  There seems to be no accounting of how much money is taken in and how that money is spent.  Seems like a black hole for taxes.


Larry G.

We voted FOR proposition 1


My wife is the commuter. She has been riding Metro buses since 1993 as a student going to the University of Washington Campus. Starting in 1996 she began working at the UW Medical Center and Bus #197 became her second “town car” picking her up at the Federal Way Transit Center (initially the old lot behind the mall and now the new center) and dropping her at the front door of the medical center and returning her each evening.  Subsidized by the UW, right from her pay, giving her unlimited use of the transit system saved us money (just parking fees alone, not counting the saving in gas as the prices have risen over the past 21 years); time as the bus rolls in the HOV lane and when there are traffic issues Metro attempts to re-route the bus onto other roads to keep them moving.  Over the past year she has moved to Harborview Medical Center and continues to ride Metro using #193.  The commuter/express buses do play a significant role in reducing traffic and moving people from point A to point B. They need to continue to be a major part of the transit plan and hopefully light rail will be incorporated into the program to make commuter travel even more easy and timely.

My daughter used the Sounder from Auburn Station and Metro during her internships in Seattle to again save time and money and not have the hassle of driving to the heart of the center each day.  Currently she works on Whidbey Island and uses the ferry and the island commuter bus.  

HOWEVER, that yes vote was a RELUCTANT ONE!!

The question becomes one of how the resources are being utilized.  The system today can give accurate ridership numbers for each route and the time of day/night it is used.  That is the data the transit people….King, Pierce, Snohomish, Sounder need to look very hard at and determine where is the real savings.  Why is an articulated bus being driven on routes with virtually no one riding?  Why does the fleet not have smaller more efficient buses to cover the residential routes with low ridership? Why run a bus every 15 minutes during periods of reduced ridership?  Why is the fleet not being converted to cheaper compressed natural gas….Waste Management has done an excellent job of converting to save money, and reduce pollution with its vehicles! 

There are hard questions for the transit authorities to answer. What happened to the funding for Auburn’s 2nd parking garage now the ridership is so high on the Sounder there is no parking in the garage during weekdays? Why are certain areas taking the cost saving reductions and other areas are not being considered? What are the goals to reduce traffic and improve ridership through better management of equipment to avoid breakdowns, lack of running on time and having customer service oriented drivers?

I am retired and my money is hard earned and limited.  You want another piece of my pie….show me that it is worth it to my family, my community and the region…..NOTE……MY Family !!  …MY Community!!!  …and then the region.

William L.

Previous transit bills have promised transit additions or routes which were later stated to not going to happen based on project over budget. Theses bills seem to continually only result in projects for the city of Seattle or immediate vicinity, not the outlying communities. Then we all get stuck with the bill without benefit. State / County general funding should be supporting roads and transit. The state / County needs to make priorities, is it bike lanes, nature trails or transit? We dont have the funds for all, at least right now. Why do the individuals driving have to foot the bill for those riding.

Thanks for listening. 

Phil A.

Because I've didn't no .i have no what're to live ,money  no device  phone service. No electricity and are blocked from knowing abou eny thing that is good or that mite help me to live. 


Alison L.

No. The working/taxpaying sector cannot afford it. We already voted not to share the cost for Metro with Seattle. Listen to your constituents. We have four regional transit systems; five, if you count the ferry system. They have 5 highly paid "CEOs" and a full compliment of staff/OVERHEAD. The last funding effort was supposed to preserve routes. Instead it went towards bloating the already high wages of Metro drivers. We cannot afford it.

This is not a socialist country. Not everyone is entitled to an $80,000 a year job. I'm in the private sector work 60 hours a week, haven't had a raise in 3 years, and 3 years further prior to that. Government entities such a Metro are an inefficient monopoly. They need to be privatized. Then we can fund the REAL costs; after they are effectively managed by market factors. The refund to the working taxpayers can then be used to finish building SR167 through Fife and SR18 to Arlington with lanes upon lanes of concrete and asphalt; and this manipulative social experiment to get us out of our fossil fuel burning cars can end.

Dan W.

Who basically wants to give our hard earned money to politicians that have proved over many years that they will just waste whatever we give them. No more!

Ken A.

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