Seattle’s Transit Woes Offer Valuable Lessons for Austin.

Seattle’s Sound Transit Board recently placed a 15-year mass transit construction plan and associated 1/2 cent sales tax increase on the November 4, 2008 general election ballot. This plan would raise an estimated $17.8 Billion of which more than 70% would be used for rail transit to serve a very small percentage of the passenger miles traveled while already congested roadways, used by the vast majority of all transit and private vehicle travelers, will become more congested.

As the record shows, Seattle Transit is well behind in its previous 10 year plan and costs are much higher. They have not yet completed construction of their first 20 mile light rail which is the most expensive light rail ever built in the US, estimated to be about $180 million per mile. Total transit ridership is a fraction of that committed in their 10 year plan. Yet, the Sound Transit Board has ignored pleas to finish the current light rail and evaluate its operations and effectiveness for a reasonable time before committing aditional huge taxpayer dollars to expand light rail.

The following site has good, detailed coverage of this situation as well as othe transportation and mobility issues in the Seattle Region.

Public Interest Transportation Forum (PITF)

This is an Independent E-zine on Public Transportation and Mobility Issues in the Seattle Puget Sound Region. PITF has been on-line since 1996!

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