Not one dime for more buses, routes, or service hours
By Citizens Against Raising Car Tabs
Please tell us "How pray tell, does any of that benefit Seattle's neighborhoods or address it's mass transit needs?"
"And there's no money in Prop 1 for this city's most critical mass transit need - more bus service hours, more stops, more frequency"
"And only 29 percent of Prop 1 goes for road improvements and there's '0' dollars in it for Bridge Repairs. The last we checked buses needs roads and bridges too!"
Pro-Side says Prop 1 will improve bus travel times. According to "deliverables" identified in the package, at most 1.6 corridor improvements will be completed per year. The average speed increase will be 4 minutes over the entire length of a route, allegedly. For perspective, one of the corridors mentioned by proponents is about 80 minutes end-to-end. We will spend millions for that 4 minute speed increase when....
The most critical mass transit need, however, facing this city, is more funding for increased bus routes or hours. Prop 1 provides NO FUNDING for additional hours or routes.
Further, the first route prioritized for use of the portion of Prop 1 funds dedicated to corridor improvements is a project in Paul Allen's South Lake Union.
(http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2011/stbd20110808_9.pdf and here: http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2011/stbd20110808_10.pdf That $8-9 million project would alone eat up fully one fourth of monies in the package earmarked for "corridor improvements")
In fact, a large portion of Prop 1's $98 million earmarked for "mass transit improvements" should be more appropriately called "The South Lake Union Improvement Fund". As the above links indicate the first projects prioritized for use of Prop 1 "transit" funding are corridor improvements in South Lake Union ($8-9 million), and the addition of overhead trolley wiring for a bus trolley system running along Mercer also in South Lake Union ($15-20 million). Another chunk of Prop 1 "mass transit funding" $18 million is for study of a streetcar network starting with extension of the South Lake Union Streetcar.
Total in Prop 1 mass transit category prioritized for South Lake Union: $41-$47 million dollars. Please ask Prop 1 Proponents how more subsidies (on top of the hundreds of millions of our tax dollars we've already poured into that one area) actually benefits Seattle's neighborhood mass transit needs? (No wonder Vulcan, Paul Allen's development company, their employees, and other companies on their payroll are pouring money into the Pro-side)
No matter how you cut it, Prop 1 the 10 year $60 car tab increase is a colossally regressive tax (when other more progressive options are available to the City starting first with better uses of our existing Bridging the Gap dollars and general fund dollars too much of which have also gone into SLU). Also, the priorities for use of the funding are completely out of whack with only 29 percent for streets and road repairs, and zero dollars for our ailing bridges. Yet the city commits 18 million of Prop 1 for studies of streetcars! There's a 1.5 billion dollar backlog of these needs and literally several thousand blocks of sidewalk needs with little each year in the package even for that. 60 percent of our bridges are in poor condition and not one dollar in Prop 1 for that. And to top it off Section 10 of the Prop 1 allows the council after the vote to reprogram any and all of the funding meaning even more of the package could wind up in South Lake Union.