News The Fate of Sound Transit
posted by January 22 at 11:18 AMon
Last week, I slogged about a draft bill that Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen was writing up that included this line: “Existing ST entity & its federated board dissolved.”
The bill is further along now. Haugen is doing a press release later today that will say this:
The proposal includes expanding the existing Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority — commonly known as Sound Transit — into a Regional Transportation Authority. While the new Regional Transportation Authority won’t have expanded boundaries, it would have expanded project eligibility to include both roads and transit, a new governing board that would include both appointed and elected members, and broader financing options that include the ability to combine road and transit revenue.
“We need to get away from competing interests and towards more comprehensive transportation solutions,” Haugen said. “We need to move away from roads or transit and towards roads and transit.”
Two questions about this:
1) Didn’t voters just reject the idea of roads and transit? It seems to me Sen. Haugen is missing the whole point of the Prop. 1 fiasco.
2) Snuffing ST and turning it into a new agency is going to jeopardize light rail expansion. The feds, at the behest of U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s appropriations sub-committee on transportation, are prepared to sign off on $750 million this summer to get Sound Transit from downtown to the U District. That’s 43% of the $1.7 billion segment. If Sound Transit goes away, the Feds will throw up their hands—and that money is gone. Transit will be lopped out of the roads and transit equation.