Bus Stop | The last stop?

CHS Bus Stop - The 11 (1)

The 11 (Image: AJ Dent for CHS)

This CHS series of picture posts has featured images of the people and places near bus stop around Capitol Hill. The timing of its start, believe or not, was coincidental to the latest fiscal emergency to fall across King County’s public transportation system. The timing of this (possible) last post is also coincidental. There is an an important ballot measure that you need to vote on by April 22nd that will help King County bridge Olympia’s budget gaps. But this last stop — or pause, hopefully? — comes as part of the freelancer’s life. AJ Dent, the talented photographer working on the series for CHS had to make the hard decision to pick up a big new project. If you are interested in picking up the thread on Bus Stop or CHS Ink, let us know.

Previously on Bus Stop: The 43 | The 10 | The 2 | The 257

More information on King County Transportation District Proposition No. 1, below.

More on Prop 1

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12 thoughts on “Bus Stop | The last stop?

  1. I’ll be voting yes. I’m in a vanpool so I don’t ride all that much. But I think it’s important that people have alternatives to driving. Or just the ability to get around without a car.

  2. Transit is critical on Capitol Hill. If you think that traffic and parking are problems now, imagine what the proposed cuts would bring. Don’t throw that ballot in a drawer and forget it. This is very important to the future development of the Hill.

  3. It’s not in the drawer, it’s in the mail with the big NO box marked. Metro can’t cry wolf every six months and terrorize the public with threats of route closures – due to their lack of ability to run a business. Especially in this time of great prosperity and record ridership in this region (ever looked up and seen all the cranes all over the hill)? They have some house cleaning to do before I would even consider a yes vote..not only that, there is still the tax raising Transportation package in Olympia looming threatening to penalize the car driving public further in the checkbook. Double whammy I am not willing to gamble on.

    • There is an interesting editorial in the Seattle Times today (they recommend a “no” vote), and it documents the long history of Metro fiscal mismanagement and its regular use of additional taxes to compensate for their deficits. The editorial also states that the threat of cutbacks is mostly a scare tactic, and that these probably won’t happen to any great degree.

      I haven’t decided how I will vote yet, but this editorial gives me pause.

    • I think you forget, Metro isn’t running a business. They’re running a public service.

      Metro’s sales tax receipts only this year have caught back up to where they were when the bottom fell out in 2008. And that’s not adjusted for inflation.

      So tell me, how is Metro supposed to serve our record ridership in 2014 with 2008’s budget? The savings have all been burned over the past 6 years, administration is cut to the bone, and drivers are doing double-duty as security.

      Metro “problem” is that they need a stable revenue source that expands with population growth and doesn’t vanish every time the economy hiccups, instead of the sales tax they have now.

  4. I voted yes. As annoying as it is to hear Metro’s budget sob stories every year, I can’t argue with the facts that we need more transit to serve our growing city. Sixty bucks for a car tab and an extra tenth-percent sales tax are small potatoes compared to the impact that service cuts would have on our region.

  5. Punishing cars again. Sorry, but it gets me a little pissed every time the buses need more money (cause they keep wasting so much of it) they go after drivers. Car tabs keep getting hit with big taxes every year already…and 60 bucks! Seriously? NO from me. Raise the bus fare.

    • We’ve raised bus fares 50% in the past few years. They’re at the point where we can’t raise them any more without killing ridership and thus dumping more cars onto the roads.

      Most bus riders have one or more registered cars, Metro’s own surveys back that up. So bus riders are paying tab fees, and paying for the bus system.

      And the handful of bus riders that don’t have cars are still paying the taxes that go to streets and roads they never see… you do realize that gas taxes only pay for the freeways (and don’t even come close to covering needed maintenance), right? Local sales and property tax are what pays for streets and roads, taxes that are paid even by people who never drive. So it’s a fair trade.

  6. This IS a business decision, bobb. Metro cannot continue providing its current level of services at the funding level it has now. Pierce and Snohomish counties have faced the same unsustainable impasse recently. Voters in those counties declined new funding, and services were sharply reduced. They weren’t lying! Fares have increased several times in recent years, and Prop 1 mandates an additional increase. You can only bleed so much out of the passengers, many of whom own cars, too.

  7. It really comes down to whether you think you will pay more than eleven bucks a month for your commute. Yes Vanpool rates will go up. As for the conservative argument that Metro needs to cut the waste, show me the waste.

    I haven’t been a rider on Metro for years. I am smart enough to know that poor people generally do not own high quality cars. I don’t want to be stuck in traffic because an 91 Saturn or Hyundai needs to be towed. 60 bucks is cheap insurance if it keeps crappy cars off the road

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