With the election just days away, it’s important that Seattleites make their voices heard on the issues that will shape our future. Although the presidential race gets most of the attention, don’t forget to fill out your ballot to the end and vote ‘YES’ on City of Seattle Proposition 1. Communities are counting on our support to renew and preserve expanded bus service and affordability programs in Seattle.
While some of us are working from home during the pandemic, transit remains a lifeline for many. Right now, one out of every three essential workers in Seattle depends on public transportation to get to work. Not everyone can afford or has the ability to drive a car. Essential workers, students, low-income people, and people with disabilities would be the most severely impacted by further cuts to Metro bus service if we fail to renew Prop. 1. By passing this measure, we will ensure bus service remains accessible, safe, and dependable for those who rely on it most.
Prop 1 will only cost the average Seattle family $27 per year, but the impact will be huge. This will fund 150,000 bus service hours, which is particularly critical now during the pandemic as buses are limited to 12-18 passengers (depending on the size of the bus). More buses and drivers are needed to make sure everyone who needs to ride the bus can get on board safely and on schedule.
Prop 1 will continue investments to improve the frequent transit network, such as additional bus lanes to cut down on delays. Prop 1 also includes key affordability programs for essential workers, students, seniors, and people with low-incomes and/or disabilities. In the midst of the COVID-19 induced economic downturn, our neighbors are counting on these affordability programs now more than ever.
While you might not be riding Metro now, we know more Seattleites will continue to need access to our transit network when our economy reopens and more people return to their regular commute. Frequent and reliable transit will be a key component to a strong recovery by ensuring all people can get back to work and access essential services, such as grocery stores and medical appointments.
Before the pandemic, we had the fastest growing transit ridership in the county. Seattle cannot walk away from its commitment to transit. Renewing this relatively small tax ($0.15 cents for every $100 purchased) is one of the best ways to demonstrate our commitment to equity and justice.
Throughout the pandemic, Metro operators who are members with the Amalgamated Transit Union, have worked bravely and tirelessly to get people where they need to be. Let’s make sure that when we emerge from these crazy times this essential service remains strong. Vote YES on City of Seattle Prop. 1.
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