Municipal League Endorses Sound Transit Prop 1! - Mass Transit Now
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Municipal League Endorses Sound Transit Prop 1!

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Check out the Municipal League’s endorsement of Sound Transit Proposition 1:

Rationale for the Recommendation
It cannot be denied that our region faces a transit crisis. Given projections that the region will receive more new residents than the current population of Portland in the next 25 years, expanding transit infrastructure is imperative.

Proposition 1 (ST3) delivers on a “triple bottom line” – improved mobility for the region, improved conditions for businesses, their employees and customers, and improved protection for the environment and our quality of life.

Providing inexpensive, reliable, and accessible transportation to residents of outlying communities makes an enormous contribution to equity for low-income people, recent immigrants seeking to establish themselves, and senior citizens and persons with disabilities who are often transit dependent.

Evolving technological solutions, such as driverless vehicles – if and when they are widely accepted – will be an excellent way to complete the “last mile” of trips throughout the region, but they cannot solve the congestion problems that come from using low-capacity vehicles on highways between employment and residential centers.

Constructing a region-wide light rail system provides greater benefits at lower overall cost than any of the plausible alternatives. Truly comparable systems, including Bus Rapid Transit solutions, must account for the cost of exclusive rights-of-way and grade-separated facilities that achieve the escape from congestion and interference from other vehicles that is expected of light rail. When these costs are considered, the significant savings sometimes associated with alternatives to light rail drop quickly. Sound Transit’s plan, including the selection of light rail as its preferred technology, is based on extensive, years-long stakeholder involvement and outreach. The plan is based on and follows the community direction. The ST3 plan has been extensively studied with careful comparisons to alternative modes of transit and to highway expansion – the alternatives all come up short.

The price tag of $54 billion over nearly 30 years is a consequence of the responsible practice of calculating the project’s cost in “Year of Expenditure” dollars – i.e., taking account of the best estimates of expected inflation.

The complicated Proposition 1 financing package was the best compromise the agency could negotiate with the legislature; efforts to improve Washington’s regressive tax structure must continue, but they should not hold up the important work of building out a transit system to improve mobility throughout the region. Creating one comprehensive plan that creates a complete system and committing to completing it provides significant savings in costs, speeds completion of the entire program, and greatly reduces uncertainty about the outcome. Sound Transit as an agency has proven itself capable of accountable and reliable oversight of large capital projects and operations of a complex transit system.

The Municipal League Foundation recommends a “yes” vote on Proposition 1.

Thank you to the Municipal League for their endorsement of Sound Transit Proposition 1! Check out all the cities and municipalities, organizations, state and local elected officials, businesses, labor unions, democratic organizations that have endorsed Sound Transit Proposition 1 because they believe in expanding high-capacity transit in the Puget Sound.