A recent Letter to the Editor in The News Tribune does a great job exemplifying the current state of transit planning (spoiler: it isn’t good). The writer, a Steilacoom resident, first laments that the only northbound Sounder trains from Lakewood leave extremely early in the morning. This is the problem those on the militant-transit-left are too stubborn to acknowledge—the incentives that public transportation offers (mainly, other people subsidizing your commute) don’t justify the dramatic alterations to behavior that are often necessary to actually use transit.
The letter then points out that, even though more trains leave Tacoma a little later in the morning, Sound Transit doesn’t offer bus service to get there in time for those departures. The Lakewood-Tacoma route isn’t the only place where transit planners are falling short. For example, there are no express routes:
- linking Bellevue with Tacoma or Federal Way,
- connecting Downtown Seattle to Sounder stations, or
- allowing a commute to Olympia.
Lastly, the writer mentions that he would opt-out of paying [his] RTA tax if he could. He’s not the only one. Sound Transit gerrymandered its taxing district, so that it “generally follows the urban growth boundaries” in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, instead of actually following them. This helped Sound Transit assure its original 1996 Sound Move Plan would pass.