KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson asked Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly about Sound Transit’s new plans last week. Particularly, Monson questioned how officials expected the public to trust a transit agency that has a long track record of broken promises. Kubly’s response to the challenge—his outright lie followed by insistent denial—reveals the left’s die-hard attitude toward light rail. The left’s refusal to recognize pressing problems and at-all-costs defense of Sound Transit only promises to leave a broken system intact, at taxpayers’ expense.
“How can we justify putting more money into an agency that has been billions over budget and that has fallen so far short of what they promised the voters?” Monson asked.
“I can only tell you about projects that I see, which are projects that are coming out of Sound Transit that I hear are coming in ahead of schedule and under budget,” Kubly answered.
Monson responded the only way possible given Kubly’s ridiculous assertion: “That’s absolutely not true, Scott.”
Making an argument for light rail, Kubly changed the subject and pointed to cities like Washington D.C., Chicago, New York and San Francisco that have made “big investments in transit.” He argued that these cities could not function without their transit systems.
Once again, Monson returned to the crux of the matter and pointed out that Sound Transit has broken its promise to deliver 125 miles of light rail network. And, even with the U-District extension, taxpayers won’t have half the number promised.
“They’re billions over budget and I know that eventually people would like to keep soaking us, but it’s going to cost my family of five – our share of Sound Transit costs are going to be $86,000 for just the plans that are on the table right now over the next 30 years. How can we justify that?” Monson asked.
Kubly refused to recognize the broken promises, or the high costs to taxpayers. He praised Sound Transit for its success as an agency and pointed out its high approval rating. Kubly asked Monson if there was anything he could say to convince him the light rail was “worth it.”
Monson pointed out that Sound Transit has a high approval rating because the government and media have ignored the numbers and have done a good job disguising reality. But, if people knew that Boston’s Big Dig project, with overrun costs, came in at $18 billion and Sound Transit has spent $65 billion with financing costs alone and has not delivered on promises, they wouldn’t be so happy. In short, Monson said there was nothing Kubly could say to change his mind.
Turning the tables, Monson asked Kubly if there was anything that would change his mind given, for example, a far over budget cost factor. Kubly responded with… more lies. He claimed that Sound Transit was under budget for its U-link light rail. Baffled by the boldness of the lie, Monson took Kubly through a brief history of the finances of the project. He pointed out that voters were blatantly lied to about the costs, Sound Transit had to ask for more money.
Confronted with the truth and having no response, Kubly said they would have to agree to disagree.