Sound Transit has a new timeline for its [now over] $50 billion scam, Sound Transit 3 (ST3). According to the Seattle Times:
“Light-rail extensions would be built faster than originally proposed, with Everett getting service in 2036, five years sooner than Sound Transit had announced, and Federal Way and Redmond coming online as soon as 2024, under a revised plan released Thursday…”
But the shortened timelines are not the only changes the transit agency made for ST3. The overall cost of the plan would rise from $50 to a whopping $54 billion. The tax rates would not change — but would still continue indefinitely.
Sound Transit’s shortened timelines are a bit too convenient for comfort. You see, as Shift reported, Sound Transit officials previously identified the 25-year wait for light rail to reach Everett and Issaquah – not the staggering price tag – as the hardest selling point of ST3.
Conveniently, that hurdle has just been lowered.
How, you might ask?
Well, according to Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, consultants for Sound Transit discovered that the agency could sell another $4 billion in bonds between the sunset of the current expansion projects and ST3’s 25-year construction plans.
What an extremely convenient discovery.
We’re not the only ones who find Sound Transit’s new timeline suspicious. KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz summarized his suspicions:
“There were dramatic new financial assumptions that just so happened to address the majority of concerns with people saying they’d vote no? Where did this new strategy come from and how long did it take to devise? Either they were always there and due to incompetence you didn’t give us the correct strategy to begin with or you’re revising things around in a way to placate concerns, with no intention of following through.
“I don’t believe the new strategies because I don’t trust the messenger. And sudden new strategies that change projects for the better can lead to sudden new strategies (after this ST3 package passes) going back to the old timeline. There are no guarantees.”
Either Sound Transit officials have not done their due diligence prior to asking voters for an over $50 billion plan (they are incompetent), or they are now misleading voters (they are untrustworthy).
A whopping $50 billion (now $54 billion) is a lot to ask of taxpayers without assessing every possible option. So, if it’s incompetency, voters cannot trust the agency with more of their hard earned dollars.
The other possibility is that Sound Transit officials are simply playing with the numbers, shortening the timeline to make ST3 more appealing. They know they won’t finish by the proposed timeline, so they don’t mind the convenient lie. If that’s the case (and, if the past is any indication, it very well could be), then voters cannot trust the Sound Transit.
Either way, by moving the timeline, Sound Transit just re-enforced its image as an untrustworthy government agency.