Sound Transit officials and the elected cheerleaders that support the agency were really proud over the fact that they finally managed to finish the University Light rail extension (a.k.a. U-Link). They celebrated their “accomplishment” with a ribbon cutting ceremony over the weekend.
Liberals from all over Seattle made an appearance, from Mayor Ed Murray to King County Executive Dow Constantine. And, all made wild claims about the project’s success. But, no one’s bizarre assertions surpassed those of Constantine.
Constantine claimed that the new extension is opening six months ahead of schedule and $200 million under budget. That’s only true if “on time” means 10 years late and “on budget” means at double the cost.
Constantine’s spin only works in an Orwellian sense, not in the real world the rest of us live in.
Let’s look at the facts. In 1996, when Sound Transit was passed, the promise to voters was that U-Link would be completed by 2006 as part of its 10-year plan in what was known as ST1 (the first phase of rail development).
Sound Transit officials, after making a promise they could not keep to voters, revised the plan in 2008, giving themselves more time and increasing the budget by nearly $2 billion (double the initial projections).
It’s easy to be six months ahead of schedule and $200 million under budget after you miss the deadline by 10 years and give yourself double the budget. But that’s really only possible in liberal government speak.
Constantine’s absurd claims reveal the troubling reasoning that has clouded the judgment of far too many Sound Transit officials. Of course, part of the problem is that an unelected, unaccountable body of local officials oversees the Sound Transit Board. These officials control a huge amount of taxpayer dollars. Yet, they operate unchecked by actual voters.
Perhaps in some strange sense of entitlement, Sound Transit officials think they can get away with deliberating misrepresenting the facts to the public. But, they cannot escape reality.
Time and time again, Sound Transit has proven itself untrustworthy. It has wasted taxpayer dollars and has repeatedly broken promises made in its first two spending packages—ST1 and ST2.
Now, Sound Transit wants voters to pass ST3. The new scheme is expected to extend existing light rail lines, all of which (as we’ve just pointed out) have been built, or are expected to be built, late and over-budget.
Based on past performance, there is no reason to assume that anything will change. If voters approve ST3, they would effectively throw good money after bad.
“If voters approve ST3, they would effectively throw good money after bad.”
Well, Boeing went billions over budget and was many years late on the 787, so if Boeing ever develops another new airplane, they’re just throwing good money after bad.
How’s the conversation in Olympia shifting for you?
you just compared a private company to a government agency that uses tax dollars/made certain promises to voters in exchange for their tax dollars… that’s not a valid comparison.
Clay Fitzgerald says
It’s best to ignore tensor, even though I find it hard to resist the nonsense he posts, because he’s so full of horse manure I think he must have hay a primary ingredient in his diet.
Clay Fitzgerald says
Oh, tensy, you’re such a dolt! Boeing compete in the market place with Airbus to produce aircraft primarily for the airlines… all of which are private entities. If Boeing loses money from lost sales and cancelled purchase contracts, they don’t go to the voters to get more money by increasing taxes. Your comment is a total and complete non sequitur.
Boeing also developed the most popular commercial airliner in world history, the 737. What’s UnSound Transit’s big success? The Sounder? No thanks, I’ll stick with Boeing.
What’s UnSound Transit’s big success?
Um, a fast, reliable, inexpensive ride from our state’s major research university, through downtown, to the airport? Can you even read?
No thanks, I’ll stick with Boeing.
Just keep on believing you will travel from downtown to SeaTac on a Boeing commercial airliner. We wouldn’t want you any other way.
I’ll leave it to the master of irrational thought (you) to believe anyone said they could ride from the airport to downtown on an airliner, the same person who claims $50 billion is inexpensive, the same person that made the moronic comparison between an inept public agency that is run by dolts who continually go back to the taxpayer trough after squandering billions and a private company that has made world history several times. If Boeing was run like Unsound Transit, they would have gone out of business many decades ago and we’d be split between speaking German and Japanese now.
You comrades don’t need any more transit. You can now share a city bike to get everywhere you need to go in West Beijing, I’ll continue to take the fastest, most reliable, most convenient, door-to-door system for my travel needs, my car.
, I’ll continue to take the fastest, most reliable, most convenient, door-to-door system for my travel needs, my car.
Glad to read our glorious socialistic motoring subsidies still work for you, comrade. I’ll continue walking, biking, riding Metro and Sound Transit, because those are the fastest, most convenient, and reliable methods I prefer.
The fastest way of getting from Beijing to Seattle is by going east, comrade. Just thought you should know.
“I’ll continue walking, biking, riding Metro and Sound Transit, because those are the fastest, most convenient, and reliable methods (that somebody else is paying for) I prefer”.
There, fixed that part you left out. Your preferences seem to be more important than others preferences. To you, what you 3%ers want is always more important the 97% that pays for it.
West Beijing is a location, not a direction, short bus. It’s the glorious collective where the proletariat all happily bikes to and fro while the ruling elite whisks by in their limousines.
Since nobody here got the joke (quelle surprise) I’ll just note the general idiocy of the claim I was mocking. Anyone who really believes a swift, reliable one-seat ride from the airport to the center of downtown represents “bad money” has thrown away any chance of being taken seriously.
Furthermore, expanding a public transit system makes it more valuable, not less. Today one can travel from Sea-Tac to the UW Medical Center for $5, in less time than a car-hire which costs many times that much. Soon, Angle Lake, the upper portions of UW campus and Northgate will be included. Expanding the system to Ballard, West Seattle, and the Eastside would add yet more value.
Complain all you want; nobody cares. Bring on ST3!
Forget light rail. Now that Seattle is in the bike share “business”, you comrades can take a bike from the center of downtown to the airport or anywhere you want! Talk about convenience! It’s Beijing West, all the glorious proletariat happily biking to and fro. You don’t need ST3.
“Anyone who really believes a swift, reliable one-seat ride from the airport to the center of downtown represents “bad money” has thrown away any chance of being taken seriously”
Then why not just rent a helicopter? Clearly because of price. Claiming that the ride itself is self-justifying without addressing the cost isn’t serious.
I voted for ST1, which I now regret, because of the outrageous incompetence and cost overruns.
A chief weakness of light rail is the limited locations it serves. Nobody goes from the airport to the UW Medical Center. Most of us don’t live near Angle Lake. Buses are a far better solution, but Metro service has been reduced several times to pay for the rediculous toy trains.
Enough already… light rail is in growing demand.
Skagitonians are pressing their face against the window looking south…
Snohomish County folk want their light rail NOW.
King County wants more light rail.
Pierce County wants more light rail on Tacoma Link and the light rail spine to come to Tacoma
City of Olympia wants high capacity transit to the state legislature
if they want it NOW they will be sadly disappointed. U-link was 10 *years* late.
Why would people in Olympia want transit to the legislature, they aren’t legislators? Oh wait, the City wants it…gotcha. More govt folks happy to make citizens pay for their toys.