Sound Transit has a public relations problem — spending nearly $1 million on a party celebrating the completion of late and over budget projects didn’t help.
The public relations debacle brought on by an extravagant million-dollar party couldn’t come at a worse time for the transit agency. In November, Sound Transit will ask voters to approve ST3, its latest $50 billion scam.
A recent editorial from the News Tribune points out that Sound Transit faces the “lofty task of persuading voters to make an unprecedented investment in mass-transit infrastructure.” It advises, “There’s no need to add degrees of difficulty to an already uphill climb.”
But, what exactly added to Sound Transit’s “degrees of difficulty” (other than the obvious $50 billion ask) that makes ST3 an “uphill climb”? After all, if Sound Transit kept its promises to voters, asking their approval for another plan shouldn’t be a problem.
In light of the “uphill climb”, we decided to make a list Sound Transit’s transgressions against voters — the top three problems that have added to the agency’s difficulties when it comes to convincing voters to trust it once more.
Without further ado:
Sound Transit’s broken promises
Sound Transit’s campaign strategy continues to dodge the truly important question haunting ST3: “Why, given all the broken promises, should taxpayers trust Sound Transit to keep its commitments and spend their hard-earned dollars responsibility, on time and on budget?”
The answer, of course, is that Sound Transit has not done anything to earn, retain or deserve the public’s trust.
Sound Transit has never produced a project on time and/or on budget. But, that hasn’t kept the agency from claiming it has — a fact that makes its failures worse. A case in point was the unelected officials over at Sound Transit recently celebrating the completion of the University Light rail extension (a.k.a. U-Link), and claiming the link was delivered “on-time and on-budget.”
Sound Transit’s accountability problem.
Perhaps the most appalling aspect of how Sound Transit operates—other than all the wasted time and money—is the fact that an unelected, unaccountable body of local officials governs the agency. Sound Transit’s record of being late and over-budget with virtually every project has many questioning whether or not it is ethical to give a group of unelected officials taxing authority over voters.
After all, an unelected board means zero accountability. No one is held responsible for Sound Transit’s waste.
Republicans’ effort to reform the way Sound Transit is managed by changing the transit agency’s appointed board to one elected by districts has been blocked by Democrats who love the lack of accountability at Sound Transit. Without a complete change of leadership in Olympia, nothing is likely to change.
Sound Transit’s Seattle-centric agenda.
As one could expect given past projects, ST3 favors Seattle over taxpayers living in East King County, South King County, and Pierce County. Sound Transit officials recently admitted that it will spend “only 18% of ST3 rail and bus money on service in East King County” but is happy to “funnel double that, 36% of new tax money, to serve people living in Seattle and the immediate area.”
But, it’s not just light rail or bus service that favors Seattle. According to recent reports, Sound Transit “officially made the case that the whole region should pay for the second downtown Seattle tunnel.” The scheme follows a philosophy often trumpeted by officials that defines “equity” as “an integrated, regional system.” In other words, local money doesn’t necessarily benefit local areas… it benefits Seattle.
Apparently, the Sound Transit board knows what is best for all taxpayers because it reserves the “flexibility to determine what constitutes a benefit in the first place.” And, a project “doesn’t have to be physically in one area” to provide a benefit that area.
Funny how the “benefit” always seems to be “physically” in the “one area” of Seattle.
Do you people at ShiftWA just get up in the morning and HATE light rail?
Clay Fitzgerald says
Care to explain that moronic comment? It has nothing to do with hating anything, the point is that there is vast amounts of money being transferred to unaccountable bureaucrats being wasted in the name of civic transportation improvements, which is a vast lie. It is more about liberals transferring tax money to pet projects that have little overall benefit for the taxpayers. It’s all about empowerment for leftist, liberal, secular-progressive politicians. And Joe, they’re deep in your pocket and you don’t care because you’ve been drinking their Kool-Aid for so long.
Pat Roley says
You have to love Clueless Joe! Do we really think running a light rail line from downtown Seattle to the U District was really going to help our transportation system and improve transportation for commerce? It is amazing to realize how gullible many people have become over these ridiculous projects that area waste of money.
Yes, how could providing fast, safe, reliable transportation between a major research university, the business center of the region’s largest city, and the local international airport possibly help to generate new wealth?
Joe just doesn’t understand.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN says
Wealth for whom?
Hell yes. Before link, it usually took at least 30 minutes to get to Capitol Hill or Downtown, now it takes 4 minutes, and I can get downtown in 10 without having to fight my way on to a crush loaded and sweaty bus. That is revolutionary, and a major reason that Sound Transit is already drawing 70,000 riders per day, 30,000 more than before it opened, and those numbers will only go up.
In addition, the idea of all the taxes going to support Seattle are false, because of Subarea Equity; each subarea (North King, East King, South King, Snohomish, and Pierce) pays an equal amount by how much tax revenue they bring in.
North King (Seattle and Shoreline) account for the most because the high population density of Seattle means that there are more taxpayers. And because of Seattle’s high density, it is best served by underground rail, which is expensive, but is the most utilized, making the increased cost for better quality rail worth it.
In fact, East King has too much money and too few projects, so they’re putting their money into Park & Rides. On the other hand, Snohomish has too few dollars for their massive plans, requiring them, not North King, to borrow from others or face cutting their programs.
A second downtown tunnel is crucial to the expansion of the light rail, because it is the crux of the entire system. Our current tunnel can’t withstand the capacity demands of 3 light rail lines running every couple of minutes. Without another tunnel, the entire system will break down, so it is necessary for the region to build out our capacity in downtown.
Light rail is expensive, but that is more symptomatic of the nation rather than Sound Transit. Rail projects in the U.S. are extremely expensive on a per mile basis because of a multitude of reasons. It’s unfortunate, but I would rather spend money on a cost effective transportation solution rather than stew in traffic all day.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN says
You should see the millions of taxpayers money are wasted right in on I-5 exit 122. This bridge (Berkeley Bridge) that connects JBLM to Lakewood is getting a face-lift and being expanded to accommodate traffic and adding a train track for Sound Transit. Once that is finished the liberals in WADOT will take it down and replace it with a “supposedly” top of the line bridge to help traffic to flow better, thel cost Pierce County about $56M. What about the current bridge that is being worked on, don’t worry about it. It’s a liberal mental illness ideology let’s get our local unions coffers filled and ask for forgiveness later.
Imagine, if a Republican in that State would have done it, a lynch mob would have been after them and have them prosecuted.
Love the liberal double standard “do as I say not as I do” and deflecting their wrong doing– “squirrel!! Look at the shiny object on my left hand”
While light rail remains near the top of Shift’s very long, yet ever-growing, list of persecutable hate-objects, there’s very good reason for Shift to hate and fear Sound Transit, and those reasons are unrelated to Shift’s desire to create more elected offices on the public payroll for Republicans to occupy. (The company which owns Shift was formed by Republican campaign consultants, for whom more election races — no matter how needlessly redundant — means more money in their pockets.)
Simply put, the three counties from which Sound Transit draws tax money are the same three counties whose taxpayers contribute over sixty per cent of Olympia’s tax revenues. The other thirty-six counties provide, on average, less than two per cent each, yet all want paved roads, welfare payments, and other goodies the state provides.
Since the counties with the least economically productive voters also reliably vote Republican, it follows that all hope of that Republican legislative majority which Shift so desperately craves rests upon the ability of those Republican legislators to purchase their re-elections with huge thick-cut slabs of greasy government pork. Every dollar spent by Puget Sound taxpayers on government services which benefit us is therefore one less dollar available for ladling out to Eastern Washington’s Republican voters.
Putting a long-term, $50B hole in that sacred pork barrel could, just by itself, doom all hopes of any future Republican state-house majorities. There is no way, no how, not under any circumstances, that Shift could ever possibly imagine taking that tasty, tasty pork out from under the pasty sagging jowls of our least economically productive, but most reliably Republican, voters.
So, to answer your question: yes. Shift wakes up every day in a cold, clammy sweat from the nightmare of an efficient, functional mass-transit system in Puget Sound.
And they do so with very good reason.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN says
The mass transit that you love so much loses money. In order to stay affordable the government subsidies at least 75% of what each person pays to use it. Public transit, although I agree it’s needed, it is a burden to the taxpayers with yearly burdened tax increases. Have you thought about the officials and logistics involved expenses and the big money they make.
The government no matter if it is ran by democrats or republicans they both don’t really care about the people, if you have not noticed, they all self serve and fill the pockets of lobbyists (unions and corporations interests) run this country.
How do you think both DEM and REP have all these money to pay for their campaigns? If you believe it is through donations from We the People, than there is no hope for this. Country’s future.
It is time that all Americans stop getting distracted and gnaw each other, label each other, and segregate each other. All these strifes and chaos between us are caused by the two corrupted party system.
I have been telling this to all of you that defend the actions of the two party system to wake up, but you are still convinced that your political party is the one that is right. Sad to say, people lost sight of the US Constitution. It is time for a REVOLUTION. Vote everyone out of office starting your local government to the federal government.
I and the 10% have been preaching this for so long but all of you are to brainwashed and indoctrinated by your DEM and REP party. When are you going to wake up?
Clay Fitzgerald says
ST is nothing but a gigantic and grossly overpriced boondoggle run by total incompetents.
canadian pharmacies ed pills says
canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pharmacies ed pills
cialis dosage says
cialis alternative cialis 20mg