The citizens of
King, Pierce, and Snohomish County have approved a 15-year mass transit (mostly light rail)
construction plan and associated 5/10 percent sales tax increase on the
November 4, 2008 general election ballot.
Latest returns here
from Washington Secretary of State.
These are some
of the messages disseminated by the Mass Transit Now campaign that helped
Sound Transit to win the election, followed by a brief interpretive comment:
"End 40 years
of political gridlock"
This refers to the defeat of
the King County Forward Thrust heavy rail subway plan in 1968 and 1970.
The first 26 years of this past history, 1970 to 1996, is not relevant to
today, since Sound Transit's first phase of construction was initiated and
funded in a 1996 election, after a defeat in 1995. Prop 1 providing 1/2
% sales tax for Sound Transit was defeated in 2007, but has now won as of
November 4, 2008.
"Send a message
to Big Oil"
People who ride Sound Transit's
electric light rail will not be consuming gasoline in their car for that trip.
The Sound Transit environmental Record of Decision
for North Link (downtown Seattle to Northgate) indicates that the energy
saved after 90 years of Link light rail operations will equal the energy
burned in the line's construction. If "Big Oil" is keeping watch, the
fuel burned by construction activities will make them happy for years to come.
about climate change"
Trips taken on light rail or on
a well-patronized bus emit less greenhouse gas (GHG) than trips taken in an
automobile. Sound Transit estimates that ST2 will reduce GHG by approximately
1% in 2030 than would be the case if ST2 had been defeated.
Click here to see
Sound Transit's GHG calculation in its Sustainability Assessment of
September 2008. The ST2 impact on global greenhouse gas is trivial, and does
not begin to accrue until over a decade has passed.
Train riders have a congestion
free trip once they are aboard the train. (Standing on a train does not count
as "congestion!") Sound Transit has never claimed that there will be
less traffic congestion on the roads in general. The Sound Transit
environmental impact statements to date have indicated that traffic congestion
as measured by forecast future delay of highway vehicles will be much worse
than today with or without the light rail as conceived by Sound Transit ...
makes no difference.
"Invest in our
Sound Transit estimates that
the Prop 1 construction and transit operations program will generate 60,000 new jobs, and benefit the region
by providing new mobility options. The million dollars per day in additional
sales tax collections that go to Sound Transit will not be available for other
purposes, including transit alternatives that are more productive than Sound
Transit's plan. This money going to Sound Transit will also not be available
for any other productive economic purpose.
"For only $69,
a little more than the cost of a tank of gas, you can help build a transit
system capable of moving more than a million people everyday!"
A 15 gallon tank filled with
gasoline costing $4.60 per gallon equals $69. Vehicles of Sound Transit
running at full capacity in 2030 were claimed to be able to carry more than a million people in a day.
However, the officially forecast use of all the ST2 vehicles in 2030 is
forecast to be around
385,000 per day. The capacity of the four-car light rail trains of Sound
Transit is much less than that of a heavy-rail system like San Francisco's
BART with ten-car trains.