If you’re not in Seattle/King County this doesn’t apply to you, but I had more to say than would fit on Twitter, so…
So there’s this little ballot measure that’s coming by this month, and it’s a special ballot. There’s only one thing on it, and that’s to further fund budget shortfalls in our metro bus system. This is not NEW funding, or ADDITIONAL funding, this is just to keep the budget from getting slashed as a previous source of funding ends.
Please vote yes. Please.
If they can’t get funding, they’ll cut 74 bus routes, including one of the very few that actually go through my neighborhood.
If you live in Seattle and have ever tried to catch one of the 70, 71, 72, or 73 routes during peak times, you have probably already experienced the sardine-can conditions of a route that’s already at peak capacity - assuming you aren’t left standing at the stop because the bus is already too full.
Losing the 66 and 67 route means that anyone in the University District or Eastlake neighborhoods will have to take an additional bus DOWNTOWN before going to Northgate. Anyone who lives in the Northgate area of Seattle who happens to work at the University? Well, they get to ride a bus all the way downtown and then hope that there’s still space on one of the 70 routes I mentioned before. If you’re lucky. That turns a 45-60 minute commute into something more like 2 hours. Will it still be physically possible to get to work? Sure, but if you’ve ever lived somewhere where your daily route does not sync up with existing bus lines, you know how much of a pain that is.
Look, I don’t have a car. I can’t afford a car. The biggest reason I sold mine when I moved into Seattle proper was that the combination of repairs, insurance, gas, and parking was way out of my budget. Losing some of these metro routes would seriously mess up my ability to get around and I have it lucky because I am physically able to walk the mile and a half to and from work, but there are others who can’t.
Right-wingers (and the Seattle Times, apparently, good job jerks) are advocating sending a no vote to tell metro to figure out ways to pare down its service. Nope! Voting no will actually just completely screw over the people who need these bus routes. I’ve only talked about the routes that directly involve me, but like I said, there are 74 routes on the chopping block if the metro isn’t funded.
The opposition is also making the laughable claim that this is “bad for low-income voters”. Explain to me how it’s bad for low-income people to have accessible public transportation? Especially considering that part of this funding is going to be used so that we can have low income reduced fares? It’s notable that labor organizations, low income and disability advocacy groups are behind the statement in support, while the statement against consists of a group of people who are allergic to all taxes. Welp!
Public transit helps those of us who can’t afford cars, don’t or can’t drive, or who choose not to. Public transit reduces overall congestion on the roads and… come ON people, what century is this? What city is this?
Seattle, it takes five seconds to save our buses.
Please vote Yes on Proposition 1 by April 22.