I am reposting a link to my essay from the last King County Metro budget crisis, since two years have passed, the “temporary congestion reduction charge” is expiring, and Metro is once again planning 17% bus service cuts.
This time around, however, I don’t support the mainstream rescue plan. King County getting the option to vote for new transit taxes for $75 million per year, in exchange for several billion dollars in highway expansions, is not a fair exchange. Metro should walk. These highways go directly against the State Growth Management Act, Climate change mitigation goals and Vehicle Miles Travelled reduction goals. Instead I support a King County “Plan B” of forming a Transportation Benefit District to levy a permanent vehicle license fee.
King County Transit, due to declining sales tax revenue, is faced with 17% system-wide cuts over the next 2 years, unless the County Council passes a temporary $20 car tab fee. My rationale for why this budget-saver should be passed is posted over at the citytank: Dynamic Metropolitan Areas Depend on Transit, So Pass the Congestion Reduction Charge, Please.