Transportation

Because being there is what's most important, WPC's Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.

Transportation Blog

Seattle City Council’s Taxi & Rideshare plan stifles innovation

December 18, 2013 in Blog

The Seattle City Council’s Taxi, For Hire, and Limousine Committee recently unveiled draft plans for a two year rideshare pilot program to regulate the spate of new companies that offer citizens an alternative to driving and traditional taxi services. The city’s proposal, echoing century-old regulations on taxicabs, stifles innovation and unfairly picks winners and losers.

Sound Transit says University Link may open early, after a decade of delay

December 12, 2013 in Blog

In 1996, voters approved Sound Transit’s 10 year plan for a light rail system that would stretch from Seatac to the University of Washington. In 2009, thirteen years later, the initial segment opened from Seatac to Downtown Seattle. The 3.1 mile light rail connector from Downtown to the University, called University Link, is planned to open in 2016.  

Other transit agencies add hours without new taxes; King County Metro keeps plan to cut

December 5, 2013 in Blog

Both Pierce Transit and Community Transit plan to add service hours without raising taxes. Community Transit is adding 2,500 new hours without new taxes, living within their means. However, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) proposal to give Community Transit higher tax authority is still on the table.

Sound Transit’s third quarter ridership report ignores promises

November 27, 2013 in Blog

Sound Transit’s Q3 ridership report highlights Central Link’s performance. The light rail line experienced 10% growth in ridership both in the quarter and year-to-date.

New AAA report out; but what's the real price of gas?

November 25, 2013 in Blog

Data just released from AAA reveals that Washington State’s gas prices are averaging $3.31 per gallon. Yet that’s not the real price. The real price of a gallon of gas at the pump is $2.75; the remaining 55.9¢ is the tax collector’s share, a 20% tax rate at the current price.

Consumers have a right to know exactly what they are paying in taxes. Utah, for example, posts the federal and state gas taxes on a sticker at the pump. It should also be a separate line item on the receipt.

Exempting transportation projects from sales tax finds some agreement in legislature

November 15, 2013 in Blog

According to the washingtonstatewire.com, Representative Judy Clibborn (D-41st), Chair of the House Transportation Committee, has said she would approve of exempting transportation projects from sales tax.

The state charges itself sales tax on transportation, and exemption could mean millions of dollars would cease being diverted into the general fund every year. There is still some opposition in the House, however.

Governor Inslee proposes sales-tax relief for private construction, while charging full state tax on public projects

November 11, 2013 in Blog

Governor Inslee last week announced his plan to improve the business climate for Boeing in an effort to keep 777x production in Washington State.  The governor convened a special session and called for lawmakers to pass a $10 billion transportation tax package. Lawmakers say the package would include an increase in gas taxes and increased license fees.

Governor Inslee calls special session for transportation package

November 5, 2013 in Blog

Governor Inslee announced today that he will call for a special session, beginning this Thursday, to pass a transportation package. According to the governor, an agreement is close. He said that the package would be around $10 billion. Funding for the Columbia River Crossing project will not be a part of the package.

He said a transportation package is needed to keep Boeing in the area, and hopes to have a tax package complete within seven days.

Transportation Commission chairman says traffic jams would be solved if more people drove at night

October 31, 2013 in Blog

Washington State Transportation Commission (WTC) Chair Dan O’Neal wants to make it more expensive for you to drive your car, and said there’d be less bad traffic if more people drove at night.

On TVW’s Inside Olympia, host Austin Jenkins asked O’Neal, “Does the state have an interest in engineering people to change their behavior?” O’Neal’s response:

WSDOT review recommends public private partnerships

October 9, 2013 in Blog

Earlier this year, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) requested a review on current practices of building megaprojects. Released today, reviewed projects include: