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.

What's New

Bus union is an obstacle to expanding bus service promised to voters

August 23, 2010 in Blog

Despite calls from union leaders that talks on a new labor contract should stay at the negotiating table, the bus union in King County held a press conference on Friday to discuss, what else but their new labor contract.

Seattle Weekly Coverage
Publicola Coverage 

Light rail costs $7.13 per trip and a quarter of the time it's late

August 20, 2010 in Blog

Sound Transit just released its 2nd Quarter Ridership Report for this year.

Light rail ridership is higher than the previous quarter but still far below projections:

Funding high-speed rail is a head scratcher

August 18, 2010 in Blog

Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow at CATO has written for WPC a number of times, including this piece on why Washington State should not invest in High Speed Rail.

Urgency is critical in Columbia River bridge project

August 16, 2010 in In the News
The Daily News (Longview)
The Daily News (Longview)
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Defending Freedom - The 8th Annual Preserving the American Dream Conference

August 3, 2010 in Events
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 - Saturday, September 25th, 2010
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Doubletree Resort on International Drive
Orlando, Florida

Co-sponsored by the Reason Foundation, Washington Policy Center, Pacific Research Institute, Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and others, this conference features dozens of distinguished speakers and tackles critical issues affecting you and your state.  Michael Ennis, WPC's Transportation Center Director, will be speaking at the conference. Click here for the draft agenda. The American Dream is still possible, and cities of the future can be built on the foundation of freedom! If you're looking for market-oriented solutions to these and other urban problems, this is the conference for you!

Bus union defends higher pay instead of expanded service promised to voters

July 30, 2010 in Blog

In the August issue of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 587 newsletter, there is a lot of attention given to WPC and our recent reports on King County’s ability to deliver the bus service promised to voters after the last two sales tax increases.

Once you get past the partisan, inflammatory and personal attacks, union leaders aggressively defend the higher pay for bus drivers, which has risen about 60 percent since the tax increases. This is twice the rate of inflation over the same time period.

A driver's union leader says this:

“Bus Drivers [sic] wages have tracked King County inflation for twenty years, but little more. The working conditions inflicted on Drivers [sic] is so distasteful that METRO could not hire an adequate number of Driver [sic] in a good economy offering the wages and benefits that they did.”

I’m not sure these union leaders realize it, but in their haste to defend the higher wages, !
they precisely prove my point. The last two sales tax increases that Metro officials promised would deliver 1.28 million hours of new bus service have instead been used to increase wages for union bus drivers.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue. Nor is this a rant against how much money a bus driver makes. Metro drivers work hard and should be paid for it. This is simply about the ability of County officials to deliver the bus service they promised to voters after the last two sales tax increases.