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.

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

August 3, 2010 in Events
Date: 
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 - Saturday, September 25th, 2010
Time: 
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Place: 
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.

Light Rail, One Year Later: A Train of Broken Promises

July 23, 2010 in In the News
Snohomish Times
Source: 
Snohomish Times
Date: 
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Light Rail, One Year Later: A Train of Broken Promises

July 23, 2010 in In the News
Snohomish Times
Source: 
Snohomish Times
Date: 
Thursday, July 22, 2010

LINK Light Rail Marks One-Year Anniversary

July 22, 2010 in In the News
KCPQ 13 (Seattle)
Source: 
KCPQ 13 (Seattle)
Date: 
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sound Transit officials missed their ridership target by a mile!

July 21, 2010 in Blog

During this one year anniversary of light rail, Sound Transit officials keep bragging about how they have carried six million riders since it opened. That is about 16,000 trips per day.

In 1996, Sound Transit officials promised voters the line would be complete by 2006 and carry about 107,000 trips per day. That means Sound Transit should be celebrating its four year anniversary, carrying over 100 million trips by today.

Sound Transit officials missed their ridership target by a mile!

Light Rail, One Year Later: A Train of Broken Promises

July 20, 2010 in Blog

As our first year with light rail comes to a close, Sound Transit P1100676_edited-2officials are certain to declare the 
 
experiment an unqualified success.
Yet, a closer look at the actual performance shows citizens are not
getting what they are paying for.

In 1996, Sound
Transit officials promised voters they would build 25 miles of light
rail for a total cost of about $1.8 billion, and they would be finished
by 2006. In fact, officials were so confident in their “conservative”
projections they called it, “Sound Move, The 10-Year Regional Transit System Plan.”

Fourteen
years later, Sound Transit officials have reduced the planned line to
21 miles, and have only delivered about 17 miles for about $2.6
billion. The rest will not be finished until around 2020 for a total
cost approaching $15 billion. In other words, Phase 1 is smaller,
billions over budget and more than a dozen years late compared to what
officials originally promised voters.

Here are
some other promises from 1996 that Sound Transit officials have failed
to deliver (quotes are from the Sound Move plan adopted in May 1996 and
passed by voters in November 1996):