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.

What's New

King County Officials Over-promise Bus Service for Tax Increases

July 14, 2010 in Publications

King County relies heavily on sales taxes to fund its public transportation services. Metro’s sales tax rate is currently 0.9 percent and produced about $375 million in revenue in 2009. Over the last ten years, King County has twice increased the sales tax rate. In 2000, King County was successful in asking voters to approve a 0.2 percent rate hike and another 0.1 percent in 2006.

With the two sales tax increases however, Metro officials have not delivered the expanded bus service they promised voters.

Key Findings

King County Metro Bus Driver Wages Grow out of Control

July 14, 2010 in Publications

Background

Over the last ten years, King County Metro has twice increased the sales tax rate. In 2000, Metro officials were successful in asking voters to approve a 0.2 percent rate hike and another 0.1 percent in 2006. Metro officials said these two tax increases would expand county bus service by 1.28 million hours by 2016. So far, Metro officials have only delivered about 307,000 hours, a third of the bus service they promised voters.

Public Transit in Washington

July 12, 2010 in Publications

Public transit is often portrayed as a low-cost, energy-efficient alternative to auto driving. In fact, transit is much more costly than driving, and requires huge subsidies to attract riders. Moreover, transit systems in the vast majority of American cities use more energy and emit more greenhouse gases than the average car.

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

July 12, 2010 in Publications

As our first year with light rail comes to a close, Sound Transit officials 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.”

Upon further review, light rail isn’t all it’s supposed to be

July 8, 2010 in In the News
Peninsula Gateway (Gig Harbor)
Source: 
Peninsula Gateway (Gig Harbor)
Date: 
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gas tax revenues still falling

July 7, 2010 in Blog

June Revenue Forecast for the Transportation budget.

Fuel tax collections for the Nickel and TPA projects are down about $140 million (over 16 year construction horizon) just in the last four months. 

Consider state officials first estimated both programs would bring in about $1.052 billion in the 2009-11 biennium. In reality, officials now project about $917 million in the 2009-11 biennium, about 13 percent less.

2009 Annual Small Business Day at the Capitol and Legislative Lunch

June 23, 2010 in Events
Date: 
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Time: 
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Place: 
Idaho State Capitol
Boise, ID

Michael Ennis was the key note speaker discussing Five Principles of Responsible Transportation Policy. He also moderated a panel on transportation issues.

PSRC says light rail will carry half of what Sound Transit told voters

June 22, 2010 in Blog

How many people will ride light rail? It depends on who you ask.

Two years ago, Sound Transit asked voters to expand its regional public transportation system (ST2). During the election, Sound Transit officials told voters the expanded rail portion (137 miles of light rail and commuter rail) would carry 310,000 passenger trips (page 5) per day by 2030.

Voters agreed and raised sales taxes within the Sound Transit district.