Record Turnout Swamps Metro Hearing as Hundreds Wait Outside


You are freaking kidding me. This is part of their job, and they don't show up?!? Worthless little weasels.
I was going to say exactly what @1 said. Seriously. If you're committed to voting against the tab fee, well, that's fine, but you should at least be willing to listen to the opposing public opinions. Jeeeez.
Perhaps they were stuck in traffic.....
It sounds like most of the people speaking for the car tab increase live in Seattle -- where all the buses are. Maybe they should put a $20 extra car tab fee in Seattle instead of all of King County.
Goldy, I'm curious what kind of hearing this was and the requirements for the council members to attend - any insight? I'm pretty fucking appalled that they couldn't be bothered, and on a really major issue for our region. You should also call them out by name: Kathy Lambert, Reagan Dunn, Julia Patterson, Jane Hague, and Pete von Reichbauer couldn't be bothered to show up to do their jobs and listen to the people who elect them. Julia, I'm especially disappointed in you. It's amazing to me that they apparently don't understand the importance of mass transit to keep this region working - are they really so stuck in their insular suburban worlds that they think motorists are just subsidizing drug addicts and colored people to ride the bus all day? I mean, do they really not get it? I'm just floored here.
Hey, Fritz, I'll pay your fucking $20 (and I'm on unemployment and live downtown), happy?
whats more intresting is the thousands who did not show up who are not in favor this to pay for a system taht is cutting services and raising user fees. But that is fine keep talking to only the people in your echo chamber
@7 Ah yes, clearly all those who couldn't show up downtown at 6:00 on a weeknight are in favor of the complete implosion of the bus system. Clearly anybody who didn't show up automatically 100% supports your position. So much so that nobody showed up to support it. See, it proves itself! But the 200 who showed up to support the tax, well clearly they're just talking to themselves.
Businesses that buy ORCA cards for their employees subsidize the entire system. It's the only profitable part of Metro.

Metro does not operate with the intention of generating revenue and staying within their budget. They have a whole different goal so budget deficits and cuts to routes are always going to be a problem. They aren't efficient.

Everyone, including me, has horrible stories of things that went down on Seattle buses. Eliminate the Ride Free zone. You will eliminate the awful incidents that take place there daily and you will encourage the population to see the bus as a SAFE, viable alternative to driving.

@7 So the people who are opposed to the $20 tab fee are lazy, uninformed, and simply don't care about the political process. What's your point?
@1, 2 no kidding. Unlike the Seattle City Council, the King County Council is elected by geographic district. Apparently one effect of that is a notably lower commitment to attending hearings likely to draw a majority of citizens from Seattle. Guess you don't feel such an urge to listen to citizens who can't vote you out.

It's one drawback to district elections for councils like this. Another is that Eyman was able to use 1053 to play this whole thing like a fiddle so far. He and Kemper Freeman are probably holed up somewhere cackling over cognac.
Hey, levide -- great. But it's 3 cars and a motorcycle. Then, sure. The Sammamish Plateau has pretty much zip bus service except for the Microsoft Connectors.
Maybe Jane Hague was too drunk to show up.
@12: God, your life must be so hard. You have my sympathies.
Nope, not hard. But I am already paying lots of money on my car tabs for bus service that is not here. I don't see any reason to support yet another $20/vehicle for bus service that is not here.
How come no one's said that Dan's gonna be on Colbert tonight???????
I want a tax where deadbeat bus riders have to give me $20 in gas money every year. This is literally highway robbery.
European countries don't expect their transit systems to be self-supporting. They're run as part of governmental services. But then that's socialism, and we're a free country and we think it's better to cut off bus service from people who need it to get to work than tax people so we can have a decent system. And yes, $20 is just an incredibly unreasonable cost to keep even the crappy service we have, isn't it.
We should pass this AND a $20 fee for orca passes (while removing the ability to pay w/cash)
@12 explain to me how this is "literally" highway robbery.

Also, appalled that over 50% of the council didn't show up for their jobs.

@13 for da wine... i mean win :)

Why is our system so fucked up that cities and counties need permission from the state to tax their people, if their people want to be taxes? Is this a WA thing or a western thing?
@12 Realistically, with your multitude of vehicles, would you use the bus if it came by your place? would your neighbors? And, no saying a simple "Yes, I would" just for arguments sake. Because, one of the wasteful expenses are buses that go to out-of-the-way places where people use personal vehicles, and pick up about 5 riders. Then, more debt because the route isn't self-sustaining, etc etc.
You know Joe if it bothers you so much you could go live in a nice facist country that doesnt take anyones imput into where new infastructer goes... I hear China is lovely this time of year and it would go well with your pseudo-fascism
We pay $180 a year per person on average in property taxes each year for car infrastructure, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of city and county parking spaces we subsidize. This is fucked up. Let's make it fair and add a $180 car tab fee for transit.
But buying, fueling, insuring, maintaining and parking a car simply isn't an affordable option for many people who rely on already overcrowded Metro buses to get them to and from home, school and work. let's make buying, fueling, insuring, maintaining and parking a car a slightly less affordable option?

I'm all in favor of subsidizing the bus system, I ride the buses all the time, and I also own a car which I bought, fuel, insure, maintain, and mostly park (I don't actually drive it often). I don't know where I stand on the car tab fee specifically, but I'm willing to contribute more to keep the buses running.

You gotta admit, though, trying to sell a car tab fee hike on the grounds that owning a car is not affordable is pretty ridiculous.
@24 asking why a local, democratically-elected municipality needs permission from the state government to impose a local tax is pseudo-fascism?

I don't know much about China's local governance, but I bet you they can't do that.

"it's 3 cars and a motorcycle"

Then what the fuck are you complaining about?
I'd like to see people pay the car tab tax based on usage. They already have mileage records for every registered car thanks to the mandatory emissions tests. Let's take the whole pool and divide it up proportionately, based on how many miles each car is driven. Why not factor in the weight of the vehicle and the CO2 emissions while we're at it--what century is this, anyway?

All you anti-car nutballs, keep in mind that it's not going to be that long before most people in this city are driving zero-emission plug-in electrics powered by renewable hydro and wind power that dramatically extend the lead single occupant vehicles already have over buses on the environmentalist front. Painting yourself into a bit of a corner with all the car taxes and parking bullshit, aren't you?
Let it be known to that the non-Seattle Council members who screw Seattle bus riders will be vocally and loudly shamed whenever they are spotted in Seattle.
sounds like your threatening violence and intimidation. good becuase that will make things all the better and really make people join your cause. in fact maybe we should report you for making threats against public officers
@ liberalism failing - Isn't it due to capitalism failing that the sales tax revenues that a large part of Seattle Metro's budget is tethered to is falling because some big time banging bankers couldn't handle their shit, which plunged us into a recession, which means that the middle class that the retail sector relies on isn't buying is the real problem.

Glad to school you. Now get lost. We are thoughtful folk around here that don't lurk in anonymity, you spineless punk.
Psst, Fritz and the rest of the conservative trollerati. Your roadways are subsidized too. Gas, tab, and whatever other user fees you whine about don't cover all costs for our roads.

But hey, that realization would mean a) you cared to know a shred of objective fact underlying policy choices you opine about b) you had the capacity to understand how math works. And if math was your strong suit you probably wouldn't be hostile to the efficiencies of mass transportation systems in the first place.

Nor, would you move yourself to the glorious hinterlands of low housing/employment density, then moan that said lack of density doesn't justify plentiful and frequent bus routes, in a system constantly plagued by scarcity of funding.

Oh, and let's not forget that the only reason better service to the hinterlands can't be run, is because people like you will just as quickly turn on a dime and whine that funds would be wasted on offering a comprehensive transit system to people in the hinterlands.

Maybe you think both getting to be ignorant and whining about the consequence of your own ignorance is a win/win. But the rest of us are trying to have a productive society here. It's not government that can't get things right. It's a government paralyzed by the sheer mindnumbing stupidity of voters like you, who can't see beyond their own immediate momentary self-interest to grasp a bigger picture.
@24, uh, dumbass, we live in a REPRESENTATIVE democracy.
@33 I almost agreed completely with you, if I ignored the voting down of the roads and transit package in 2007 which killed taxation for both drivers and riders because it had roads as part of the package, resulting in high tolls for 520. Productive society, my ass.
....I'm a broke, college-debt-paying, low-income working girl. I have nothing. Just my car to get to work (because 3 transfers and an extra hour each way is WAY more than I want to deal with). But I took a bus for a long time, and know how important this service is. Even *I* can afford $20. It's just $20. Pay the damned fee.

Even if it's 3 cars and a motorcycle. Whiner. If you can afford that, you can afford this eensy weensy fee, too. I bet you've been known to spend more than that on a dinner in a night.
If they can't be bothered to show up for the office they are elected into, its time to make a new electable office.
@17 you already pay the lowest car tab tax in the country you fucking crybaby.
@26 " let's make buying, fueling, insuring, maintaining and parking a car a slightly less affordable option?"

Make no mistake - cutting bus service will cost car drivers a hell of a lot more than $1.67 per month.
Those of you who might have the option of riding the bus to work (if there's still a bus to ride) might consider this. Take a look at your last car insurance premium. Then call up your insurance company (no doubt run by a horrid bunch of "socialists", eh?) and ask them how much less you'd pay if they knew you didn't regularly use your car for commuting. Betcha it'll be a lot more than twenty bucks.
Seattle times headline writers:
"More than 400 people showed up for a Metropolitan King County Council committee meeting ...
Some urged the council to adopt a $20 car-tab fee"

My impression that it was more than "some". "Most" is accurate. "A vast majority" is true. "Some" is just misleading.
Do not _ever_ let Larry Phillips talk in public again. Every other fuckin' word he said was followed by 'uh. It can drive someone absolutely fuckin' batshit. Please do not let him speak in public again. Let someone who can speak without hesitation. Either that or recommend that he seek speech therapy.
Most of the people speaking for the car tab were in fact either people who work on the Eastside or Kent or people who live there but work or study here.

Five council members were there - one was in the cooler back room listening and popped in later.
It's $1.67 a month, people. $1.67. You can't even get a cup of drip coffee for that. Jesus, save your pocket change to pay for it. I probably pick more than that out of my dryer every month.
How much does it cost for car tabs on average? @12 How much do you pay annually? Drivers; do you really want the added traffic congestion this will cause on roads that already can't handle current levels?
you all can have my car when you pry my cold, dead ass off the seat. that said...fuck it, I will pay an extra $20 a year in car tab fees. whatever, it's hardly the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I reserve that honorary title for what happens when bus service gets cut and suddenly there's thousands more shitty drivers on the road in their shitty cars. I'd prefer that kind of havoc be boxed up in a monolithic city bus driving 15 miles per hour, stopping every block, and preventing me from passing them rather than the alternative...a city (more) full of people who can't. fucking. drive.
Does anyone only pay $20 a year for car insurance?

No, you pay around $1000 or more.

Stop whining.