Uber Urges Voters to Support Sound Transit 3

Comments

1
So The Stranger is going to take some ad revenue from Uber. Glad that Tim decided the "sharing economy" is a great idea. LOL!!!!
2
The argument for self driving cars and transit is often misunderstood. It has nothing to do with Uber (or other private companies).

The fundamental advantage that rail has over buses is capacity. You can carry a lot more people per trip. This also means that it cheaper to carry a lot more people on a train, since most of the cost of a transit system is labor (paying drivers). Operating a full bus is cheaper than operating a mostly empty train, but you simply run the train less often. Thus a train operating every five minutes is a better deal than a bus running every minute.

But this advantage starts to go away once you have self driving buses. Running a bus is relatively cheap. In many cases -- especially in low density or low demand areas -- it provides much better service for less money. Thus instead of a train running every 15 minutes, you have a bus running every 5. Or you have smaller vans serving low density areas with on demand (instant carpool) service. As it turns out, most of ST3 rail is in low density, low demand areas (the exception being Ballard to downtown).

One factor in all of this, of course, is that an agency will have to make a sizeable capital investment for all this to happen. They would need to purchase a lot more buses and vans, along with finding a place to put them all. Thus it is quite likely that we will build a light rail line that consists of very infrequently running trains (as all similar train lines are) while a more cost effective investment in bus infrastructure (including self driving vehicles) remains unfunded.

3
I hope that the Future of Car Tabs is still part of paying for mass transit when Uber owns all the cars.
4
Sound Transit 3 is the biggest boondoggle in the history of the United States. Don't vote for it people - all the corporations here want to get this for free!

Sound Transit is spending $8,000,000.00 this year on Public Relations. They have a department of over 30 people working on media communications. Full time salaries paid for by you for advertisements about Sound Transit paid for by you.

The ST3 proposal includes $50 million for affordable housing loans and affordable housing studies - didn't we just approve the Affordable housing levy to pay for this stuff? SCOPE CREEP before it's even started!

VOTE NO!
5
Newsmama @4: Sound Transit 3 is the biggest boondoggle in the history of the United States.

Newsmama, I didn't realize you were a public-works-project historian. But it's good to see Donald Trump's rhetorical tics have now infected the rest of our political discourse.

Here's the interesting thing, though, about ST 3's most vehement foes. Their greatest fear about ST 3--the reason they hate the prospect of ST 3 so viscerally--is not that it will be a boondoggle or a failure or a massive waste of money. Their greatest fear, a fear which they know in their heart of hearts will be realized, is that ST 3 will be a great success and continue to transform our region into a livable place where people aren't completely dependent on their automobiles.
6
@5 -- Oh bullshit. My biggest fear -- and the fear of anyone who has ever spent time looking at transit systems throughout North America -- is that this will fail like every other similar system has. If you can't tell the difference between this line and what DC has built -- or hell, what Vancouver has built for a shitload less money -- then you are an idiot. This doesn't resemble any successful subway system in the world. But it sure as hell resembles the failed ones. When trains run every half hour to Ash Way or Fife it won't "transform our region", it will only increase the likelihood that we fail to pay for the meaningful improvements to transit we keep putting off.