We support incentives and increased funding for effective public transportation in order to: give people better access to employment, housing, health care, and education; conserve natural resources; preserve the integrity of local neighborhoods; reduce air pollution and traffic congestion; and increase accessibility for residents of low-income communities.
Washington State Department of Transportation spends approximately 93% of its budget, over $1 billion a biennium, on road projects while virtually ignoring transit. Transit is the quickest, cheapest, most effective way to deal with traffic. There are thousands of people waiting for vanpools, thousands unable to use overflowing Park and Ride lots and thousands others standing on bus routes. Thousands of cars could be taken off the road within a year if we invested a modest fraction of the highway budget in transit.
Leaders from the House and Senate are in the process of negotiating a final Regional bill to send to the voters. But the House and Senate regional bills are at odds with each other in important ways, and must be reconciled before a final bill can be sent to the governor. HB 2359 is broader in scope and is a better choice. It would allow voters to approve investments in state and local road improvements, as well as high-capacity transit (light rail, monorail), commuter rail service, bus transit service, ferry capital, and trip reduction. It specifically allocates 15% of revenue raised for city transportation needs and 15% for counties. The bills would allow either a single county or multiple counties to form a region.
We need to let our legislators to know that we want a multi-modal transportation fix that includes:
1. Funding for transit operations and capital;
2. Maximum flexibility for meeting local transportation needs (including eligibility for bus service, passenger ferry, bike & pedestrian facilities, and trip reduction);
3. Dedicated money for Cities and Counties; and
4. An expanded Commute Trip Reduction Program
You can obtain copies of HB 2359 from the bill room at 360-786-7573 or athttp://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/bills.cfm
How to Contact Your Legislators:
Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or
Write your senators and representative at:
PO Box 4048
Olympia, WA 98504-0482
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
On the web at: http://www.leg.wa.gov/ follow the link to the Senate
or House, and click on your member’s name to get their e-mail.
Note: You have received this alert because you are on the emailing
list of the Friends Committee on Washington State Public Policy
( http://www.quaker.org/fcwpp/ ).