A Seattle group said it will file a citywide initiative to raise money for bus service following the rejection of a King County measure to prevent bus cuts in exchange for a sales tax hike and an increase to car-tab fees.
Initial returns tallied Tuesday night showed King County Proposition 1 failing 55 percent to 45 percent and that didn’t change in Wednesday afternoon results.
“Tomorrow (Thursday) I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Friends of Transit said Wednesday that by the end of the week, they will file an initiative that would increase Seattle’s property tax by $0.22 per $1,000 of assessed value between 2015 and 2021. The group estimates the tax hike would generate $25 million a year for transit services.
It needs over 20,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.
But radio talk host Michael Medved might have a solution. In an appearance on 770 KTTH’s David Boze Show, Medved outlined a solution to the transit funding problem.
“I have a way where they can have so much money for buses. They can have triple the number of buses. They can have buses everywhere. They can serve free lattes on the buses. They can do whatever they want with the buses. They can have buses to heaven. They could do all of it,” said Medved. “All they have to do is kill the damn train.”
Medved said they should stop the light rail projects in their tracks before any more money is spent.
“The stupidity now is, the big argument for continuing building the trains, like the East Link Light Rail, is that we’ve spent so much money on it already in planning it, and planning the new stations, and new tracks, and lousing up I-90 – we’ve spent so much money on it, we can’t possibly waste the money we’ve spent so far. Except, the money that we’re supposed to be spending is about 30 times what we’ve spent so far.”
“When you’re in a hole, you stop digging,” said Medved.
Constantine said he welcomes any efforts to protect service. He said the idea of cities buying bus service is not a new concept. “We already have a number of cities and businesses contracting for service.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.