DORI MONSON

Sound Transit $4B over-budget is a criminal rip-off

Jul 28, 2018, 6:00 AM

Sound Transit, East Link...

A graphic representation of what the East Link light rail line will look like across the floating I-90 Bridge over Lake Washington. (Sound Transit)

(Sound Transit)

We try to mix in lighter topics on Friday so that you don’t head into the weekend hearing a bunch of serious, upsetting stuff. But our top story was just so depressing for all of the taxpayers of the Puget Sound region. It is so dispiriting that the most criminal public agency in the history of the United States of America, Sound Transit, continues to add billions of dollars in rip-offs of the taxpayers, and no one does anything about it.

I’ve been exposing Sound Transit’s failings and lies since its very inception. It was a few months ago when we found out the Northgate to Lynnwood rail line of ST3 was $700 million over-budget. It was supposed to be $2.4 billion and was taken up to $3.1 billion.

RELATED: Sound Transit over-budget again, what a surprise

The line going across Lake Washington is also a half-billion over-budget.

And now we find out today that the line to Federal Way, estimated to cost $2.1 billion, is now $2.55 billion — an increase of $460 million.

If you add it all up, and include ST 1, which is billions over-budget — you are looking at about $4 billion over-budget. There are only two ways to explain that — either you have people in charge who are the most incompetent project managers in the history of transportation, or this is a criminal rip-off of the taxpayers of this region. I believe, in fact I am certain, it is the latter.

The reason why they’ve rushed all of this through, as I’ve told you for years and years, is that by the time ST3 is finished in 2041, rail will be obsolete. Autonomous electric vehicles will be the transportation of 20 to 30 years from now. An 1870s train is not going to be any factor at all. And it’s already no factor in reducing congestion, as you know, because the gridlock engulfs the entire region.

Down in Federal Way, 51 percent of the voters said no to Sound Transit. They had a lot more common sense than the people of Seattle, who just said yes, despite the history of criminal racketeering that is Sound Transit. After being $700 million off on the Lynnwood line, to be nearly $500 million off on the Federal Way line … this is nothing but a criminal rip-off.

And you know it when you pay your car tabs. Sound Transit has ripped off every family in this region for hundreds, in some cases thousands, of dollars in illegally-calculated car tab fees. Every person in this region will end up paying $30,000 to Sound Transit in their lifetime. Think about that.

The 18 members of the Sound Transit Board of Directors are public officials that have no problem passing billions of dollars of overrun onto the taxpayers. We must get elected members of the Sound Transit Board to look out for the taxpayers, because the hacks that are on the board are not looking out for the taxpayers. They’re just a bunch of toadies, a bunch of lackies, who have no concern for the families of this region, the family budgets that have to come up with their share in billions of overruns.

Oh, and one more thing — it’s much, much worse than what I said here. Those original estimates that they missed already had all kinds of overruns built into them. These new numbers are overruns in the overrun budget. Sound Transit is so embarrassed by the abject failure on every project they’ve done, and didn’t want this news again. Their original budget had hundreds of millions of dollars of overrun built into it. So these are hundreds of millions built on what was already hundreds of extra millions.

It’s depressing to see the ripoff of the taxpayers to the extent that it continues with Sound Transit, the most criminal and wasteful public agency in the history of the United States of America.

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Sound Transit $4B over-budget is a criminal rip-off