Jason Rantz: ‘Fishy’ Sound Transit timeline reason to say no to ST3

May 31, 2016, 8:29 AM | Updated: Jun 1, 2016, 9:35 am

light rail Seattle, ST3, Pierce County, Sound Transit...

The Legislature came one step closer to forcing Sound Transit to lower car tab fees. (KIRO Radio)

(KIRO Radio)

Something seems fishy with Sound Transit’s new plan. They put out their multi-billion dollar plan just eight weeks ago and most people weren’t happy. We argued that the projects to bring light rail across the region would take way too long; that it’s not really appealing to spend thousands of dollars on tax increases for projects many of us will never actually get to experience.

Now, suddenly, Sound Transit revised the timelines and promise that projects will be done sooner. Yeah, right.

Related: Sound Transit spent over $850K tax dollars on party no one asked for

The Seattle Times reports, “Light-rail extensions would be built faster than originally proposed, with Everett getting service in 2036, five years sooner than Sound Transit had announced, and Federal Way and Redmond coming online as soon as 2024, under a revised plan released Thursday.”

Sound Transit promises we won’t get hit with higher taxes. They say they made these changes based on “new financial assumptions and strategies.” It’s amazing how quickly these news financial assumptions and strategies can change after Sound Transit got spooked that their package wouldn’t pass.

Mike Lindblom of the Times says, “Finance details weren’t immediately available Thursday, but [Sound Transit CEO Peter] Rogoff said consultants found the agency could sell an additional $4 billion in bonds between the sunset of the Sound Transit expansion program under way now and the 25-year construction plan outlined in Sound Transit 3.”

Oh how about that. Details were not immediately available and I guess they somehow missed these details as they painstakingly tried to come up with a massive project.

This reeks of a political strategy. It seems similar to when they pretended the U-Link light rail was on time and under budget (that’s only true when you ignore the fact that they changed the budget and timeline when they knew it was wrong).

There were dramatic new financial assumptions that just so happened to address the majority of concerns with people saying they’d vote no? Where did this new strategy come from and how long did it take to devise? Either they were always there and due to incompetence you didn’t give us the correct strategy to begin with or you’re revising things around in a way to placate concerns, with no intention of following through.

I don’t believe the new strategies because I don’t trust the messenger. And sudden new strategies that change projects for the better can lead to sudden new strategies (after this ST3 package passes) going back to the old timeline. There are no guarantees.

I’m a fan of light rail. I love it. I used it (and subways) extensively in Europe. I actually want to support light rail in Western Washington. But the projects still take too long and I don’t trust Sound Transit to deliver on such pricey projects. I’ll happily support smaller projects with better timelines. Put that up for a vote and you’ll get a happy ‘yes’ while building back our trust that you can complete projects on time and on budget. Until then? I can’t justify this much of a hike in taxes.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Photo: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris join hands in the air as they view the ...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Before Joe Biden dropped, he threw Kamala Harris under the bus in BET interview

While President Joe Biden is dropping out of the race, we shouldn't forget: he threw Kamala Harris under the bus just days ago.

1 day ago

Photo: Government watchdog Accountable.US launches its "Expose Project 2025" campaign on the street...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Will Project 2025 destroy Seattle? The truth may shock you

Progressives are sounding the alarms over Project 2025, but will it destroy Seattle? It won't be pretty -- if you're a progressive.

2 days ago

Biden activists flyers...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle activists plan march pushing Joe Biden to drop out of race

A group of grassroots activists in Seattle are planning a Monday march hoping to pressure Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race.

3 days ago

seattle officer auderer...

Jason Rantz

Seattle officer caught laughing after Kandula’s death has been fired

Seattle Police Department Office Dan Auderer has been fired by Interim Chief Sue Rahr.

5 days ago

A closeup of Annette and her facial injuries from a recent carjacking superimposed over a photo of ...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Homeless man brutally beat and carjacked Tacoma woman, victim says

An 18-year-old homeless man, with a record, is accused of a brutal carjacking and assault of an innocent woman in Tacoma.

6 days ago

Trump assassination attempt...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Mukilteo Council member Trump’s ‘rhetoric caused one of his supporters to be killed’

Mukilteo council president Louis Harris said he has "no sympathy" for Donald Trump as he blames rhetoric for the assassination attempt.

7 days ago

Jason Rantz: ‘Fishy’ Sound Transit timeline reason to say no to ST3