MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Tech giants are pumping big money into Sound Transit 3 campaign

Sep 28, 2016, 10:28 AM | Updated: Sep 29, 2016, 5:23 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)

The folks who are pumping money into the Sound Transit 3 campaign include the who’s who of local tech giants.

Amazon, Expedia, Vulcan, and Costco have each donated $100,000. Microsoft has given $300,000.

Overall, state records show Mass Transit Now has raised $2.4 million, KIRO 7 reports. On the other hand, the No on ST3 campaign has raised less than $11,000.

The $53.8-billion package that will be on the November ballot would allow Sound Transit to expand its light rail and bus rapid transit throughout three counties. It would also cost the “typical adult” an additional $169 per year — or roughly $14 per month.

Related: Contested ballot measure gains support from the Eastside

Bellevue City Council member Kevin Wallace, the one member of the council to vote “no” on supporting the tax package, says voters need to understand where the money is coming from.

“People ought to recognize that there’s a lot of money going into this campaign from people that expect to make a profit from the transportation projects that are proposed by it,” Wallace said. “The big companies … I think they are so desperate for transportation solutions they will fund just about anything.”

Irene Plenefisch, Microsoft’s government affairs director, said the company isn’t planning on investing more in the package right now.

“But we are very supportive of the campaign and hope it will be successful in November,” she said.

Proponents of alternative forms of transportation have argued that benefits outweigh the costs to taxpayers. Seattle Subway, an activist organization, went so far as to compare the cost of ST3 to taxpayers to a subscription to The Seattle Times.

MyNorthwest News

Listen to the discussion from KIRO Newsradio's John & Shari show....

Bill Kaczaraba

John & Shari VIDEO: Training for local firefighters ‘destructive’

Local fire departments have suspended their Diversity Equity Inclusion training.

8 hours ago

Image: Seattle Police Department dashcam video shows officers' pursuit of two juveniles who carjack...

Kate Stone

Boys, ages 12 and 13, who led police on car chase given different outcomes after court appearances

Seattle detectives believe the woman was reporting her two children, but she did not provide their names or indicate she knew them.

8 hours ago

A Seattle Police Department vehicle....

Steve Coogan and Sam Campbell

Seattle police officers given 9 hour suspensions after slow shooting response

A new report has revealed two Seattle Police Department officers took over 20 minutes to get to a shooting scene a mile away in late 2022.

9 hours ago

Food delivery biker...

Heather Bosch

Delivery apps adding a side dish of ‘worry’ for restaurants, customers

This should be a joyous time for entrepreneurs, but Seattle's new delivery driver pay standards - and the app-based companies that use them - have served up a side dish of worry.

9 hours ago

cap rent criminal background checks...

Bill Kaczaraba

Survey: Washingtonians ‘unhappy’ with the lack of affordable housing

Washington residents are more "unhappy" than others in the nation about the price of housing.

10 hours ago

kent trooper shot...

Kate Stone

Man faces multiple charges after WSP trooper shooting in Kent

A man accused of shooting a Washington State Patrol trooper multiple times in Kent last Friday has been charged.

11 hours ago

Tech giants are pumping big money into Sound Transit 3 campaign