Monday, March 2, 2015

Transportation Bills Moving in Olympia

Today, the Washington State Senate took action on a transportation funding bill that would raise the gas tax to pay for roads, bridges and transit improvements over the next 16 years. The bill passed 27-22 amid objections from both Democrats and Republicans about various parts of the package.

The Senate bill contains a local option provision that would allow Community Transit to ask voters in its service area to raise the local sales tax to support increased transit service.

HB 1393 also accomplishes the same "local option" for Community Transit. That bill passed out of the House Committee on Finance last week and is awaiting a floor vote.

These items are important to the future of transit service in Snohomish County. While Community Transit is set to bring back Sunday and holiday bus service this June, current projections would see only 45 percent of the service that was cut during the recession return by 2018.

New revenue generated by a local option could help fund a second line of Swift bus rapid transit, increased commuter service to downtown Seattle and UW, more frequent bus trips throughout Snohomish County all week and late-night bus service.

Increasing demand for transit service far beyond what is now provided is a main reason why various supporters have spoekn in favor of Community Transit's local option, including Workforce Snohomish, Associated Students of the University of Washington, the Puget Sound Regional Council, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, United Way and the Transportation Choices Coalition.

Stay tuned for further legislative updates as these bills advance.

1 comment:

  1. I think with the world getting "smaller" and more people moving across state and country, the moving and removals companies are really going to be hit big time by this!