Sound Transit to seek new tax, fees to extend light rail (Seattle Times)
With traffic growing crunchier in the Seattle Metro area, the agency that runs regional transit says it intends to put a sales tax increase on the Nov. 2016 ballot to fund more rail expansion. Excerpt:
Board Chairman Dow Constantine, the King County executive, said he wants the big numbers out in public long before a 2016 election, when a presidential race should entice young, pro-transit voters.
“People are smart, and they realize that permanent infrastructure that changes mobility in the region requires investment over a number of years,” he said.
A new three-mile subway route is due to open in early 2016 that will extend rail to the University of Washington. It’s opening six months ahead of the original schedule and officials hope that a new tax can be combined with funds from 1996 and 2008 ballot measures.
As regular readers here know, Metro is also considering a ballot measure for Nov. 2016. No decision has yet been made about whether such a ballot measure would be an extension of the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase (which expires in mid-2039) or a new tax. The Metro Board of Directors are expected to make a decision on whether to pursue a ballot measure in 2015.
What a Vermont Avenue BRT line could look like (Streetsblog L.A.)
Metro is moving ahead with a study of a potential bus rapid transit line on Vermont Avenue, one of our area’s busiest bus routes. It’s still very early in the game so to speak, but Joe Linton gathers some nice photos and videos of what BRT could look like (on Vermont or anywhere else), particular the type in which buses run down a center lane. Vermont, of course, is an intriguing corridor as the Red Line runs under part of it and Vermont also intersects with the Expo Line and Green Line.
As everyone knows, BRT is not always easy to build here or anywhere else in the U.S., particularly if BRT lanes mean losing street parking or a general traffic lane. But they’re also a good way to improve bus travel.
BART’s Oakland Airport shuttle gets rave reviews (San Francisco Chronicle)
The first riders of the new people mover between the BART train and the Oakland Airport gave positive reviews to the eight-minute ride, saying it beat paying for long-term parking and riding the old shuttle bus. The driver-less people mover does charge a fare that is included as part of a BART fare. In case you’re wondering, it’s about $10 to ride BART from the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco to the Oakland airport. It’s a lot cheaper than a cab.
Categories: Transportation Headlines