But there’s a glimmer of hope. The House Transportation Committee has passed three bills — House Bills 1898, 1953, and 1959 — that give communities the flexibility to raise revenue to save bus service and fix local streets and sidewalks.
All three bills are waiting for a House floor vote. We’re counting votes, and our transit champions, including Rep. Marko Liias, Rep. Jessyn Farrell, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Rep. Luis Moscoso, and Rep. Jake Fey, are telling us they need your voice of support right now to show legislators this is critically important.
You already know about the potholes and missing sidewalks in your neighborhood. We’ve got to give cities and counties the ability to fix them.
What has been especially tragic is the loss of bus service in our communities over the past few years. For example, King County Metro was temporarily spared 17% cuts in 2011, but that stopgap measure runs out next year. Pierce Transit has had to slash service 35% and will cut service even more this fall. And the recession has forced Community Transit to similarly cut bus service for thousands of workers, students, and families. And I’m sure you’ve seen funding problems at your transit agency.
Besides being a good way to prevent congestion and save money, transit is also a lifeline for thousands of kids, seniors, and people with disabilities. We constantly hear heart-wrenching stories about how single moms can’t get to their jobs or families who can’t get to the grocery store because their bus doesn’t run on Sunday.
Quite frankly, the bus cuts, potholes, and unfinished sidewalks, are all unacceptable. That’s why we need your help to pass House Bills 1953, 1959, and 1898.