Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Vote NO on Sound Transit November 2016!

You don’t have to be a tourist or newcomer here to find our public transportation an absurdity.  Seattleites find it absurd.  No wonder!  Sound Transit has given us a mêlée of problems.  Many of you, undoubtedly, can add to this list:    

Competing bus systems, conflicting bus systems: Metro buses vs. Sound Transit

∙Radical bus cuts in Seattle: fewer direct routes and more transferring required.

∙A dearth of east-west Seattle bus service and Seattle neighborhoods with no bus service

∙Privatization of a public amenity with your tax dollars leaving Seattle;

Orca cards vs. bus transfers; Sound Transit doesn’t accept or issue transfers

∙Fare boxes off buses, fare enforcement officers on buses,

∙Streets and neighborhoods torn up for Sound Transit; homes taken using eminent domain (This was not necessary with Metro buses.)

∙Mismanagement and waste!

Link rail is not a replacement for neighborhood bus service, nor can it be.  Buses should serve neighborhoods where the people live, and allow passengers to board and unboard along the way.  Sound Transit link rail is not designed to do this, yet Metro cancelled many of Seattle’s buses leaving neighborhoods with little or no service in order to reroute money to Sound Transit.

King County Metro, the county transit authority, supposedly handles Seattle bus service but Seattle has been invaded by other systems that undermine and clash with Metro and have me longing for the days when Seattle had its own bus service.  All these other buses are like weeds; and weeds are invasive and take over the garden.  It’s time to do some weeding.

The Seattle Transit System was “subsumed” by Metro in 1973 (or is that consumed?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_County_Metro#History  When Seattle had its own service we needed only a few bus numbers to cover the entire city.  Metro broke up bus routes, causing riders to have to transfer whereas before one bus might have sufficed; and now Sound Transit makes it much worse with Metro routes being whacked to serve Sound Transit rather than Metro riders.  

As an example, under Seattle ownership the #7 bus served Seattle from north to south city limits. South bound it was the #7 Rainier.  North bound it was the #7 Wedgwood, #7 Lake City or #7 Maple Leaf.  Under Metro, these became the #71, #72 and #73 respectively, and only served the north half of Seattle.  But now with Sound Transit, the #72 has been eliminated altogether and the #71 & #73 no longer go downtown and no longer run Sundays, holidays or at night.  These routes have been radically slashed in order to increase Sound Transit ridership.  It is rumored that our government has an agreement with Sound Transit to deliver a quota of riders.  However, if X number of Metro riders are now being forced to use Sound Transit in place of, or in addition to, Metro because of Metro bus cuts, this does not count as new or increased ridership.  But Watch!  Sound Transit will use this false number to try to claim success.


Most of the time I have spent busing over the years is owing to Metro’s game of Musical Chairs; and as just stated, Sound Transit makes it worse.  Sundays or evenings can take hours to complete a one-way bus trip in Seattle if it entails transferring, so years ago I made the decision to only bus Sundays or evenings if it was a one-seat ride.  Now, with recent bus cuts, I have no seat to ride on Sundays because Metro has eliminated Sunday service altogether in my neighborhood.  And all late evening service has been eliminated on the other days of the week.  This is in Seattle folks, not in the boon docks. 

With the new changes, for the first time in Seattle’s bus history, many Seattleites can no longer even bus downtown without having to transfer -- from Metro buses to Sound Transit.  Formerly, I was able to bus to Lake City on the #72 or to the University District and downtown on the #72 or #73.  Now, I can only bus to the University District without transferring, and with longer wait times owing to the #72 being eliminated.

Transferring is not only very time consuming but also bad for the health.  Riders have little control over connections and thus become stressed and worried whether they will make or miss their connection.  If they miss it this generates stress and mental anguish.  And how often do you see bus riders racing across a busy arterial against the light in an effort to make the connection?  And this is not to mention the inconvenience to passengers having to transfer: especially the elderly, or mothers with small children or disabled riders of any age.                                                                    


Privatization is the reason we’ve lost our bus service.  Metro is no longer under local control but under the control now of Sound Transit in what is known as private/public partnership where the partnership is funded with tax dollars, and private enterprise pockets the money.  I’ve even been informed by a bus driver that Metro is not allowed to operate buses where it might undermine Sound Transit ridership.  Never mind that Metro buses were here first.  Sound Transit will be on the November ballot this year asking for another fifty billion dollars.  Vote NO!

Metro and Sound Transit have contracted with Securitas Electronic Security, a.k.a. Securitas Security Services, a giant corporation formerly known as Diebold: the company notorious for making the black box voting machines accused of doing so much mischief in our nation’s elections.  http://www.securitasinc.com/  Securitas Electronic Security supplies the Fare Enforcement Officers (FEOs) to prevent transit trespassers. 
Even if some riders are boarding without paying, it is unlikely that the quantity of these transit trespassers justifies the cost of contracting with private enterprise and paying for their FEOs and related electronic gadgetry.  And how do people slip onto buses sans fare?  This is done at stops where passengers can use external fare boxes instead of paying onboard.   The idea is that this will save time.  Then once on board, these FEOs police the aisles to make sure everyone has paid.  Can this be done even when buses are tightly packed with passengers having to ride standing in the aisles?

Some passengers feel harassed by these FEOs and there is already a lawsuit against one of them for shoving a passenger.  Riders should pay when they board and then we can eliminate these fare problems.  Metro got along all these years without FEOs and Securitas Security Services.  And fire the consultants responsible for this mess.  How many of them even live in Seattle and depend on our bus service as their only source of transportation?  Omit the profiteering middle man!

Also, a Sound Transit rider informed me that if you have to use your Orca card in order to transfer you may get charged twice for your trip, that it happened to her. And a friend of mine purchased a monthly pass through his Orca card and part way through the month found that it was no longer good though he doesn’t know why.  Orca cards are not without these glitches.  Insist on Sound Transit issuing paper transfers.  But there is still another way in which fares have doubled: People should be able to run a quick errand of a couple miles and back without having to pay two fares, e.g. pick up a few groceries or drop off a library book or run to the bank.  This is no longer possible because of Sound Transit forcing Metro to eliminate the one-seat ride. 


It is unfortunate that the voters passed Sound Transit (1996).  I voted against it but most voters are not well informed and the government takes advantage of this fact.  And the government did not inform voters that Sound Transit would result in reduced or eliminated bus service.  Sound Transit will be on the ballot in November with their hands out for more of your tax dollars.  Please vote NO!

In April 2014 King County Voters rejected Proposition 1 that would have raised sales tax a tenth of a percent and levied money via car tab fees to prevent cuts to Metro bus service.  However, it passed in the Seattle portion of the county so in November it was put to the voters again but just in Seattle to prevent bus cuts within the city, and this time it passed.  What happened next?  Radical bus cuts in Seattle.

King County Voters outside Seattle said “No” to saving bus service via higher taxes but still have their service.  Seattle voters said “Yes” to saving bus service via higher taxes and lost ours.  That is a government breach of contract against Seattle voters.  As one rider stated, this is government bait and switch.  Shouldn’t Seattle drivers be entitled to a rebate on the car tab fees?  And sales tax should be lowered by .2% to offset the .1% hike that was supposed to be for preventing bus cuts in Seattle.  Did Metro already have an agreement with Sound Transit to cut Metro service prior to the 2014 Seattle vote?

P.S. don’t blame Metro drivers.  This mess is not their fault.

1. Boycott Sound Transit!  Seattle bus service has undergone radical cuts in an effort to force riders to have to use Sound Transit; but because Sound Transit does not yet extend into North King County, riders there still have bus service.  But let them be aware what has happened here.

2. It is time for a class action lawsuit against government.  The government should have to refund all money raised by the November 2014 Seattle ballet measure: money collected under false pretenses.

3. Replace King County Executive, Dow Constantine, ASAP.  Here is Constantine’s smug attitude following the April 2014 countywide election:
“We gave the voters a choice, and presented a proposal for saving Metro Transit and maintaining our roads,” Constantine said. “They have chosen a reduced level of service, and we will carry out the will of the voters. Tomorrow I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes.”  With politicians like this, who needs enemies?.  http://q13fox.com/2014/04/23/with-prop-1-defeated-king-county-to-move-to-eliminate-72-bus-routes/

4. Go back to Seattle bus service that ends at city limits.  Seattle is a city and should take care of its own first.  It’s not our responsibility to subsidize the rest of the state, which leads to the next important solution:

5. Divide Washington.  The state legislators in Eastern Washington vote against bus service and other infrastructure for Western Washington, but most of the state’s revenue comes from Western Washington.  A divorce here is needed with no alimony for Eastern Washington.


Seattle voters trade higher taxes for better bus service, Crosscut, Nov 4, 2014, Bill Lucia,   http://crosscut.com/2014/11/metro-transit-bus-votes-bill-lucia/

Diebold to Change Its Name
“. . . Diebold, a company once known primarily for making safes and ATMs, announced that it has decided to put some distance between it and its beleaguered voting machine division . . . “   http://www.wired.com/2007/08/diebold-to-chan/

See Who’s Editing Wikipedia – Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign
“On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.
In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself.”   http://www.wired.com/2007/08/wiki-tracker/

Passenger pushed by fare enforcement officer sues Sound Transit by Natasha Chen Updated: May 26, 2015

SEATTLEA passenger has sued Sound Transit in federal court because he was pushed by a fare enforcement officer, a move that resulted in a fight.”

KIRO 7 obtained surveillance footage of the Sept. 24, 2013, incident. In the video a Sound Transit fare enforcement officer is seen making the initial contact of pushing the rider, Brandon Creekmore, while Creekmore’s back is partially turned from him.  http://www.kiro7.com/news/passenger-pushed-fare-enforcement-officer-sues-sou/43429939

Who’s driving those Sound Transit buses and trainshttp://www.soundtransit.org/q-who-s-driving-those-sound-transit-buses-and-trains

Sound Transit Contracting Opportunities

A sound tomorrow starts today
Sound Transit has begun the process to shape a Sound Transit 3 (ST3) ballot measure that voters will consider in November 2016. ST3 will build upon the existing mass transit system of light rail, commuter rail and bus services to take people further and faster to destinations throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.” http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Sound-Transit-3

Sound Transit is not faster for Seattleites who have had our bus service eliminated or who now have to transfer from Metro to Sound Transit instead of a one-seat ride.  Seattle has lost its bus service but people in Shoreline are losing their homes to Sound Transit via eminent domainPlease vote NO on Sound Transit in November!
Shoreline residents stuck in limbo awaiting Sound Transit to take all or parts of their property, by Kipp Robertson, MyNorthwest.com Writer | February 13, 2015  http://mynorthwest.com/11/2709797/Shoreline-residents-stuck-in-limbo-awaiting-Sound-Transit-to-take-all-or-parts-of-their-property