Commuters across the Puget Sound region deserve transportation solutions that reduce traffic congestion. Mobility NOW makes it easier to get where we need to go, when you want to go, and using what mode of transportation you choose to get there.
The key question we should ask politicians and government transportation planners who are asking for billions in tax increases: will the projects proposed in the Sound Transit 3 plan reduce congestion? We believe that taxpayer dollars are too important to waste on empty promises that don’t deliver results.
Mobility NOW is focused on the individual–the driver, transit rider, bicyclist, and pedestrian–who deserves an easier commute, trip to school, or relaxing night out. What we don’t need is a $54 Billion transportation scheme focused on government mandates and social engineering that promises to increase transit’s share of our daily trips by only 1% 25 years from now.
Mobility NOW believes flexibility is crucial to reducing congestion, making it easier for people to get where they want from where they are – instead of relying on rigid schedules and being required to travel to destinations which government planners determined for you rather than you deciding your preferred routes and means.
Our region is the birthplace of some of the world’s most innovative companies, from Boeing to Microsoft, and McCaw Cellular to Amazon. That’s why Mobility NOW is designed to take advantage of technology advances in the coming years, not based upon century-old systems like trains to move people around.
Mobility NOW is accountable to taxpayers by using taxes already being paid to build projects that will have immediate impact, in years, not decades. We can’t trust bureaucrats who demand billions today for projects that won’t be finished until today’s kindergartners are out of college – and putting in place permanent taxes on our cars and homes.
How much older will you be when ST3’s Light Rail arrives?
How much more additional taxes will you have paid for ST3’s Transit Plan when its complete?
Know the Right Questions to Ask about TransitThe premise of Mobility Now is that Puget Sound residents deserve a choice in how to best reduce congestion across our region. You also deserve straight answers to questions about why Mobility Now is a sound approach to our transportation challenges. So, below are some questions you may be asking – or ones you should ask when politicians or transit agencies come asking for more of your money:
Mobility Now can deliver results much more quickly because it is focused on congestion relief, while that is simply not the mission of Sound Transit—by that agency’s own admission. “We’ve never said we will reduce congestion” said Joni Earl, Sound Transit CEO emeritus (source: CETA). Mobility Now starts from the premise that making it easier for people to get to work, to drop their kids off at school, or just to go out to shop or eat, should be the goal of our region’s transportation system.
That’s why Mobility Now proposes investing in projects that will make a real difference in people’s lives NOW—by building out a transit system that connects communities, by taking advantage of technology improvements to improve transportation options, and by leveraging existing resources (like making toll lanes on I-405 available to all) to move the most people the quickest. Sound Transit, on the other hand, is committed to old, and very expensive, fixed-rail technology. Ridership relies on forcing people who currently utilize bus service onto rail lines which will not be completed for decades. Light rail, a centuries old concept, will be obsolete before completed.
ST3 WILL TAKE TOO LONG
Light Rail service from Sound Transit 3 might arrive:
Mobility Now uses a portion of financing sources identified in PSRC’s Adopted Plan. The City and County funding portion of that plan does include a small share of property tax (about 1% of PSRC’s total.) Mobility Now adds no property tax and depends on tolls for highway expansion. The ST3 plan does take property tax dollars that could be used by our public schools.
Sound Transit officials decided that what the legislature really passed into law last year was the ability for the agency to propose tax increases that don’t end after 15 years, and, in fact, never really end. So the officials running Sound Transit decided that it would be better to go BIG—thus a $54-billion-dollar plan.
The Mobility Now Plan costs would be 21% less than the region’s adopted plan. Further, this plan would allow all drivers to begin using the toll lanes on I-405, which their gas taxes have already paid for.
As for the ST3 plan, the Seattle Times published a Sound Transit 3 tax calculator that allows users to estimate their annual tax burden with ST3. (See: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/heres-what-youd-pay-to-build-bigger-sound-transit-network/). This calculator is for ST3 taxes only and does not include the tax burden of ST1 and ST2. The Times estimates that the tax increase with ST3 will cost a typical household $326 next year.
Just like the original Sound Move and ST2 taxes, ST3 taxes would continue forever, or until repealed by voters.
The region’s adopted transportation plan would allocate 50% of transportation investments through 2040 for transit, and only 17% to State highways. Yet, that adopted plan estimates that this investment would increase transit’s market share by only 1% (from today’s 3% to 4% in 2040). Mobility Now would allocate 29% for transit, 36% for cities and counties (no change), 29% for highways, and 6% for other improvements.
How your taxes are being allocated
Transit receives 50% of total funding for only 4% of total daily trips in 2040 (PSRC Adopted Plan)
The officials running Sound Transit evidently did not find the possibility of technology advances compelling in drafting its ST3 program. That plan relies massively – over 90% of its spending – on fixed rail lines, and does not devote any money to take advantage of technology, which is expected to revolutionize transit services in the future.
Puget Sound’s transportation system is broken. Today’s costly and inefficient plans, proposed by government planners, do almost nothing to solve the problem. There are thoughtful, timely, and cost effective alternatives that have been developed and must be considered.
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Traffic and longer commute times continue to gain traction in the public conversation. Learn more about what community leaders, transit and technology experts have to say about advances in technology and how it is rapidly reshaping the transit landscape. What is the best way to make the smartest decisions about improving our traffic crisis? Stay informed and explore the alternatives
The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce has decided to oppose the $53.8 billion Sound Transit 3 ballot measure whose passage would extend light rail to much of the rest of the region.Read
These parklands that were purchased with taxpayers’ money shouldn’t have been sold without a public process. It’s a violation of the public trustRead
“I continue to grapple on a deeply personal level with the genuine burden the Sound Transit proposal places on public education. … The financing plan locks up the taxes through bonding in perpetuity and the decision can never be reversed. Ever.”Read
Sound Transit’s expansion will be obsolete before it’s built.Read
Return on investment is not worth it for average Puget Sound resident.Read
Where is the accountability? Who is responsible for financial oversight of your tax dollars?Read
Many will pay taxes for over 20 years before receiving any additional ST transit service.Read
Are you ready for increased property tax, sales tax and higher car-tab fees?Read
Transportation Choices: “light rail will not reduce traffic congestion.”Read
Seattle Times editorial board recommends holding off on costly expansion plans.Read