A few weeks ago, when Sen­ate Repub­li­cans announced the dates and loca­tions for their autumn trans­porta­tion lis­ten­ing tour, we crit­i­cized them for not sched­ul­ing stops in places like Seat­tle (the state’s largest city) or Bre­mer­ton (one of the state’s fer­ry depen­dent com­mu­ni­ties). At the time, I wrote:

Trans­porta­tion is a major issue for Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who live in fer­ry-depen­dent com­mu­ni­ties, which leads us to won­der: Why wasn’t a meet­ing sched­uled in, say, Bre­mer­ton, Port Townsend, Fri­day Har­bor, or Anacortes?

And what about peo­ple in south­west or south­east­ern Wash­ing­ton who don’t live near Van­cou­ver or Yaki­ma? There’s no meet­ing being held at a loca­tion with­in rea­son­able dri­ving dis­tance for many Wash­ing­to­ni­ans. Was any thought giv­en to sched­ul­ing meet­ings in Belling­ham, Aberdeen, Pull­man, or the Tri-Cities?

There’s still no meet­ing sched­uled in Island, Whit­man, Grays Har­bor, or Kitap coun­ties. But to their cred­it, the Sen­ate Repub­li­cans have added mid-Octo­ber stops in Seat­tle and Belling­ham, which are very pro­gres­sive cities whose peo­ple care about mass tran­sit (unlike Sen­ate Republicans).

The new stops are to occur on the fol­low­ing dates and at the fol­low­ing places:

  • Octo­ber 14th – Seat­tle, 6–9 PM: Loca­tion changed to First Pres­by­ter­ian Church, 1013 8th Avenue, Seat­tle, WA 98104
  • Octo­ber 15th – Belling­ham, 6–9 PM, Port of Belling­ham Cruise Ter­mi­nal, 355 Har­ris Avenue, Belling­ham, WA 98225

Now that there is a real Seat­tle stop on the tour, the Sen­ate Repub­li­cans’ web­site no longer ridicu­lous­ly calls the Sep­tem­ber 17th Belle­vue stop “Seattle/Bellevue”.

A stop was also added in the Tri-Cities, but that has already tak­en place, on Sep­tem­ber 26th. We’d still like to see stops in cities like Aberdeen, Pull­man, and espe­cial­ly Bre­mer­ton. For peo­ple liv­ing on the Olympic Penin­su­la, the clos­est stops on the tour are pret­ty far away (Taco­ma, Everett, Seat­tle, Vancouver).

Bre­mer­ton would be some­what clos­er for a great many Penin­su­la dwellers, and it would also be very con­ve­nient for Kit­sap Coun­ty res­i­dents, who are fer­ry-depen­dent and cur­rent­ly adjust­ing to high­er fer­ry fares.

Read­ers who care about pro­tect­ing Metro from dra­con­ian cuts should plan on show­ing up next Mon­day at the hear­ing down­town, a week from tomor­row. The Tran­sit Rid­ers Union will be hold­ing a ral­ly out­side to demand fund­ing for Metro begin­ning at 5 PM, one hour before the meet­ing begins.

If you’re able to spare time next Mon­day, please make plans to attend the ral­ly and the meet­ing and let Sen­ate Repub­li­cans know you’re opposed to gut­ting Metro ser­vice. Metro will have no choice but to make deep cuts next year if the Leg­is­la­ture does not give King Coun­ty the author­i­ty to con­tin­ue col­lect­ing vehi­cle fees.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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