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.