Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Governor Vetoes Transit Funding

One of the few tools that passed the legislature to help financially struggling transit agencies was vetoed this morning by the Governor. The Section vetoed by Governor Gregoire in SB 5433 would have given transit agencies the option to ask local voters to approve a congestion relief tax. The tax, which required voter approval, was a 20$ flat rate on vehicle license tabs.

The Seattle Transit Blog and the Stranger broke the news this morning.

The Governor simply missed an opportunity here. Transit ridership continues to grow while agencies are facing shortfalls and service cuts. We shouldn’t be cutting service at a time when ridership is at its all time high. If our state is going to get serious about climate change goals, we need to give people more transportation choices, especially during these tough economic times.

The Legislature delivered on one small tool to solve the transit funding puzzle and for reasons yet to be officially explained the Governor decided strike this local option with her veto pen. With this veto it is clear we can no longer ask the legislature and the Governor for sustainable transit funding; we must demand it.

The P-I picked up on the story here.

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