Thursday, April 29, 2010

Election Update: Whatcom Transportation Authority forced to Cut Service

With no options from the Legislature other than raising sales tax, agencies across the state are facing a tough decision, ask voters to approve sales tax increases during tough economic times, or cut service.

In the case of some agencies such as King County Metro and Community Transit they don't even have this choice because they are maxed out on their state allowed sales tax.

Whatcom Transportation Authority asked voters on Tuesday to raise their sales tax by .02% to stave off service cuts for their transit agency, which recently saw the largest ridership increases in the country (35% in one year).

Tuesday night the election was very close and measure was failing by a mere 274 votes. As new ballots came in last night that gap spread to nearly 1,000 votes. This means immediate cuts of 14% will have to be made by the agency, similar to the level of cuts being implemented by Community Transit in June. There will likely be no service on Sunday and in the evenings; leaving transit riders stranded.

The Bellingham Herald has the full report here.

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