An Independent E-zine on Public Transportation
PITF has been on-line since 1996!
Last Update: November 24, 2013
Hosted by Global Telematics in Seattle
Founders: Dick Nelson, John Niles, and Jerry Schneider
PITF Lead Stories
Sound Transit releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for the six-mile light rail subway between downtown Seattle and Northgate, the Seattle "Big Dig."
King County Metro posts trip cost calculator focused on gasoline price vs bus fare.
High Quality Bus Services Attract as Many New Riders as Rail
CETA recommends USDOT analyze monorail and light rail history and results before recertifying Puget Sound Regional Council to continue conducting transportation planning
Planning Tutorial -- USDOT asks questions, Puget Sound Regional Council provides answers on meeting transportation planning requirements.
Let Voters Trust Transportation Planning by Richard Harkness, Dick Paylor, and Bill Popp (extended version of Op-Ed in the September 30, 2005 Seattle Post Intelligencer, with research sources)
and Misrepresentation in Sound Transit Analysis of East King County Transit
Sound Transit and its Citizen Oversight Panel by Emory Bundy
Updated Sound Transit Report Card by Emory Bundy, reformatted with graphics in pdf
How Sound Transit Abused the Planning Process to Promote Light Rail by Richard C. Harkness, Ph.D
Click for real-time Puget Sound regional travel times from Washington State DOT
Viewings since 1996:
In November 1996 citizens living in the central Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. voted to raise their local taxes and begin implementation of a ten year, $3,900,000,000 rail and bus plan to expand public transportation facilities and services. The plan -- after 14 years overrunning both the approved budget and the original schedule -- is administered by a public agency and special government taxing district, the Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (RTA), later renaming itself Sound Transit. This region includes parts of three counties and the major Washington State cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett, with a total regional population of about 3 million.
This web site is maintained by a group of Puget Sound area residents who have since 1996 opposed certain parts of the Plan including light rail. We knew back then that voters were deceived about what they were approving, and we said so during the 1996 campaign. In December 2000, Sound Transit revealed that its Seattle light rail plan would cost $1,000,000,000 more than what voters approved, and take three additional years to build. As of late 2012, the first light rail line in Seattle -- opened in July 2009 -- is operating with lower reliability than promised and is well short of the ridership forecast made before opening. Important parts of the 1996 plan were delayed until a phase 2 doubling of the Sound Transit sales tax, a $23 billion phase 2 expansion plan, was approved by voters on November 4, 2008 by a margin of 57% to 43%. This approval came despite false claims made by Sound Transit about cost and performance, as documented within this site.
This Public Interest Transportation Forum presents information that bears on halting light rail expansion and replacing it with other available options that would be implemented faster, cost less, and at the same time achieve better levels of mobility, environmental quality, economic vitality, and general welfare in the region than are currently anticipated in the official Plan. More on why we are doing this.
The Seattle region already has an excellent bus-HOV transit system, organized by county, in which Sound Transit now operates express bus service. To learn more about existing transit systems, click here.
The popular initiative of Seattle citizens in 1997 and 2000 to build a citywide Monorail resulted in a 14 mile initial line approved by voters on November 5, 2002, but the project is now terminated.
Basic Description of the 1996 RTA "Sound Move" Rail and Bus Plan, including a map of the RTA System as promised to voters in 1996
|Puget Sound Regional Council takes up the meaning of Least Cost Planning|
Least-Cost Transportation Planning Papers by Dick Nelson and Don Shakow. These papers apply to transportation the kind of thinking that pulled the region back from the nuclear plants of WPPSS. Also called integrated resource planning.
Unresolved Regional Transportation Issues, including the SR 520 corridor.
Critical commentary on the RTA Plan, pre-1998
Perspective on the Roles and Activities of Various Participants in the Fall, 1996, RTA Campaign
Innovative Transportation Technologies (including Monorails)
Light Rail including information on Portland's MAX system
Intelligent Transportation Systems Track the location of buses on your home or office computer so you know if your bus is still coming or already gone!
E-Mails and Letters to the Editors
Reciprocal Hot Links|
Contributions to this Forum are Welcome
About the Editors and Contributors
Last Modified: November 24, 2013
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