Mike Lindblom’s piece — an exposé, really — on plans to dig deep under downtown Seattle to construct another light-rail line is a compelling case to get off the train and stop throwing good money after bad [“Rolling in the deep: Sound Transit’s downtown Seattle tunnel would bring riders 145 feet below the street,” Jan. 24, Traffic Lab].
Does anyone actually believe Sound Transit will complete the line to West Seattle in “only” a decade and to Ballard in 15 years? And do it for a mere $12.6 billion?
And all this time and money to provide rail access to nine new points (three in West Seattle, six in South Lake Union/Lower Queen Anne/Interbay/Ballard)?
There is a better way: Get on the bus. For a single-digit percentage of Sound Transit’s fantasy-league budget — say, a paltry billion or so — Seattle could have a truly robust, world-class bus system: $500,000 buys a fine coach, $1 billion would buy 2,000, more than doubling King County Metro’s roughly 1,500 bus fleet.
But wait, there’s more: King County Metro could have new buses on new routes with higher frequency operations in a year or so, markedly better public transportation in our lifetimes. Imagine that!
Dave Carlstrom, Seattle