Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Seattle Voters Approve Metro Transit Funding, Reject Monorail Expansion

Joe Polimeni
General Motors/AP Photo

Seattle voters widely approved a proposition to pay for Metro transit, even though the funding crisis that motivated the measure has subsided.

The transit measure will add $60 to Seattleites’ car tabs and raise the sales tax by 0.1 percent.

Much of the pro-transit campaign took place under the specter of planned bus cuts. Then King County announced it would suspend most of the cuts, thanks to better-than-expected revenues.

Seattle voters still passed the new taxes. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the money will go mainly toward investing in new bus service.

“It’s been a bit of a wild ride on transit. I’m going to thank the voters for hanging in there. We are going to be sure we have an agreement with King  County Metro that ensures that the funds that were raised tonight through taxes will be put toward additional bus service, that we don’t supplant existing bus service,” Murray said on election night.

The Seattle-only ballot measure follows another countywide measure that failed in the spring. That proposition lost badly outside the city, even though Seattleites voted two-to-one in favor. This new measure won by a smaller margin, polling at 59 percent to 41, with about half the ballots yet to be counted.

Another transit measure, which would have created a transportation authority to expand the city’s monorail, went down to overwhelming defeat.

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.