Sammamish Patch: Lambert Explains Her Vote for the Transit Fee

By Erica C. Barnett August 16, 2011

King County Council member Kathy Lambert---a Republican who first opposed, then supported, then (reportedly) opposed, then ultimately voted for a $200 vehicle license fee to preserve Matro transit service for two years---explained her thinking yesterday over at the Sammamish branch of Patch, the small-town news web site.

Although "raising taxes during a recession is not a favored idea," Lambert wrote, " [t]he alternative of 17 percent less buses and the greatest reduction being on the Eastside as we have less density than most of the rest of the county was not a good idea either.

"As the economy continues to falter many of our citizens are feeling the pinch of making ends meet. So, one way to reduce costs is to take the bus. In fact if you go 20 miles from the eastside by bus it costs you $1,296 a year, if you were to take that same ride by car it costs $5,100 per year. So there is a possibility of this being a way to save money.

"Yes, I can guarantee and my staff can tell you that it would be much easier to say NO to a new fee. But that is not looking ahead to what is before us and be proactive that the people need to get to work and home and to activities without gridlock. ... That can only happen if we can provide the most cost effective transit system to make both bus riders and car drivers have available service."

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