Boeing Position Paper on the RTA Rail/Bus
June 13, 1996
The Boeing Company supports the Regional Transportation Plan
adopted in May by the Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
The RTA is seeking voter approval for the plan on November 5.
Valued at approximately $3.9 billion, the 10-year capital
construction effort would be financed by a 4/10 of one percent
increase in local sales tax and a 3/10 of one percent increase in
the motor vehicle excise tax. The plan also would be financed, in
part, by 30-year bonds, not to exceed $1 billion, and repaid by
the two taxes.
While not a panacea for the region's transportation
challenges, the plan is a much-sought-after first step towards a
goal of linking together alternative modes of transportation
throughout the Puget Sound area. From carpools, buses and
trains--to the Ports and SeaTac Airport, the vision is a holistic
transportation solution that includes connections between the
home, workplace, school, civic and cultural locations. The vision
is attainable only if local, regional and state entities work
together in collaboration to solve he transportation challenges
in order to preserve the economic vitality of this major center
of commerce and world trade, while maintaining the quality of
life for the region's citizens. The plan acknowledges local needs
by including sub-area specified projects.
For Boeing, the importance of addressing the region's
transportation needs is two-fold:
First is the issue of our employees as commuters. It is
impossible to run an efficient company when your workers are
stuck on the commute to work. At the end of the day, it's no
better when you work force is delayed in its attempts to get home
or to their children's little league games. With 75,000 Boeing
employees living in nearly every zip code in the region, the
growing transportation problem is a serious concern.
Secondly, to be cost-competitive, Boeing must move materials
efficiently between our seven major plants and the dozens of
support locations in the Puget Sound region. Fifteen years ago,
experts estimated a trip between our Auburn and Everett plants at
about one hour. Today, it can take up to two hours. With each
passing year, that delay grows.
While the proposed plan will not eliminate our region's
traffic woes, it will help prevent the situation from worsening
by complementing solutions provided by other agencies. The plan
provides improvements through:
A Seamless Fare System
Employees who commute by bus will be able to travel more
easily throughout the region with the proposed seamless fare
system. That system will enable Boeing, and the region's other
major employers, to offer better, more efficient Commute Trip
Reduction opportunities. The proposed system greatly reduces the
40 fare systems currently in the region.
A New Funding Source
Existing revenue sources are inadequate to meet future
capacity improvements. RTA revenues are additive to these
existing sources, and will be expended in this region.
Regional Bus/Flexible High Capacity Transit (HCT)
The large size and numerous locations of Boeing sites mandate
flexible regional bus solutions to deliver employees close to
their work location. Without this incentive, employees will
choose to drive their own vehicles.
The proposed plan includes high occupancy vehicle (HOV)
direct access at key interchanges throughout the region to help
reduce major congestion points. When coupled with state
completion of core HOV lanes, this plan will allow easier and
more predictable movement of the flexible HCT modes of travel.
Predictable Rail Services
Electric light rail or commuter rail on existing tracks will
provide an efficient and predictable mode of travel.
Boeing pledges its support in helping to educate voters about
the benefits of the plan and the company's support for increased
state revenues for Washington State Department of Transportation
funding deficiencies. It is the company's view that all modes of
transportation currently need greater capacity.
Provided by Frank Figg, Manager, Local Government Affairs,
Puget Sound, Ph: (206) 655-3640; Fax: (206) 655-1342
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Last modified: September 26, 1996