The following is the text of the testimony that was presented by Eastside Rail Now! at the Sound Transit Board meeting on November 8, 2007 regarding the use of revenue from Sound Transit's bond sales:
Our testimony is directed at the use of a small part of Sound Transit's $500 million in bond sales.
We want to express our sincere appreciation for all of the time and effort that the Sound Transit board and staff have expended on trying to give our region an expanded rail transit system, which it so desperately needs and deserves. We would like to view this effort as an important first step and a valuable learning experience - for all of us, and we are confident that good progress will be made in the near future.
As a first step, we urge the board to move ahead with a project that will begin to provide almost immediate benefits, and at an exceptionally low cost. It is the launching of a pilot commuter service on the Eastside railroad as soon as possible. At the October 18 hearing, we requested that funding be included in Sound Transit's 2008 budget for a simple, three year trial service, and we presented data showing how such a trial could be conducted for under $10 million.
Moreover, we encourage the board to give serious consideration to purchasing the railroad, as it is still intact and available at a relatively modest cost, especially considering its tremendous potential.
Sound Transit has collected many hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenues from the East King County sub-area that have not yet been spent there. Purchasing the railroad would consume only a small part of that total. And it could make good sense for such purchase to be made jointly with the Port of Seattle and the King County Parks Department.
This would clearly be a win-win situation for everybody.
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This page created November 8, 2007.
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