Well, the One Percenters have done it again. The Seattle Times pretty much single-handedly convinced a lot of Seattle voters that Seattle blue is turning more and more toward purple as a vote for public transportation was defeated this week.
The thing is, public transportation is not something most rich people do. The rich drive their Saabs, Beemers and Benzes past people standing at bus stops and think of immigrants, maids, laborers, secretaries, students and the homeless huddled ignominiously against the elements. Rich people have never had to stand in the rain or snow waiting for a bus. Rich people have never had to run desperately for a bus; missing the bus and losing a job. Rich people never have to stand holding a strap for an hour just to get to work. I have a few rich friends and they have never set foot in a bus. All they do is complain about the congestion buses cause.
Buses of course, are a stunning, ubiquitous symbol of GOVERNMENT subsidization. Of course public transit has to be supported by government (taxes). More government interference in our right to clog up our highways, pollute and contribute to climate change.
Funny, as I drove north out of Seattle earlier this week I marveled at the spectacular commuter facility spanning I-5 with its huge parking garage, pedestrian air-way and rapid transit bus station and it made me proud to be living in a place where such things exist. On First Thursdays when I ride the #40 bus downtown I marvel again at the cleanliness and courtesy of King county Metro buses. I love the magnificent underground bus/rail stations from the International District up to Westlake. I love the fact that I can walk down the block and catch a bus and then hop on the light rail and viola, I am at Seatac. I confess that I only ride a bus a few times a month but in two years in Seattle I HAVE NEVER BEEN ON A KING COUNTY METRO BUS, AND NOT HEAR ALMOST EVERY PASSENGER THANK THE DRIVER AND THE DRIVER REPLY IN KIND. The fact is, people who ride King County buses love their buses and their drivers.
For all those people who do not love and support King County Metro I suggest that the next time you are in San Francisco you take the #38 from downtown out to the Palace of the Legion of Honor on Geary Boulevard. It will be late. The detritus and urine on the floor will stink. The “rap” from the boom-box will threaten no less than the angry brows of the purveyors. The graffiti will depress and the driver will exude an attitude of such contempt that none of the Renoirs, Rembrandts or Rafael’s at the Palace will assuage your melancholy. Next time vote YES for King County Metro!