A proposed vehicle registration fee would give transit agencies an opportunity to buy back service that was cut due to falling revenues.
Yesterday Rep. Marko Liias introduced a bill that would allow transit agencies in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties to enact a “congestion reduction charge” of up to $30. It would require approval from the Board or a public vote. The fee would be collected when drivers renew their car tabs.
“While the economy struggles, more people are choosing to save money by using transit, making this exactly the wrong time to stand idly by while massive cuts are made,” Liias said.
The charge would be temporary and would end in December 2013.
Community Transit’s CEO Joyce Eleanor supports the idea. The agency cut Sunday and holiday service last year.
“Transit makes our roads more efficient. Having less transit service available forces people to either add to traffic or become less productive, delaying the recovery even longer,” Eleanor said.
Liias says the bill has bipartisan support from 30 cosponsors, representing legislators from across the state.
The proposal includes accountability measures, including the development of a congestion reduction plan and two reports to the Legislature on the use of funds.
The fee would be in addition to the $20 car tab fee that the Lynnwood City Council passed last year.