June 13, 2008
SEATTLE LOGS HIGHEST MASS TRANSIT USE INCREASE IN NATION
"Transportation experts who have pushed mass transit since the 1970s are getting their wish as soaring gas prices persuade Americans to abandon their cars for buses and trains in record numbers. But as the adage says, be careful what you wish for.
Mass transit ridership is at its highest point in 50 years, according to research by the American Public Transportation Association. For many riders, it just got too expensive to drive...
The story is the same everywhere: In Seattle, commuter rail ridership recorded the biggest jump in the nation during the first quarter, with 28 percent more riders than during the same time last year...
...when gas prices go up, gas purchases go down. And while the price of a gallon of gas may soar, the tax levied on it remains the same. Less gas sold equals less tax revenue for states and municipalities.
So far this fiscal year, gas consumption is down about 3 percent in Indiana, costing the state about $12 million, state Budget Director Chris Ruhl said. That’s money that would have helped fund road construction and repair.
Even as national politicians debate suspending the federal gas tax to give drivers a break, many state officials are swinging in the opposition direction. Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and Maine have raised their gas taxes this year, while Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed a 2.9-cent increase in the state’s 18.5 cent-a-gallon tax. Meanwhile, transportation planners in Ohio last month proposed raising the gas tax by up to 40 cents more per gallon," quoting MSNBC.
WITH ONE OF THE HIGHEST GAS TAXES IN THE NATION, GOV. GREGOIRE WOULD BE COMMITTING POLITICAL SUICIDE TO SUGGEST RAISING THE GAS TAX HERE AGAIN. THAT MEANS LOOK FOR BUDGET CUTS ON ROAD PROJECTS AS THE REVENUE'S FROM LOWER GASOLINE SALES CONTINUE TO DROP, AS COVERED HERE PREVIOUSLY ABOUT THE STATE AND COUNTY!