Intercity Transit needs to change

April 18th, 2018 by Ken

Recent efforts by Intercity Transit to bring bus service to the 20,000 Lacey (or soon to be Lacey) residents living in Northeast Lacey area is nothing more than adding a few carrots to the stew in order to feed the multitudes.

If Intercity Transit is really going to do more than give the system a bath – it needs two things – – more money – – or a complete change in its mission.

When the three cities negotiated an agreement in the late 70’s to form Intercity Transit, it’s goal was to provide transit service to those who needed it.   But, sometime in the 80’s, led by the City of Olympia, the system began to think its objective was to stop people from driving single-family cars.

Olympia had been engaged in a pitched battle against the car.  They wanted to make driving more difficult and more expensive. City official waged war against the automobile in any way it could.  It narrowed the city’s main streets from three to two lanes, forcing more traffic into smaller areas.  It took away free parking all over the city in an effort to make driving more expensive – – and to add to the city’s coffers.

And, it enlisted Intercity Transit in that battle against the car.   The system began to think its primary goal was to get everyone out of their cars and onto buses.   Intercity Transit now runs a car pool program.  While it supposedly pays for itself, it needs transit staff to manage and monitor it.   Olympia has convinced Intercity Transit to continue the Dash Shuttle.  That’s the program which runs buses from the Farmer’s Market to the State Capitol.   A free service to everyone except the taxpayers of the transit system.

Representatives on the transit system board have been complicent  in this battle, and have allowed Olympia’s vision of the future  to crowd out the purpose of Intercity Transit – – to provide transit service to those who need it.

If Northeast Lacey is to get transit service anytime in the near future, it needs a strong voice on the transit board and it needs a change in the system’s mission.   Neither of those seem to be the case right now,


Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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