Letter: No fares on Island Transit busses

Editor,

How did Island Transit previously operate in the black since 2003 with only six tenths of 1 percent sales tax? Why can’t they operate in the black now with 9/10th (since 2009 ) of a percent sales tax? Sales tax revenues have increased since 2009 with inflation.

Three quarters of IT’s operational cost is personnel.

Have wages and benefits grown out of proportion to the rest of us?

SKAT charges a $1 fare, but they do so with only four tenths of a percent sales tax. If Island Transit collects fares, will they too lower the sales tax by one half of a percent?

Some say riders should have “skin in the game.” Guess what, we all have “skin in the game,” with the 9/10th of a percent sales tax.

Fares only generate 10 percent of operational cost for Metro and Community Transit.

And that wouldn’t include Island Transit’s year and a half time to recoup the fair box installation cost.

And there is an ongoing extra cost with fare collection of up to $100,000 per year (personnel, Brinks, training).

Mason County, another no-fare transit system, does so with only six-tenths of a percent sales tax. Similar population numbers served. We should be able to do it with 9/10th of a percent.

The problem is that the Island Transit directors have a predetermined idea in their minds that makes no financial sense. Do they even use Island Transit? Make that a requirement for any director.

Ridership will drop with fares. Our environment will suffer with more people driving their car. Congestion increased. Road wear.

Think instead of installing seat belts in ALL buses — big buses presently do not have seatbelts — and announce the state law to use them until all riders comply.

As a rural transit system, we don’t need fares. History proves it. Return all sales tax revenue to the county of residency. Ask the feds for sales taxes not collected by NASWI. Taxed enough already!

No fares on Island Transit buses!

Tim Verschuyl

Oak Harbor

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Writer should be ashamed of his ‘misleading letter’

Editor, Well, I hope no one ever hires Lee Rebman to analyze… Continue reading

Letter: We can do better —don’t drive under the influence

Editor, Once again, Island Thrift has fulfilled the Impaired Driving Impact Panel… Continue reading

Letter: Trump is thuggish buffoon who would be laughed at

Editor, So, we’ve come to this. A president who praises Congressman Gianforte… Continue reading

Letter: Let your representative know the changes wanted

Editor, We all know that government is slow, at least when it… Continue reading

Letter: Electromagnetic fields are all around us, affect health

Editor, In normal Whidbey life, the typical exposure of a child or… Continue reading

Letter: Letter writer was incorrect about Initiative 1631 info

Editor, Norman Bodine’s anti-Initiative 1631 letter of Oct. 9 states, “95 percent… Continue reading

Letter: Can U C Me Campaign for safety awareness

Editor, This time of year, it’s dark when I leave my house… Continue reading

Letter: Oncology team appreciates patience of its patients

Editor, Fourteen months later, WhidbeyHealth has completed the new pharmacy that meets… Continue reading

Letter: To be great again, let’s bring back compassion in America

Editor, What’s happened to our compassion? As I watch with much anxiety… Continue reading

Most Read