Letters to the Editor

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TRANSIT: Commuters losing essential shuttle

Letter by Burke Long, Lakewood on June 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm with 15 Comments »
June 2, 2011 9:20 am

The beginning of June marks the final days for Sound Transit Route 599 running between the Lakewood Sounder Station and Freighthouse Square.

This is the only route that ST is eliminating in total this summer, under the guise of “low ridership.” This is despite the fact that the route was set up as a temporary replacement for a train when the Lakewood Sounder station opened in 2009.

At that time, Sound Transit officials clearly stated that because train service did not reach Lakewood when the local station opened, they were going to establish this bus route “until commuter train service reaches Lakewood.” The latest, ever-shifting arrival date for train service is now late 2012. Yet we are about to lose our shuttle.

Those of us who depend on this service have done everything we could to change the minds of ST board members. The one point which they now seem to have forgotten is that this is a unique route in their system. It was meant as a temporary substitute for train service for which all Lakewood taxpayers have been paying.

Shame on Sound Transit for breaking its word and for taking our tax dollars while giving us nothing in return. It’s proof once again that this agency is not to be trusted.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. Personally I’d like to see some of our local poli’s demand an independent audit of PT before their allowed to enact any of their route cuts.
    Until there is an independent review of PT fiscal management any cuts they are making are just meant to be as punitive as possible to everyone except Tacoma cause they didn’t get a blank check from the voters.

  2. I understand the letter writer’s frustration and anger, but his letter is vinegar when it really needs to be honey.

  3. theglovesRoff says:

    So explain how it should be worded in order to be “honey”.

  4. Leave off the last two sentences for a start.

  5. royboy361 says:

    They might as well shutter the parking garage until the train comes in.

  6. truthbusterguy says:

    Transit users are being punished for not passing the tax increase. This is what union run government does. When they start to run out of other peoples money the only thing they will do is raise taxes. If the voters say no, they will be punished.

    Schools do the same thing. You fail to pass a levy they cut programs and other programs to beat parents into submission.

    No surprises here. They cut services but not their own lavish staffs and bloated union wages and benifits.

  7. truthbusterguy nailed it right in the nether-region – nuf-sed.

  8. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    Yeah, much has I hate to agree with him, TB nailed that one.

  9. odessa19 says:

    I use the Lakewood station daily to take the Sound Transit route 592 to work and have seen the Rt 599 leave the station every morning with only 2 or 3 riders on it. I’m surprised they had not cut this route out before now. Most people who ride Sounder currently are driving to the Tacoma Dome station and getting on it there. The reason being that when coming home why get off the train to get on a bus that gets stuck in traffic on I-5 every day. Once the train gets to Lakewood I’m sure Sound Transit will cancel the current 590 and 592 routes because they will duplicate the Sounder service. Oh, and to Idoxy1, this is Sound Transit doing this not Pierce Transit. As for truthbusterguy, PT is cutting staff and several drivers have retired or quit in the past few months. Also, the drivers union is in talks with PT about a new contract and none of the drivers are expecting it will have raises in it. I fully support the current wage scale for the drivers considering the job they have. They just don’t sit on thier butts all day and drive, they have to deal with abusive passengers and insane drivers on the roads but still manage to get people where they need to go in one piece. If you think it’s easy go down to PT and see when the next 3 month long training class is and try it yourself. Personally you couldn’t pay me enough to do their job.

  10. Sorry Odesa, I stand corrected.

  11. So did anyone actually read the letter before spouting off? This was about a Sound Transit bus route, not a Pierce Transit one…

  12. Yes ….but in my defense (besides the $$ involved), the only difference between PT and ST are letters. The problems and disgust for both systems are pretty equal IMO.

  13. alindasue says:


    Sound Transit is an inter-county system that ties together local transit systems like Skagit Transit, Community Transit, Metro Transit, Pierce Transit, and a bus system down in Olympia. It consists mostly of express buses and rail systems that handle the bulk of the commuters who would otherwise be driving on the freeways.

    That’s the main difference.

  14. BlaineCGarver says:

    I continue to stand by this opinion: Until riders are paying what I do for a vehicle, licence, fuel, insurance, etc…they can go to heck. I’m tired of paying over and above my huge costs for someone else’s needs.

  15. ferryguy says:

    To odessa19 – Let me correct you on two points. First, ridership has nothing to do with this route. It is unique since it was provided as a substitute for Sounder service which was supposed to be active once the Lakewood station opened in Sept., 2009.
    Secondly, as a daily rider of 599 I can tell you that yes, the morning runs are often light, typically with only 3-5 people per shuttle. In the afternoons these buses are often SRO. This is because many people take the bus to Seattle in the morning and ride the train home in the afternoon.
    But again, the real point is that ST officials promised this route as a substitute until regular Sounder service reached Lakewood. They have gone back on their word. Yet Lakewood taxpayers continue to pay, pay, pay.

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