Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Seattle's free-ride zone downtown will end Sept. 29
Where is the sense of community?
The decision to end the free-ride zone is a selfish and cruel blow to homeless and low income people in Seattle’s core. [“Warning: Free rides to end,” page one, Sept. 14.] I know a number of people who will be burdened by this and the irony here is that they are among the most generous people I have ever known.
It’s easy for politicians in Bellevue and Redmond to throw these people off the bus, or under it in a sense, as I doubt they spend much time in Pioneer Square, Belltown or under the viaduct. But it is so typical of the “if it doesn’t benefit me why should I pay for it” attitude of too many people. But to put this up as a hostage-for-vote deal and have it seen as acceptable by Metro literally makes me sick. Where is your sense of community beyond your backyard or maybe your country club?
Aside from that, it seems as though the free ride zone is utilized mostly by low-income people to get around downtown and workers on their lunch hour to shop and run errands, which they will now likely not do at full fare. Also, tourists who may have gone home and remarked, “You know, one of the cool things about Seattle is you can ride public transportation downtown for free.”
There will also be more traffic on downtown streets and bus delays. Just what Seattle needs. As well as a poverty bus for everyone to gawk at.
It seems to me we’ve just lost one more thing that makes Seattle the unique, wonderful and generous city it is — or maybe was.
— Dennis Schroeder, Vashon
Boot citizens, welcome promoters
In the article about the end of the “free ride” on our downtown buses it is reported that this measure may yield net savings of about $2.2 million per year, at great inconvenience to tens of thousands citizens every day.
Those hoped-for savings are dwarfed by the hundreds of millions of taxpayers money our City Council is prepared to spend on a new sports arena.
Our community leaders need to examine their priorities and determine the kind of a city they want to create: one that supports promoters, or a city friendly to its citizens.
— Francesca Mack, Seattle