News Update: Saving Mass Transit in Seattle’s King County

  • State and city budget cuts are no friend of mass transit. Providence, RI and other larger cities have entertained the possibilities of cutting bus services all together. Suburban areas are also at risk. Kings County Metro in suburban Seattle (the 12th largest transit provider in the U.S.) recently faced significant cuts after four rounds of fare increases that still left other sources footing 80 percent of operating costs. Business owners and local residents banded together, convincing local government leaders to save the transit system–which provides service to downtown Seattle and the surrounding suburbs. A compromise was made, as free rides in the city center became obsolete. Incentives were also created to use public transit as opposed to private vehicles. The model used to save Kings County’s mass transit is an eye opener, as communities across the United States will need to take similar proactive stances.

also:

  • A $1 billion dollar development in Windsor, CT–called Great Pond Village–aims to cut down on commute times for local workers. This northern suburb of Hartford is now home to a number of corporate offices, yet 80 percent of its residents live in single family homes that make it difficult for population expansion. As a result, much of the work force commutes from other areas around central Connecticut. The proposed master plan for Great Pong Village calls for over 4,000 housing units and 853,000 square feet of commercial space, both of which can take advantage of Windsor’s existing Amtrak station. Rail service is now limited but will certainly increase along with Windsor’s population, which current sits at 28,500. The development, with a construction phase of 14 to 20 years, may soon be emulated in similar suburban areas around the country.
  • Rent rates in suburban Mumbai have increased by 10 to 15 percent in the recent year, as residents are increasingly unwilling to buy a home of their own. Click here for an interesting breakdown on rental prices by area.
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