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Proposed City Transportation Authority

Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1
Creation of a City Transportation Authority for Public Monorail Transportation Facilities


As provided in Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1, this proposition would create a citywide transportation authority to plan, construct, operate and maintain public monorail transportation facilities. The authority would have all powers set forth in chapter 35.95A RCW, including taxation authority; would be initially governed by a nine-member interim board; and would receive initial funding for planning, design, engineering and environmental review through imposition of a $5.00 fee on vehicles subject to relicensing tab fees registered within the city. A twenty-one member advisory council would also be established.

Should this proposition be approved?



Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1 would create a city transportation authority pursuant to chapter 35.95A RCW with the same boundaries as the City of Seattle. The Century Transportation Authority (CenTran) would be a governmental authority created to plan, construct, operate, and maintain public monorail transportation facilities.

CenTran would initially be governed by an interim board of nine members, six of whom are listed in the proposed legislation and three of whom would be appointed by majority vote of the six listed members. Within three hundred and ninety days, the interim board would be succeeded by a board whose thirteen members would be nominated and appointed. Two board members would be at-large and all others selected by the Seattle City Council from the Seattle-based organizations and institutions specified in the proposed legislation. A twenty-one member advisory council would also be established to assess transportation trends and needs in the authority area and adjacent areas, and to report to the governing board.

CenTran would impose a $5.00 vehicle licensing fee on each vehicle subject to relicensing tab fees as provided in RCW 35.95A.090 that would go into effect at least six months after the date the proposition is approved. The proceeds of the vehicle fee would be used to pay all or a portion of the costs of planning and designing the first phase of the Century Transportation Monorail Plan, which would link neighborhoods in Northwest Seattle, the Central Waterfront, the Duwamish Industrial zone, South Seattle, and West Seattle with Downtown Seattle.

For questions about this measure, contact: Elizabeth Campbell, 206-283-0298,

No statement was submitted by the deadline.

Reviving the idea of a monorail line from West Seattle to Ballard may be well-intentioned, but Seattle Citizen Petition 1 undermines current transportation planning, establishes yet another conflicting transit agency, and wastes taxpayer money, imposing a new car tab without constructing a monorail line.

An Unaffordable, Failed Idea

In 2005, voters discovered that even a hefty car tab tax of $140 per $10,000 of vehicle value was insufficient to fund a Ballard to West Seattle line. Seattle pulled the plug on the monorail, but not before $124 million was wasted. This proposal has the same cost problem. We can’t afford another wasteful boondoggle.

A Better Approach

We need integrated transit, but this measure initiates planning for an incompatible monorail line unconnected to the light rail we’re already building. Any new rail transit we add should be part of that light rail system.

Yet Another Transit Agency?

This creates another stand-alone transportation agency, creating further transportation confusion and conflict. Sound Transit is already developing options for light rail from Ballard to West Seattle. That is the right approach.

We already tried building a monorail line – it was an unaffordable flop.

Let’s not repeat past mistakes. Vote no on Citizen Petition 1! 

See Pro Statement:

The only “flops” are those presided over by officials against Petition #1, the pet transportation projects they conceived and bill the public billions for, like “Bertha” the failing tunnel/project, the broke METRO bus service.

Petition #1 creates an organization led by neighborhood, academic, social justice, and business-industry leaders, dedicated to delivering high-capacity grade separated rail with a Ballard-Downtown-West Seattle alignment, linking bus and rail centers, capitalizing on past-present Seattle transportation planning.

Submitted by: Elizabeth Campbell, Bill Popp, and Robert Bismuth -

We don’t need yet another stand-alone local transportation planning agency. This wasteful, poorly considered plan includes no real downtown stops and envisions a dubious gondola-like system to connect waterfront stations with downtown. Since the failure of the original monorail plan, Seattle voters moved on to support the $11 billion, 50-mile light rail system already under construction. Any new rail plans should be part of that light rail system. Vote no on Seattle Citizen Petition 1!

Submitted by: Jan Drago, Ron Sims, and Martin Duke -

Simple majority (RCW 35.95A.030 and .090)

1262 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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