The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported on Tuesday that King County Metro Transit is using $46 million in federal stimulus money to purchase new hybrid electric busse to replacing aging diesel busses.
It sounds like sensible purchase for Metro. Metro will spend less on fuel and maintainence, and these new busses will be replacing busses that are already at the end of their service life.
Previously, I advocated stimulus spending on infrastructure, and mass transit is a great place to spend it. We have a unique opportunity to improve our infrastructure at a discount while we keep people working.
After the stimulus spending, people will have had more work and cities will have improved infrasrtucture that will last for years to come. These are all good things.
But these busses will not be built in King County. They are made by Daimler Chrysler, so I imagine they are being built somewhere in the US. At least I hope they are.
I would rather Metro spend stimulus money not on replacement busses, but on other infrastructure to keep people working in King County. That may inlcude construction work to speed up Sound Transit's Light Rail, enhanced Park and Ride facilities, improved HOV access for transit, or other items.
Buying additional busses to expand service on exisiting routes would also be a good use of stimulus money.
It looks like the stimulus money is going to meploy people in the US. And ultimately that does benefit us all. I would just prefer the King County Metro stimulus money be spent to employ folks in King County.