News Releases

TRANSPORTATION: Senator Murray’s Statement on Court Ruling Blocking Her Efforts to Provide Affordable Family Access to Seafair, Mariners, Seahawks, UW Games

Jun 10 2010

Murray vows to continue to fight for a change in rule that forces local fans and event-goers to use overpriced and inefficient private charter buses

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after a court ruling blocked a provision that she worked to include in recent legislation that restored the ability for King County Metro Transit to provide affordable and efficient service to a number of major sporting and special events.

“This is about doing what’s in the public’s interest. And forcing fans and families to swallow fare hikes and inconvenient service in the name of adhering to a one-size-fits-all rule is not in anyone’s interest. Where private charters have shown they can be cost-effective and efficient they should not be squeezed out, but where it’s been proven they can’t get the job done, we need to be on the side of fans and event-goers.

“While the Federal Transit Administration and Department of Justice review this ruling, I will continue to fight to make changes to this very flawed rule. Especially now, as our economy struggles, we can’t stick families with steep fares and sub-par service.”

The Murray provision which was blocked by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was in included in the 2010 Senate Transportation Appropriations bill in reaction to a 2008 Bush Administration rule that stated that a public transit agency cannot provide service to games if private charter operators are willing and able to do so, even at a much higher price. This Bush Administration rule resulted in several specific problems in the Seattle region including private charters operators that drastically increased fees for service, inconvenient and delayed service, and in some instances, an inability to accommodate handicapped fans. Senator Murray’s inclusion of this provision was in direct response to numerous complaints that were logged by area fans, sports organizations and event-goers.