Will Wilson is a former GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Seattle has just launched a new initiative to get drivers off the roads in the interests of meeting Mayor Greg Nickels pledge of making the city Kyoto compliant by 2012. Seattle Climate Action Now (Seattle CAN) encourages drivers to take the bus, ride share their commute, or even sell their cars. In fact, the program offers incentives to cut driving. For instance, a commitment to reduce commutes can earn a driver $150.
Sounds nice, but on to the sour grapes:
As a Seattlite (thank you, Yahoo! Answers) who doesn't drive at all, I can't help but be a little peeved. Where's the cash for the folks who've made the decision not to drive from the start? Sure, there's a quarterly drawing for an iPod, but I'd rather pocket $150 than get a raffle ticket.
For that matter, car owners are likely better off than non-car owners to begin with and already have financial incentives to cut back their driving -- $135/barrel oil, for starters.
Its not perfectly clear where the funding for Seattle CAN comes from, but it sure seems like non-drivers subsidizing drivers -- whether it's higher prices at participating businesses or higher taxes.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.