The Seattle Times reports that the Monorail is under pressure from City Councilmembers to set its fare pricing before it will be given permission to build. The lack of agreements with other transit agencies for reasonable transfer fares is one of the many missing pieces that casts doubts on the Monorail's financial viability. Nevertheless, the article quotes Monomaniac spokesman Peter Sherwin who says:
he's concerned that if the city strives to guarantee a perfect system by delving into fare policies now, that could decrease the chance of getting a rapid-transit system built.Wouldn't that be a shame.
Peter Sherwin is one of those people the press loves to trot out as the one guy they always quote on a particular perspective. Sherwin is apparently the designated Mr. One-Track-Mind. Reading the press reports one gets the impression that he speaks for a massive grassroots movement, called "Monorail Now". If ever a Monorail critic raises concerns about the project, Peter Sherwin is the guy who is quoted as saying things like "The naysayers always bring that up. But we can't stop momentum on the Monorail just because a lot of people might be killed. It was designed to be a fire hazard on purpose in order to create more jobs for firefighters" or something to that effect.
I saw Peter Sherwin last week when we both were giving testimony at a City Council hearing. He's an amusing little homunculous , but somebody's presumably paying him a real salary. The P-I reported recently that he was brought on as "chief spokesman for Monorail Now". The P-I makes it sound like Monorail Now is an organization of the little people fighting back against
On Track, a group of critics that includes several downtown landowners, set up a staffed office downtown and hired a lawyer to mount legal challenges.But the MonorailNow.com domain is registered to an expensive-sounding P.R. firm called the Gallatin Group. When I saw Sherwin at the City Council meeting he was wearing one of the expensive looking pro-Monorail green T-shirts that were being given away for free by the dozens. You really gotta wonder who's paying for the T-shirts and for Sherwin and the Gallatin Group to shill for the Monorail. But it's not clear who it is. I hope the Times and the P-I will look into this and let us all know. Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 24, 2004 12:14 PM