The Council received another briefing this morning from King County Metro officials about potential service cuts if the State legislature doesn't take action and provide funding options for transit agencies. The impact of the cuts (a 17% loss of service) would be disastrous for Seattle and the greater region; the red lines on the map to the left are routes that would be potentially eliminated, reduced or revised.
Transportation is the backbone of a robust economy and public transit is essential to that vitality.
Seattle is the largest job center in the state. An estimated two-thirds of the City’s 200,000 daily commuters don’t drive; they rely on a quality transit network. The legislature’s failure thus far to fund Metro service is a direct blow to these commuters and will mean decreased service and increased gridlock for many of us who live and work in and around Seattle. The legislature’s inaction could also have a cascading effect through the system as bus routes are eliminated and riders compete for space on other already-crowded routes.
Metro has avoided cuts so far by reducing staff, increasing fares, spending reserve funds, and imposing a temporary $20 charge on vehicle licenses. When the charge expires next year, Metro will have no other choice but to decrease service unless the state provides the necessary support.Our legislative leaders need to demonstrate their ability to get things done and find solutions that preserve Metro bus service and boost our economic recovery.