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Metro Transit's Kent bus service to change in June
A couple of Kent bus routes are part of the Metro Transit service changes starting in June that were approved unanimously Monday by the Metropolitan King County Council.
Metro will eliminate Route 162 (between Kent and Seattle). Route 162 alternatives are the Sounder Train, Routes 150, 158, 159 and 192.
Some 8,000 hours will be reallocated to address overcrowding on 11 routes, including weekday Route 169 serving Renton and Kent.
Another 15,000 hours will be reallocated to help improve schedule reliability as determined by the Transit Division. Route 180, connecting Auburn, Kent, SeaTac and Burien, will receive an investment of 11,000 hours to provide evening service on all parts of the route.
The changes reflect the council's goals by allocating service hours to higher-performing bus routes to address overcrowding, on-time performance, and adding service to underserved corridors with the goal of making the overall bus system more productive, according to a county media release.
“These transit service reinvestments eliminate lesser-used transit routes in order to add service to highly used routes with unmet demand,” said Larry Phillips, chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. “King County leaders are working to make Metro as cost-effective as possible in order to keep productive transit service on the street during these difficult financial times.”
The adopted service changes reinvest more than 35,000 hours of service from lower-performing bus routes throughout the system, using those hours to bolster service on high ridership routes. This is the first step in the shifting of at least 100,000 service hours to address high priority needs in the transit system.
The changes are part of the approach called for in the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation 2011-2021 and King County Metro Service Guidelines, adopted by the council in June, as well as the County’s Congestion Reduction Plan.
The ordinance countywide calls for the elimination of 10 bus routes, and a reduction of service on five bus routes.