Constantine proposes more Metro bus service cuts to King County Council

Bus riders could see more cuts in February. - COURTESY PHOTO, Metro Transit
Bus riders could see more cuts in February.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Metro Transit

King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the County Council a proposal on Tuesday for February service changes that would reduce 169,000 hours of Metro Transit service.

"With the council we worked hard to deliver bus service within the revenues available, and without spending money Metro does not have," Constantine said. "More service reductions are ahead, as we await long-overdue action by the Legislature on a statewide transportation package that can restore sustainable funding for transit."

As recommended Aug. 28 by the Ad-Hoc Committee of County Councilmembers Joe McDermott, Jane Hague, Rod Dembowski as well as Constantine, the February service reduction would eliminate 16 bus routes and revise or reduce 32 others.

The council this summer already approved a first round of 151,000 hours of service reductions to take effect Sept. 27. Taken together, the two rounds would cut 320,000 of the transit agency's 3.5 million annual service hours. Additional service reductions will be examined as part of King County's upcoming biennial budget process.

At the direction of the council and Ad-Hoc Committee, the February service proposal was rebalanced to distribute reductions geographically within each stand-alone service change, rather than spread them over four service changes. As a result, proposed service changes are revised for some areas of Seattle, South King County, and East King County. Future reductions and revisions will be considered as part of the upcoming biennial budget process.

Metro Transit currently provides about 3.5 million hours of transit service across King County, carrying approximately 400,000 rides each weekday on 214 routes.

If the proposal is adopted by the council, and if the Seattle transit initiative is approved by voters in November, the February service cuts would be postponed until June 2015 to provide time for Seattle and any other party to submit Community Service Contracts to preserve service. Seattle and others could also contract to restore services slated to be cut Sept. 27.

February 2015 service changes:

• 16 routes deleted: 4, 22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 158, 159, 178, 179, 187, 190, 192, 242, and DART 930.

• 32 routes revised or reduced: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9X, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 24, 26X, 27, 28X, 29, 32, 33, 60, 65, 106, 107, 116X, 121, 125, 157, 168, 177, 181, 193X, 197, 271 and DART 901.

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