Reduced revenue is causing King County Metro to cut or suspend routes during the regular fall service change in September. But in an effort to commit to servicing areas of high need, the Renton-Kent-Auburn Area Mobility Plan (RKAAMP) will move forward as planned.
Right now Metro estimates losing $280 million in revenue for 2020, from a combination of lost sales tax revenue and fare box collections during the pandemic. It estimates the total loss for the the next two years to be somewhere near $615 million.
The RKAAMP service lines will operate at full service levels, including returning routes 102, 105, 148, 150, 168, 181, 183, 906, 914, 915 and 917. The plan also introduces five new routes within these cities: 160, 161, 162, 165 and 184. The plan also improves nighttime and weekend service times. Starting in 2023, the RKAAMP will be support the addition of a RapidRide I line between the three cities, replacing route 160.
Besides sustaining RKAAMP to maintain partnerships with the South King County communities, Metro also states that these residents have sustained ridership even amidst the pandemic, which reflects on Renton, Kent and Auburn residents’ reliance on public transportation for essential trips.
Metro also intends to restore some routes to pre-COVID-19 service levels by June 22, which it states are still being finalized.
Other communities can expect a reduction in service, with 68 routes at reduced service, 50 suspended, and another 13 to be deleted.
An expected 53 routes, including the RKAAMP routes, will return at full service levels, including the RapidRide A, B and F lines, the Burien and Des Moines community shuttles, and the following: 21X, 24, 101, 107, 111, 128, 131, 132, 153, 156, 182, 187, 193, 224, 230, 231, 239, 257, 303, 304, 309, 311, 330, 346, 347, 348, 773, 775, 901, 903, 907 and 930.
More information on which routes are suspended or deleted is available on the King County Metro blog here. Some routes are not mentioned as they are still under discussion, according to the blog post.