King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove on Monday announced that an additional $90,000 for discounted Metro tickets for human services agencies will become available this year.
Eligible nonprofit organizations will distribute the tickets to their low-income clients so they can get to medical appointments, meal service programs and employment or educational opportunities.
“Access to transportation is the number-one predictor of social and economic mobility,” said Upthegrove, whose District 5 includes parts of Kent, in a news release. “The Human Services Bus Ticket program is important for the mobility of low-income riders in all corners of the county.”
Qualifying nonprofits serve thousands of individuals who live well below the poverty line. Transportation can often be a major barrier to accessing critical services, so this program helps increase access for those most in need.
Each year, the King County Department of Community and Health Services awards the tickets to a more than 200 agencies based on need. Originally called the Reduced Fare Bus Ticket Program, it is in its 17th year of providing the discounted tickets. Funding for the program comes from foregone revenues from King County Metro.