Financial Sustainability

Adopted 2015-2016 budget maintains current Metro service level

Seattle funding, recent financial gains support additional service investments

The King County Council’s adoption of the 2015-2016 county budget on Nov. 17, 2014 marked a turning point for Metro. Coming after extraordinary efforts to save bus service during a six-year financial crisis, the new budget maintains the current level of service for the 2015-2016 biennium.

After the 2008 recession caused a steep drop in sales tax revenue, Metro preserved most bus service by cutting costs, raising fares, and making a host of fiscal reforms. But after some temporary funding expired in 2014, it was necessary to delete or reduce service on 41 bus routes in September 2014. Additional cuts were proposed for 2015 and 2016.

However, Metro’s ongoing efficiency gains, projections of lower fuel costs, and other financial improvements enabled the Council to adopt a budget that eliminated the need for service cuts. Learn more »

In November 2014, Seattle voters approved funding for additional transit service. The City of Seattle subsequently entered into a contract with King County to purchase Metro service through Executive Dow Constantine’s Community Mobility Contracts Program. Seattle will expand service on Metro routes that serve the city by about 10 percent. This funding expires after 2020. Learn more »

The need remains for long-term, sustainable funding that fully meets King County’s current and future demand for bus service. Metro will continue striving for efficiency improvements to make the most of every available transit dollar, and county leaders have pledged to continue working for a statewide transportation funding solution.


Latest news

Cities can contract for
Metro bus service

On May 12, 2014, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced an enhanced program for cities to buy bus service to avoid transit cuts.