News from Metro's General Manager

It's official: Seattle to get more bus service

February 23, 2015

On Feb. 17, both the King County Council and the Seattle City Council approved a contract for the city to purchase about 10 percent more Metro bus service in Seattle. Funding for the additional service comes from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 ballot measure approved by the city's voters last November.

This agreement gives us a wonderful opportunity to offer more convenient, more reliable, and less-crowded service to our Seattle customers—and take a big step toward meeting the city's huge and growing demand for transit. We'll make the first service additions in June, followed by a second round in September. Find the details on our blog »

ORCA LIFT is coming—help us spread the word

ORCA Lift logo

Starting March 1, Metro will offer a reduced fare for riders who qualify for our new ORCA LIFT card. That's also the day overall bus fares go up 25 cents, and Access up 50 cents. See the fare schedule »

The ORCA LIFT fare is $1.50, regardless of time of day or how far you travel on Metro buses. Sound Transit's Link light rail, the Seattle Streetcar, and the King County Water Taxi will also offer discounted ORCA LIFT fares. An ORCA LIFT card is required.

The reduced fare is available to anyone whose annual household income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($23,340 for a single person). Metro partnered with Public Health–Seattle & King County and eight social service agencies to verify applicants' eligibility and give free ORCA LIFT cards to those who qualify. We want the application process to be as convenient as possible. If you know people who might qualify for ORCA LIFT, please spread the word and help us expand access to the opportunities that mobility makes possible. Get the details »

Join us in imagining our future transit system

We recently began an important process: developing a long-range vision and plan for the transportation services Metro will provide through 2040, in close cooperation with Sound Transit and other transportation agencies.

As our region grows and changes, we want to be ready to get people where they want to go and help our economy, environment, and cities thrive.

We're inviting people, jurisdictions and organizations throughout the county to join us in this collaborative process—and we're thrilled by the response so far. In the first few days after we launched our online survey, nearly 2,000 people shared their ideas.

Help plan bus, U-Link connections

Beginning March 2, Metro and Sound Transit will be asking for public comments on two alternative transit service networks in northeast Seattle and Capitol Hill and on SR-520. We'll use what we hear to create a proposal for revising bus service in March 2016, after Link light rail begins serving Capitol Hill and the UW at Husky Stadium.

In May, we'll return to the public for more feedback before submitting recommendations to the King County Council and the Sound Transit Board for consideration and adoption in early fall.

To receive notifications about public meetings and the launch of our online survey, sign up for project updates »

Service Guidelines Task Force

This new task force will hold its first meeting March 4. Building on the work of the 2010 Regional Transit Task Force, it will further analyze how we evaluate and allocate transit service and will make recommendations concerning our service guidelines. The group's work will influence both our long-range plan and our 2016 service guidelines update.

Sincerely,

Kevin Desmond, General Manager
King County Metro Transit

Kevin Desmond

General Manager, King County Metro Transit

Photo of General Manager, Kevin Desmond

If you live in King County, Metro is your public transit system. I want you to know about our performance, the issues we face, and the innovations we are bringing your way.

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