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Metro planning for possible service cuts
King County Metro Transit may have to reduce services and staff because Initiative 695, approved by voters in November 1999, has eliminated the motor vehicle excise tax a major source of transit funding.
If a permanent source of funding does not emerge, Metro could have to reduce service significantly. We want to know what guidelines and priorities we should use in making future reductions.
The comment period for this is over. You can view the questions.
Executive delays transit service cuts
County Executive Ron Sims has postponed transit service reductions planned for February 2000 because of temporary transit funding relief in Gov. Gary Lockes proposed state budget. Other reductions planned for June and September 2000 may also be delayed.
Uncertainties caused by I-695, however, have led to a shortage of drivers for the February 2000 service change. Riders may experience some transit service reductions as Metro hires enough drivers to operate service on all routes. Metro does plan to restore full levels of service on all current routes as soon as enough drivers are available.
Long-term solution needed
Gov. Locke's proposed budget would allocate some of the state's budget surplus to Metro in 2000. If approved by the state Legislature, that money -- plus tax revenue collected in 1999 -- would enable Metro to maintain current transit service levels for the rest of 2000.
This money, however, would be only a short-term solution.
Without a long-term funding solution, Metros revenue will drop by about $130 million per year, or about one-third of the systems annual operating revenue. That would require reductions in all areas of operations, including administration and capital programs.
Bus service would drop by about one-third returning the system to service levels provided in 1984.
The county is now seeking legislative approval for long-term transportation funding, such as a local-option tax. If authorized by the state Legislature, the county will likely ask voters to approve a special tax for transportation.
Public outreach planned
Metro is asking for public comment on guidelines for reducing service. As part of this public ongoing outreach, a questionnaire is included here. If service reduction are necessary, the King County Executive and County Council will use questionnaire results to help with transit service decisions.
Citizens will have an opportunity to comment on any specific route reduction proposals at public hearings held by the King County Council. To get notices about those meetings, please include your name and address when you fill out the questionnaire.
Help is available
You can get specific trip-planning help from King County Metro Transit.
- Rider Information: 206-553-3000
- Toll-free: 800-542-7876
- TTY users: 206-684-1739