Council approves creation of low-income transit fare task force
StoryFuture low-income bus pass users now have a seat at the table with County lawmakers thanks to the efforts by Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. The Metropolitan King County Council today approved Upthegrove’s proposal to create a task force of community members to review the County’s new low income bus pass program to ensure its successful implementation.
“It is vital for residents who will benefit from the low-income fare to have a strong role in how the program is accessed and utilized,” said Councilmember Upthegrove. “The task force will provide diverse leadership and perspectives to the Council to make the low-income fare work well for all who qualify.”
The group is formally known as “The Low-Income Fare Program Implementation Task Force” and will review an initial draft of the low-income fare program and then report to the Council on ways to improve the plan to increase awareness, establish eligibility, and identify potential locations where consumers can enroll in the program.
“With the adoption of the low-income fare, there is a tremendous opportunity to make transit an affordable choice for nearly 25percent of King County’s residents,” said Shefali Ranganathan, Director of Programs from Transportation Choices. “Transportation Choices Coalition applauds the creation of the low-income fare implementation task force which will play a key role in the successful implementation of this program.”
If an interlocal agreement is reached with the King County Transportation District for the distribution of voter-approved revenues, the fare would start in 2015 at $1.25 for eligible adults and the youth fare would remain at $1.25, with these fares rising to $1.50 in 2017.The eligibility threshold for the low-income fare would be 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, currently $22,980 for an individual. Adults in a family of four earning up to $47,100 would also be eligible.