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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Metro’s potential service cuts equal a full year of service in other counties

Summary

The magnitude of potential cuts to bus service by King County Metro to its riders could be of a kind never seen before in this state said King County Executive Ron Sims today. Metro may have to cut 20 percent of its service after word last week that sales tax projections continue to be undermined by the recession while rider demand for service soars. An analysis of statewide transit data shows the potential Metro cuts could equal a full year of service provided by numerous agencies statewide, including Sound Transit (based on the latest data available).

Story

The magnitude of potential cuts to bus service by King County Metro to its riders could be of a kind never seen before in this state said King County Executive Ron Sims today. Metro may have to cut 20 percent of its service after word last week that sales tax projections continue to be undermined by the recession while rider demand for service soars. An analysis of statewide transit data shows the potential Metro cuts could equal a full year of service provided by numerous agencies statewide, including Sound Transit (based on the latest data available).

King County Metro currently provides 3.5 million hours of service, which equals about half of all scheduled bus service provided by all public agencies statewide combined. The $100 million projected shortfall means Metro faces cuts of 800,000 to 1 million hours of service. If Metro has to cut service by the lesser amount, 800,000 hours, those cuts would equal a full year of bus service in Pierce County, a full year of service by Community Transit in Snohomish County, twice the service offered per year in Spokane and equal to all rail and bus service provided by Sound Transit.

See attached chart with the latest ridership figures.

About 60 percent of King County Metro’s budget is funded by sales tax revenue meaning funding is subject to the volatility of the economy. Executive Sims is among those advocating for state authorization for a new, stable source of funding for transit such as a local Motor Vehicle Excise Tax.

Bus ridership is at historic levels in King County with unprecedented increases in ridership for three consecutive years. In addition to saving riders the cost of operating a car, transit service provides numerous environmental and economic benefits to the region, including reduced congestion, increased mobility for businesses, reduction in harmful greenhouse gases and is a much-used tool for major employers to meet state-mandated commute trip reduction goals.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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