Funding shortfall puts transit and road services at risk
Transit and roads are essential to keep people and the economy moving—but funding for King County Road Services and Metro Transit falls far short of the needs. Cities in King County are responsible for major parts of the transportation network and also have seen revenues decline.
New transportation financing tools are needed to maintain transit service and meet critical roadway needs.
funding from property tax, gas tax and grants has declined by one-third since 2009 and continues to fall. An additional $50 million is needed for 2014 just to stabilize the declining county road system—and more is needed to maintain and rebuild the system. At stake are 1,500 miles of county roads that carry more than 1 million trips daily, plus 180 bridges that thousands of people depend upon. Learn more
annual revenue will fall $75 million short of what is necessary to maintain current service after temporary funding runs out in mid-2014. Without new funding, Metro must cut service by up to 17 percent beginning in fall 2014. Metro might have to eliminate, reduce or revise roughly two-thirds of its bus routes to close the budget gap. Learn more
Cities in King County
have identified projects they would complete if funding becomes available. Learn more
What is being done?
King County, the Sound Cities Association and the City of Seattle joined together to ask the 2013 Legislature for a new set of local transportation funding tools. The Legislature considered a statewide transportation funding package, but did not approve it.
With no legislative solution, local leaders say they remain committed to seeking sufficient, sustainable funding for critical transportation services and infrastructure. In the meantime, to stay within budget, Metro must begin the difficult task of planning service reductions, and Road Services must prioritize the limited road maintenance work it will be able to provide.
Metro and Road Services have taken action to manage the financial crisis
Faced with a $1.2 billion dollar shortfall for 2008-2015, Metro has been taking many actions to cut costs, increase revenue, and operate more efficiently. Metro has also revamped transit service to make it more efficient and productive—delivering the most value for the public’s fare and tax dollars.
These actions have substantially narrowed Metro’s budget gap and preserved most service. But some temporary stop-gap actions—such as the use of reserve funds—will be exhausted after 2013, and temporary supplemental funding from a congestion reduction charge expires in mid-2014.
Road Services will have reduced its staff by one-third by the end of 2013, gained efficiencies and savings from an internal reorganization, and shifted its focus from capacity improvements to safety needs, preservation and repair. The division developed the Strategic Plan for Road Services and created a five-tiered system to prioritize road services. To help preserve as much service as possible, employees have participated in countywide COLA freezes.