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Transportation

Funding needs for transit and roads in King County

novelty hill roadKing County Road Services manages 1,500 miles of county roads and 180 bridges that carry more than 1 million trips per day. The 250,000 residents of unincorporated areas  receive roadway, drainage, shoulder, and right-of-way maintenance and operations services directly from King County. These systems were built over many generations and range from poor condition to newly built. An asset management analysis found that asset conditions are becoming increasingly poor.

The funding Road Services receives from local property tax, gas tax and grant funding has declined by one-third since 2009. The amount of revenue available for the county road system is projected to be an average of $90 million per year for 2014 through 2024, while the annual investment necessary to maintain the current condition of the existing road system is about $200 million. Learn more
Metro riders boarding busMetro Transit provides a range of public transportation services including buses, vanpools, and paratransit service for people with disabilities. Metro provided nearly 118 million passenger trips in 2013.

Metro receives about half of its operating funds from sales tax, and funding from this source fell during the economic downturn. Metro has cut costs, made operations more efficient by following recommendations of an independent performance audit, tapped reserve funds, found new sources of revenue, and raised fares four times in four years (a total 80 percent increase). These and other actions have saved or raised $798 million, preserving most bus service between 2009 and 2013. But after temporary funding runs out in mid-2014, Metro's annual revenue will fall as much as $75 million short of what is necessary to maintain current service. If no new funding becomes available, Metro is planning to cut up to 17 percent of service beginning in fall 2014. Learn more