Economic downturn an opportunity to reform Metro
Story(Metropolitan King County Council Chair Dow Constantine released this statement on the proposal from the County Executive to fill Metro Transit’s $213 million budget shortfall)
“I am pleased that Executive Triplett has joined with many of us who want to reduce planned service cuts by more aggressively cutting non-service programs and purchasing fewer buses.
“Executive Triplett’s plan is a good starting point for the upcoming discussions about balancing Metro’s budget. Cutting service 9 percent, however, is too much. I believe we can do a lot better than that.
As chair of the Council and the Regional Transit Committee, I will be working this fall to further reduce the needs for service cuts. I believe that the Metro transit performance audit—co-sponsored by many of us committed to efficiency at Metro—will find further areas where we can reduce the need for future cuts. I will be aggressive in moving to implement the findings of the audit in finding ways to keep our buses moving.
“I strongly support the continuation of the Rapid Ride routes and the Service Partnership agreements. Both of these programs leverage other dollars to stretch Metro’s ability to serve communities better and help us to better direct service to important corridors.
“I called on Metro last winter to focus on improving their website and electronic communications. Metro can save money and better serve the public by streamlining and improving its ability to use the internet and smart phone technology.
“It is vitally important that any service cuts that need to happen are suspensions in service, not permanent cuts. We need to use this economic downturn and the downsizing of Metro as an opportunity to re-examine and reform how we deliver service. This means looking at the system from top to bottom to find better ways to move more riders between urban employment and residential centers throughout the county. I am already working with citizen groups and cities throughout the county to find better ways to deliver the most service for our bus dollar.”