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County Council eliminates 2011 transit fare increase for seniors


Adopted legislation also approves creation of a senior regional transit pass


The Metropolitan King County Council today adopted legislation canceling the 25-cent fare increase for senior bus riders slated to occur in 2011. The legislation also begins the transition of replacing the Metro senior pass with an ORCA card, providing seniors with the ease of using one card for their public transportation needs throughout the region.

“Freezing senior fares and creating a regional senior pass should make riding the bus easier for seniors,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, chair of the Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee. “This action keeps senior fares affordable and ends the confusion for seniors who use both local and regional transit services. They will now be able to use one pass whether riding on Metro, Sound Transit, Community Transit, or Pierce Transit.”

Senior/disabled ridership represents approximately 9 million of Metro Transit’s 107 million annual trips. In 2009, the Council adopted legislation approving a 25-cent increase in senior fares starting in 2011 to help fill the revenue shortfall in the Metro Transit Budget.

Today’s legislation repeals the fare increase, leaving the cost of a bus ride for seniors and passengers with disabilities at 75 cents. The legislation does increase the cost of a monthly pass from $18 to $27, but that monthly pass can now be used on any transit system in the region as part of the overall regional fare coordination effort. Consistent with other ORCA passes, yearly passes for seniors are also eliminated.

The adopted ordinance advances the Council’s priorities of Mobility for Goods, People and Services, Financial Stewardship and Equity and Social Justice
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