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Council News

Regional Transit Committee approves update to Metro Transit’s Strategic Plan for Public Transportation


Revising Metro’s “blueprint”


The Metropolitan King County Council’s Regional Transit Committee (RTC) voted unanimously at its special July 17 meeting at Shoreline Community College to update King County Metro Transit’s Strategic Plan for Public Transportation 2011-2021 and the King County Metro Service Guidelines.

“I believe the process we used to update the plan was a model of cooperation of leaders throughout the region partnering together to improve this vital regional asset,” said Rod Dembowski, Chair of the Regional Transit Committee. “Working together with the Sound Cities Association and the city of Seattle, we were able to address some of our region’s challenging transportation problems; I hope to see this model of cooperation followed in the future.”

“On behalf of the Sound Cities RTC caucus, we deeply appreciate the excellent staff collaboration and Chair Dembowski's leadership on issues like park-and-ride capacity and access that are vital to our growing member cities,” said RTC Vice Chair Kim Allen. “We remain committed to working in partnership with the King County Council and the City of Seattle to shape our transit system to meet the needs of our growing ridership.”

First adopted by the County Council in 2011, the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation is the policy blueprint for Metro, Washington State’s largest transit agency,
establishing goals and strategies for Metro.

Highlights of the update include changes that:

• Require Metro to develop a long-range plan;
• Refine the Service Guidelines to facilitate planning by cities and include college student enrollment when evaluating the need for transit service;
• Require a multi-agency study on community infrastructure that supports access to transit, including park-and-ride facilities; and
• Update policy language to match Metro’s procedures for complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The RTC action also updates the King County Metro Service Guidelines, which specify how Metro identifies transit service needs throughout King County, based on data measuring productivity, social equity, and geographic value.

The July 17 vote caps a productive six months for the RTC. In prior meetings, the RTC has reviewed the annual Service Guidelines Report and the very first Strategic Plan Progress Report, and amended the King County Code to revise the deadlines for Metro to submit future editions of these two reports. The RTC also thoroughly reviewed the policy basis for the July 17 update of the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation and Service Guidelines.

The RTC membership includes County Councilmembers, Seattle City Councilmembers, and Mayors and Councilmembers from other cities in King County. This broad membership ensures that King County and its city partners have a forum to collaborate in developing policy guidance for Metro.

The update legislation will next be reviewed by the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee and will then go to the full County Council for final action.

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