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Metro’s budget provides for the delivery of public transportation services to the people of King County. The largest of these is our fixed-route service, which includes more than 200 bus routes, Dial-A-Ride Transit, and the Seattle streetcars. Together they provided more than 122 million passenger trips in 2017. 

Complementing the fixed-route service, Metro has a paratransit program, Access, that provided 1.3 million passenger trips in 2017 for people with disabilities. Our Commuter Vanpool program has about 1,600 vans on the road, and had 3.6 million passenger rides. And our Community Connections program offers a growing array of travel options, such as community shuttles, that are tailored to local needs.

Metro also operates Sound Transit’s Link light rail and most of its Regional Express bus service in King County under contract, and is reimbursed for the operating costs and relevant capital costs.

Every two years, Metro works with the County Executive’s office to develop a two-year budget for these services. The Executive then submits a proposed county budget, including Metro’s, to the King County Council. The Council considers the proposal and may make changes before adopting a final budget. In November 2018, the Council adopted a $11.6 billion county budget for 2019-2020 that includes $1.9 billion for Metro’s operations, and $2 billion for Metro’s six-year capital program (2019-2024).

2019-2020 budget priority: improve mobility

King County and the larger Puget Sound Region is one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation.

Unfortunately, population and job growth are leading to paralyzing traffic congestion. The region is counting on Metro and our partner agencies to increase and expand public transportation services, improving mobility for all while protecting our environment.

The 2019-2020 budget supports Metro’s four-part strategy for delivering more and better mobility solutions.

Highlights of the 2019-2020 budget

Metro has a $1.9 billion operating budget for 2019-2020, and a $2 billion capital program for 2019-2024. The following are budget priorities and new investments:

Make transit easy to use, available to all
  • Increase bus service by 202,000 hours across King County
  • Improve our Access program for people with disabilities and establish an Access Review Board to provide ongoing public oversight
  • Work closely with stakeholders to design and start a fare based on income for those most in need
Get things built
  • Add base capacity for Metro’s growing bus fleet—including battery buses and charging stations
  • Build six new RapidRide corridors to improve speed, reliability, and customer comfort
  • Invest in existing buildings, bus stops, and other assets to keep them in good shape and support safe, reliable, and efficient operations
Partner with others
  • Create a central hub to foster partnerships between Metro and cities, businesses, private mobility providers and others, to help us grow, offer new services, and improve transit infrastructure
  • Support Metro’s work to engage community organizations as we plan services and programs
Enable our employees to do top-quality work
  • Expand apprenticeship programs
  • Start wellness centers at four bases
  • Invest in employee training and development

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