Transit Now: current status
Transit Now was approved by voters in November 2006. Metro delivered the first service additions just three months later, and delivered nearly all planned service expansions on schedule through the end of 2009.
However, the economic downturn that began in 2008 caused in a steep and prolonged drop in the revenues Metro has received from sales tax. Approximately 60 percent of Metro's operating fund comes from sales tax. Metro has taken a comprehensive set of actions—including staff cuts, use of reserves, fare increases, cancellation of replacement bus purchases, and new efficiency measures—to make up for the lost revenue and preserve transit service. With the adoption of Metro's 2010-2011 budget, the King County Council agreed that the one-tenth of a cent for Transit Now would be used to maintain existing service, rather than to add new Transit Now service—with two exceptions. Metro has been able to continue developing RapidRide, in large part because it has been successful in securing grant funding for this program. Through July 2011, Metro had received a total of $82 million in federal and state grant funding for RapidRide buses and infrastructure. Metro has also continued to develop service partnerships that had already been approved.
Transit Now Services
- RapidRide—Metro launched the A Line on Pacific Highway S in 2010, and will launch the B Line serving Bellevue-Redmond in October 2011. Planning continues for the C,D, E and F Lines. More info
- High-Ridership Routes—Metro added nearly 62,000 hours of service to heavily-used routes, allowing buses to come more often or keep running longer into the day or evening. More info
- Rapidly Developing Areas—Metro added two new routes and expanded eight routes to serve areas that had limited hours of service or no service at all. More info
- Service Partnerships—Metro increased service on 17 routes by partnering with eight cities and businesses and signed agreements with partners for future services. More info
- Access and Rideshare Services—Metro expanded Access service to areas of rural King County that had no service in the past, and implemented new online vanpool training programs. More info
A note about service hours: Metro counts service by the number of hours it takes to operate each route for the year, both carrying passengers and getting to and from a base. If one additional hour of service per day is added to a route that operates seven days a week, the addition is counted as 365 new annual service hours.
Please follow the links above to learn more about Transit Now.
If you have questions or comments about Transit Now, please call the Metro Transit message line at 206-684-1146.