- Total hours to be added through Transit Now: about 130,000 (90,000 funded by Metro plus about 40,000 funded by partners)
- Hours added through 2009: 56,500 (37,650 funded by Metro plus 18,850 funded by partners)
Transit Now set aside resources to add service in partnership with employers and cities. Partners proposed specific services and committed either to contribute to at least one-third of the cost of transit hours (direct financial partnerships), or to improve local traffic operations to help buses travel more reliably (speed and reliability partnerships).
Active Transit Now partnerships
Partnerships with 10 public and private partners have enabled Metro to add service on 26 routes. Phased in since 2007, these new routes or extra trips on existing routes serve residential areas, commercial centers, and employment sites. Collectively, partners contribute about $2.9 million per year to cover at least one-third of the cost of over 70,000 more hours of service that Metro could not otherwise provide.
Transit Now Service Partnerships currently fund service as follows:
- More trips on 19 routes in partnership with the City of Seattle: Routes 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 26, 28, 30, 44, 48, 60, 70, 75 (Northgate to Ballard segment).
- More trips on routes 25 and 75 (University District to Northgate segment) in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital. (In fall 2011, the added service hours on Route 25 will be reinvested in Route 75, per an agreement between Children’s and Metro.)
- New Route 244 in partnership with the City of Redmond and Microsoft Corporation.
- Peak service on Route 269 in partnership with the cities of Issaquah, Redmond, and Sammamish and Microsoft Corporation.
- More service on combined routes 910/919 in partnership with the City of Auburn.
- New Pierce Transit Route 497 (external site) in partnership with the City of Auburn and Pierce Transit to serve Lakeland Hills and Auburn Sounder Station.
- In fall 2011, service will be added to routes 193, 211, 303, and 309 in partnership with Swedish, Harborview, and Virginia Mason hospitals.
Partnership evaluation, changes
Over the next few years, partnerships will be evaluated against Metro’s service standards to be sure funds are being used effectively. Some services may change or be discontinued depending on the evaluation findings.
In several cases, partnership-funded services have ended because the service was not meeting guidelines or the partner’s resources were no longer available. The following service additions have been discontinued for those reasons: Route 153 - cities of Kent and Renton (midday trips discontinued as of fall 2011); Route 913 - City of Kent (service merged into Route 918 as of fall 2011).
In the pipeline
Several more partnerships are scheduled to begin in the future. Among them are transit services associated with speed-and-reliability improvements made by partners along RapidRide routes, including:
- RapidRide B Line, between Bellevue and Redmond, in partnership with the cities of Bellevue and Redmond.
- RapidRide C Line, between West Seattle and downtown Seattle, in partnership with the City of Seattle.
The following service partnerships were delayed until 2013 by partner request:
A public or private partner (or partners) contributes at least one-third of the cost of a new Metro route or new service on an existing route for at least five years. King County pays the other two-thirds.
Speed and reliability
In these arrangements between King County and cities that contain eligible core service connections in Metro’s system (including RapidRide corridors), the cities agree to make changes that improve bus travel time by 10 percent on these core routes. In return, Metro add 5,000 transit service hours for each core route along the improved corridor(s).