King County Proposal to Fund Metro Transit and Avoid Cuts
King County today announced a proposed way to fund Metro Transit when temporary funding expires in mid-2014. Below is the announcement.
From: King County Metro Transit
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 5:06 PM
Subject: A new proposal to keep buses on the road
With the state legislature’s transportation funding effort stalled, County Executive Constantine has announced a new proposal to keep buses on the road.
Today he asked the County Council to take swift action to secure stable funding for Metro and avert service cuts. He asked the Council to form a countywide transportation benefit district—allowed under state law—and put a funding proposal on the ballot for a public vote. The vote could happen as soon as April. Read more about what’s proposed.
As another part of the solution, the Executive proposed an across-the-board 25-cent fare increase for all regular service that would take effect in March 2015. The fare for Access Transportation riders would go up by 50 cents. We would also start a new reduced fare for people with low incomes, set at $1.50, to help keep bus service affordable for the people who depend on it most. Eligible riders could pay the low-income fare only with ORCA—not cash. Learn more.
In case new funding does not become available, Metro continues to conduct countywide outreach (through Feb. 7) on proposed service cuts. The proposed reductions– up to 17 percent of Metro’s service—would be necessary to close a $75 million shortfall after temporary funding runs out in mid-2014. The cuts would begin this fall. (Visit our website to see what’s proposed and tell us what you think; Read our blog to see what we have been hearing from riders)
The Council will consider these proposals in the coming weeks and months; we’ll let you know about opportunities to express your views to elected officials on each of these critical decisions.